Fisherman's Perspective: Lakes and low water levels

First, let's see how it affects the fishing on the lake. Basically, there is  less water for the fish to hide in. That is one way to look at it.  The low water level let's us see lots of structure that is normally underwater and that can be a bonus.

Can you fish a lake when it's low?  Sure, just treat it with respect and remember to check the water levels frequently.   If you have been on the lake before, keep in mind that you may not be able to run where you have in the past. Treat it like it's a new lake, get a map with some good contour lines and study it. If you need to take a marker and color all the areas that should be out of water in red, then color the next few ft in yellow.  Don't run in shallow water, stay in the deepest water you can when you're running and don't take short cuts. We've all seen what happens when someone take's a short cut and finds a foundation in 4 ft of water that they haven't seen before.  Treat the lakes like they are new and do your home work.  Don't run blind and follow someone that is running though timber or shallow water.

Years ago I fished a lot of different lakes in South Texas.  We would a get a map and go fishing and never even think about seeing what the lake level was. I can remember a trip where we left the dock right at sunset to fish a hump out in the middle of the south end of the lake. The hump was setting in 20ft of water and comes up to 12 ft, a perfect place to catch some good fish.  We were lucky to have a map and cheap depth finder and that's it. GPS was not even heard of for fishing boats.  With our running lights on we busted out there to about where we figured it would be and slowed down.  It was dark so picking up the spot light and looking around we found ourselves in the middle of timber. We were lucky and didn't hit anything.  Those old boats didn't float worth a flip by themselves back then.  That was a lesson that I will never forget.  Did I mention the  lake was 10 ft low at the time?

Now, we have some great New Lowrance GPS/Sonar units on the market that are amazing and compatible with Navionics cards that have depth contours lines just like the HD maps you buy.   Most units have a depth setting to adjust the shading for the GPS mapping to help with low water conditions.   Getting to know what your unit will do and how to use it is a very important part of today's world of high tech.  If you're not sure about things I have a Bass Class on the water that teaches you about your electronics.

Don't stay home and miss out on the fall fishing. This is just something we have to deal with and you can bet it will not be the last time.  Get out and learn the lake and become a better fisherman.

The fall fishing is just getting started  to get good.  The fish will become more active  as the water gets cooler so break out the rods, get some new line on and get out there.

Lynn Atkinson

Reel um N Guide Service