Good friend spring is not a permanent resident
yet, but is here in spurts and on itís visit we will have conditions for
some early, high-water action with largemouth bass in lakes where water
depth is affected by flooding.
There are many lakes, reservoirs and other standing
waters affected by dams of streams (that causes flooding), and on many
of them (regardless of size) high water at this time of year sends many
species of fish--including largemouth--into the flooded shallow water in
search of food. Food at this time of year is a hot commodity as fish of
many species prepare winter-ravaged bodies for spawning.
Incidentally, any trickle of surface water entering
a body of standing water is very apt to attract many species of fish in
search of food. It is nature at itís best.
Wade-fishing high waters in flooded fields is
a tad risky (not real dangerous) because it often is in inundated weed
patches, brush, and many other types of cover that is food sources. A wading
staff is a great tool that tells one what kind of bottom lies ahead.
Of course, the body of water at normal levels
must be blessed with good bass populations if the flooded fields
are to be productive.
It is, incidentally, a good idea when fishing
flooded areas to stay well away from deep water.
I usually use fairly light spinning tackle with
six to eight-pound test line and a semi-weed less artificial lure that
thwarts the inundated brush and weeds. Black and yellow are my color choices
because the contrast milky waters. The mid-sized Johnson Silver Minnow
is my favorite dressed with 20-tail Hawaiian Wiggler skirt. Other weed
less lures are good.
I wade around the shallows in search of feeding
fish, making casts to area that show action. Early and late hours are best,
but fish will feed in the fields all day.
One of my favorite spots for this kind of fishing
is the big Jones Creek bay on the Crooked Creek arm of Monroe Reservoir
This is mostly wooded hillside fishing and a little riskier. But fish there
tend to follow the creek into a valley and nto the surrounding fields and
woods. More deep warer care must be taken on the hillsides.
After old Browning Bridge collapsed (on the back
road that ran from Crooked Creek to Robinsonís Cemetery) the road became
so torn-up by off-road vehicles that it was closed to vehicular use from
Crooked Creek Ramp to the cemetery, and a branch to Elkinsville to the
east. It is open from the cemetery for a short distance beyond County Line
Bridge. All roads are open to foot traffic.
It is something like 2.5 miles from the cemetery
to the site of old Browning Bridge via the old road. If one goes from the
cemetery northward, Jones Creek will be on the left as the road runs into
the main stem of Salt Creek before it ďYsĒ to form Middle and South forks.
In flood times one may have to take to the hills. I wear knee boots and
carry waders in a backpack for fishing. It will be found on the Elkinsville
quad of U.S Geological series of maps of the state.
I do not mean to imply that this kind of fishing
is fast. It is often slow, always chilly. But on an early spring day, when
high waters of good fishing holes spill over into the surrounding low lands,
there may be some fishing fun, including bass.
HERE AND THERE
The annual outdoor workshop for women is scheduled
for May 2-4 to teach women about outdoorsing. Interested parties may call
317/2324094 for details. Registration started March 1..
Chippy, my resident chipmunk, added a sign of
spring Monday, March 3 by collecting peanuts for an early spring banquet.
George Seketa, a long-time employee of the Division
of Fish and Wildlife died February 27, 2008 after a long battle with cancer.
George wore many hats in his wildlife management career. There was no funeral,
but on March 8 there will be a celebration of his life at the Walden Inn,
2 West Seminary Street, in Greencastle. The family is encouraging people
to forego flowers in favor of memorial contributions to either the West
Central Chapter of Quail Unlimited or The Nature Conservancy (Indiana).
[See full online obituary at http://bayoubill.com]