Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
boondocks

Winter Power Plant Lake Techniques?

Recommended Posts

I fish a power plant reseviour(spell check) in North Dakota in the dead of winter of a little over 500 acres. It never freezes. It has very stained water and has absolutely no cover as far as weeds, docks, or sunken trees whatsoever. On the west side of the lake is fairly shallow where the warm water discharge is, and the east side has a max depth of about 30 ft with a lot of rocks along the dam and some other good sections of rock and good dropoff areas also on the east side.

I looking for some opinions on how you guys would approach fishing this lake. Would you fish the warm water discharge on the west or the rocks and structure on the east where the water is considerably colder? The warmwater discharge seems to attract some bait fish in terms of small bass, bluegill, and some crappie at the mouth, but its a small area. I would assume the rocks and structure on the east side would also have to attrack some baitfish, but the water is so much colder. Where would you guys fish? The east or the west side? And how would you fish it? What techniques?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thats a tough one, as i want to fish deep and warm.  oh yeah thats not one of the options.  i would start at the deepest section adjacent to the warm water discharge area with a jig, but its hard to visualize exactly how large an area it is we are talking about.  i guess if you started at the discharge and headed out i would fish the first depth change.

matt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seeing as how it's 500 acres, I would say both.  Trial and error.  Good question.

One thing for sure is I would find the deep spot on the warm water side and sneak some wood in there.  Brushpiles, pallets,etc.  PVC trees work very well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have a graph, dedicate some time to combing the area and finding what is there... the less cover and structure, the easier the fish will be to locate if you know where everything is. That info will serve you forever. Water temp is still important... as an example, the 3 power plant lakes I fish are still about 72 +/- degrees on the discharge side. There can be a big swing within the lake and can be 20 degrees or more difference from one side to the other- knowing where the "lines" are can be important. Rarely will there just be an even drop in temp as you leave the discharge area... most power plants draw/discharge enough water to make current, at least in a large part of the lake so there may be river similarities to look for as well... and that current will affect the water temps differently in certain areas so pay attention to drastic drops or rises in temp as you change locations. (if you don't have a temp gauge in the graph, you can buy a little digital one with a [up to 20' or so] probe on a wire... those are cheap and nice because you can lower the probe and get real temps at known depths.

Your water will still be colder than mine so for you I would try jigs, t-rigs,c-rig and even c-rigging a floating Rapala minnow or Mann's baby 1- crankbait.

Hope you hit the mother load soon!! You deserve a good trip for fighting the winter in the Dakotas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think in a way you sorta answered your own question. If the warmer water areas attract baitfish, then it should attract bass. Even though the bass may be more lethargic in the winter time and feed less they are still gonna folow the buffet line, that way when they do feel the urge to feed they aren't gonna have to go far to get it. Do you happen to know the difference in water temps around the water discharge area? I would start from that area and work my way away from it to see at what temp and depth the fish are holding at. I would use a search style bait that can be worked at any depth...a Rattle-Trap or spinnerbait comes to mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Find the largest concentrations of baitfish with your graph and fish structure, especially the deepest water you can, like steep banks or points.  Except in the warmest states of the country, cold water concentrates baitfish into balls or masses.  When you can find those the LM bass are usually somewhere around.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have always had success on fishing any power plant lake with a suspended jerkbait by the discharge spot. It is kind of a no brainer, but it works to load the boat. I don't know your preference, but I like Rogues.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also fish a number of cooling lakes here in Illinois. There are times when the discharge water temp in the dead of winter is in the mid 80s in some lakes. One thing that I have noticed is fishing seems to be much more stable and productive in the areas affected by the current regardless of water temp. One of these lakes here sounds exactly like yours only twice the size (1000 acres) and shaped like a rectangle. No visible cover exists except chunk rock. Many fish are caught here in the current near the discharge with moving lures. Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing forum

    fishing

    fishing rods

    fishing reels

    fishing forum

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×