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Fishing the Flood

April 15, 2015

By Chris Erwin

When I compiled the fishing report for last week, the rains had just started and the lake level at Yatesville Lake was standing at two feet below summer pool. The weather was supposed to be fair, with clear skies and temperatures in the 60s, so I figured it was time to get out on the lake.

I knew that the area was getting some rain, but what I didn’t expect was the amount of rain that would fall between when I checked the lake level and when I actually got there.

Heading down U.S. 23, I started seeing a lot of water in almost every little backwater area. I was going to be fishing with my son Scott that day, and he made the remark “Looks like they got more rain than us.” By the time we turned onto Rt. 3 it was clear some raging weather had hit the area.

As we topped the hill and started our decent down to the boat ramp I could see that Yatesville Lake was muddy and high. The water was right up to the benches that lined the bank, and the ramp was completely submerged. All I could see was the railing where the floating dock was supposed to be.

If it had been any higher we wouldn’t have been able to launch the boat but in the water we went and putted our way past the no wake zone.

Author Chris Erwin holding the first fish of the day caught on a lipless crankbait at Yatesville Lake. (Photo by Scott Erwin)

Author Chris Erwin holding the first fish of the day caught on a lipless crankbait at Yatesville Lake. (Photo by Scott Erwin)

When you are faced with these kind of circumstances, you need to figure out what you think the fish are doing. If lakes are holding water fish tend to come to the bank and it can improve the fishing. However, if they are pulling the lake, and it was plain they were by the movement of the water and how trash was being pulled to center of the channel, you are in a water dropping environment.

With eight feet of new water under me, what was the first thing I wanted to try? My instinct told me jig & kicker and I want to try the stacked up debris. It didn’t take long to see this wasn’t producing.

I along with my son each tied four different baits on four different rods. They were, the jig & Kicker, lipless crankbait, regular crankbait, grub on a shakey-head jig, spinnerbait, one single-spin for dropping and tandem blade for slow rolling.

Here is what we did: We hit a few points that we knew the sun had been hitting all morning. With all the new rain the water temperature had dropped to 47 degrees, but the sun was shining so I knew some areas might have begun to warm. After some checking, we did find water hitting the 50 degree mark, however, that wasn’t the only thing that would make a difference.

I found one point that had standing brush about a foot under the water and it had gotten sun all morning. The water was about 15 feet deep, and I was throwing a lipless crankbait across the point when — bam! I got a strike!

After two hours on the water, I boated the first fish. It was a 15-incher that was as white as a piece of notebook paper.

While it wasn’t what I would call a good morning, it was something. We managed to talk to four other boats of guys, and none of them had produced a strike.

The wind soon began to pick up, and we were getting a little hungry. I told Scott, “Let’s move to the head of a cove eat a bite and pick a new spot.”

After a lunch break and sandwich we started out of the cove, and were moving right down the middle of the cove. I happened to know where there was a hump that normally is only two feet deep.

Scott was throwing a white crankbait right down the middle of the cove and I saw him lean back and declare, “I got one”! The fish boiled to the top and gave him a good fight.

It hit the measuring board at 16 ½ inches. This fish was just as white as the last; which usually indicates it has been in deep water.

After burning this hump up, we moved to another cove that looks pretty much like the last one except for the fact it has an old road bed running into the water near the head of the cove. My lipless bait struck home again and another 15-incher came to the boat.

At this time, we decide to call it quits, and head in. The common thing was warmer water, fishing places where fish hold at summer pool and then working baits very slowly. We didn’t get skunked, but it was a hard day.

Until next time send me your picture and stories.

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2 Responses to Fishing the Flood

  1. Rick Adams on May 6, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    Would be great to see “weekly” reports on Cave Run (Laurel) Lake, especially in the Spring when levels are above pool. I make a 2 hour
    drive to get there and I hate to circumvent the lake looking for a place
    to put in when the lake is up and ramps are “iffy”. I enjoy reading
    your articles and know that you are passionate about fishing in the Commonwealth. I would appreciate any input you could offer this neighbor
    to the north. Thanks and hope to see you on the water.

  2. Staff on May 7, 2015 at 1:19 am

    Thanks Rick,
    You are right about one thing… Fishing is my passion, I have been fishing the waters of Kentucky for over 40 years and it never gets old to me. At my age and with what I know… for the last 15 years I have been writing about this State and the outdoor opportunities it offers.

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