High water lakes
by Mike Gerry
As we move into February, one thing you can count on is plenty of rain in this part of the country! That said, we can expect some extremely high-water conditions along with days of strong current to drive the fish out of the deeper edges of the channel.
These heavy rains will cause muddy conditions, water up over many low-lying areas, and boat docks partly covered from the conditions. These changes in the conditions will move the bass and push them to areas many fishermen never expect, especially with cold water temperatures.
You must change your complete winter mentality when this occurs and consider what is happening below the water surface.
First, the water will muddy up as this condition causes the water temperature on the surface to rise, pushing the bait to the backs of the creeks and with their move, the bass will follow.
Next, the current will become strong, forcing the bait, once again, to run away from the strong pull of the dam control, which pushes them, once again, to the creeks.
As always, in high water, the bass will follow the movement and push shallow, hiding from the mud and current along the edges or near boat houses off the main river areas. The banks in the backs of creeks will create mud lines off the bank, 10 to 25 yards, and the bait, along with the bass, will push into the clearer areas behind the mud lines.
Add all this movement up and you will find that the shallowest areas in your lake will be holding the best fish and grouping them up tightly to the cover to hide from the change in water levels and mud.
This time of year, reaction baits will become your best choice to catch numbers, and big fish, as the grouping will make them competitive to feed, causing them to strike strongly and quickly when you find them.
The key when we see this high-water is to cover water. Put that trolling motor on high and push quickly. Make lots of casts as you move to find that group of fish. Change reaction baits often until you find the color or presentation that works for you then slow your movement down and thoroughly target every piece of cover in the area you found some fish.