Several of my recent column in the Coloradoan Explorer Section in Sundayís paper have centered on a common theme, lake conditions repeat themselves annually. My examples concerned Jumbo Annex (bass, crappie), Jackson Reservoir (carp), Horsetooth (smallmouth) and Boyd Reservoir (white bass). If you keep track of your fishing activities, be it through a paper log, the fishing log on Fish Explorer available to plus members, or are lazy like I am and simply make good conditions reports, then when next year rolls around you watch for those conditions to repeat then go fishing.
Yep, itís that simple, when conditions repeat, the fish will be there. Fish over fish and your chances of success are much higher. Most time I catch fish, not because Iím fly fishing, rather because I have figured out where the fish are likely to be. I just happen to use flies and a fly rod to catch them. Most other methods would work equally well.
Now before addressing the title, note Iím lazy. I donít keep a good log, but I am faithful about submitting conditions reports which get archived and are available to all FXR plus members. I donít know about you, but that alone is worth the price of admission.
So hereís another pattern. When reservoirs with walleye fill, they flood brush. You know the stuff most associate with bass. While the water temperatures remain below 70, the walleye will prowl around this stuff, sometimes in less than a foot. Not only during the low light hours, but at times midday, especially if there is a bit of a breeze or mud line (think boat traffic).
So when MSU_Angler sent me an email and asked if Iíd like to meet him at Carter for an evening fish, I emailed back and said let me check my schedule (code for historical reports). What I found was this; lake full, check; time of year right, check; did well this time last year, check; others reporting poor fishing, check; and a few other points, check. I sent a second email; see you there.
Results? Well, not quite what I had hoped for, but I have an excuse; twenty mile an hour winds and one very nasty mud line. Still in a couple hours of fishing I managed a few walleye 16 to 19 inches and a couple largemouth to boot. Need I say it, all on clousers using a sinking line and none in water deeper than 10 ft. Had the winds died down (they didnít) I would have stuck it out, but wind, snags and dark were a combination I didnít want. No problem as these conditions will exist for a few weeks. Any guesses as to where you might find me?
Points are: 1) flooded brush, cool waters, walleyes is a formula for catching, 2) natural, or in this case manmade conditions repeat and when they do if fishing was good (or bad) last year expect similar this year, and 3) Fish Explorer Plus membership is an inexpensive way to get a handle on last yearís conditions, several years in some cases.