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 Low Water Conditions

Article: February, 2004
Lake Fork Pro Jim ReaneauThe lack of rain has many lakes lower than normal and others almost nothing but a river stream. There are many things that can happen during this condition. Many years ago one lake I fished went ten feet low. I went to some of the spots I fished and there was know water covering the structure. I boated as close as possible and walked out to the spots. There I found many of my favorite lures attached to stump and limbs. I was able to replace the hooks on the crank baits and they were good as new. As I walked around I found other baits and several anchors. One stump had so many weights, hooks and baits I almost wanted to cut it and take it home and leave all the baits on it. But this stump had produced many nice fish over the years so I left it less the hardware This a good time to use a camcorder or just take pictures. When the water comes back then you can go back to this area and really fish it with new knowledge. The best part I was able to see why the fish were holding this area. Some areas were losing its structure and that was why the fishing in this area had declined. I cut some new limbs and added to the depleted structure. I also added to some other areas that need some help. I found several areas that were potential good areas that I never knew about. With this new info, when the lake came back up I caught many fish from the new brush I had added and from some of the new piles I had created.

The other thing about low water it will concentrate the fish as they have less water to move around in. The fish will pull out to the deepest water. This is usually creek channels and river channels. This is a good time for crank baits, Texas rigs and jigs. As lakes get older the creek channels become less defined and harder to follow. With the low water you can now follow them. Pitching a jig or Texas rig around the stumps can be a very productive approach. Crank baiting the bends and long straight runs of the creek or river can be good. The mouth of creeks running into the main channel are very good areas as the water is deep in most of these areas. The worst problem is running your boat. You will have to be very careful at this time as some water you usually run in will be to shallow. I have seen several boats cut across a point not knowing or thinking about the low water and run aground. Some get a eye opening experience about what they have been running over. I see people come to a lake they know nothing about and run like crazy. They run in places I wouldn’t idle in. Again this is another good time to look over the area and figure out where you don’t wont to run.

With the low water if it last long enough there will be some new growth. This will help the lake when it comes back up. When I fished Sam Rayburn it would fluctuate sixteen feet some times. Willows would grow and were good fishing areas when the lake came up. Don’t think the low water is detrimental as it can be a big help for some lakes.

Just use the time to learn about areas you fish and add some brush to new spots or build up your favorite brush pile. Get you bass club or your fishing buddies to help and it won't take long to put in plenty brush piles. This will help your lake during the spawn to give the fry a hiding place.
Thanks and Good Fishing,

Fishing Tip by EX Lake Fork Guide Jim Reaneau


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