Rising water temps affect fishing

Published 4:27 pm Friday, May 27, 2011

We are in the last third of spring and with that the weather is going to be much more like summer than anything else.

We have already been in the high 90s nearing 100 degrees on several different days. The only salvation in what has been happening weatherwise is the nights have still been in the 60s for the most part. There won’t be many nights like that left in our future. And in case you have forgotten, the summer seems to last forever this deep in the south.

If you go on down into Florida, the wind off the Gulf keeps the air a little cooler than we have here because of the distance from the water. Thank goodness we are not like the Midwest where the cooler air from the south meets the warm air from up north to help create what has been a great many tornado events this year. And this year seems to be the one where the really dangerous ones hit places and the death toll is much more than in the past. We can have a tornado here in southwest Georgia, but hopefully not like they have in the Midwest.

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Last week I made the trek up to mid-state and in talking to several different people I found that they did not get the rainfall back at the middle of the month that we did. I felt that they didn’t because we didn’t have a rise in the lake level that usually accompanies a big rain in middle Georgia. The amounts that they received ranged from two-tenths to two drops.

There are some places around here that got two inches or better. Mother got two and two-tenths inches in her gauge. But not a drop since. We are getting dry and I know that they are. A good rain would help us all and especially the farmers and the fishermen. A cool surface will bring fish to the surface and top water action will ensue. You just need to be there to participate.

On the fishing front the water temperature in Lake Seminole is on the rise and will continue to do so for a good while yet. By August it will be almost uncomfortable to swim and then in September it will begin a slow drop going toward winter.

Until then we will be experiencing hot water fishing and the difficulties it presents. Bass as well as the other species of fish will move under the grass where it is a bit cooler to spend the warmer months of the year. When it is really hot in July or August the temperature under a mat of grass can be 10 to 15 degrees cooler than it is in the open on the surface. A fish that will not move to one of these cooler places may not be safe to eat.

We have to be able to get these fish to move from under the grass or at least to the edge of it so that we can present a bait to them.

We still use mostly artificial bait in pursuit of a big bass, but if the grass continues to fill the lake, we will be like folks in Florida and use shiners to get a bite. I have nothing against someone who uses live bait like that, but it is still much more gratifing to catch a big fish on artificial bait. Even George Perry used a Creek Chub to get a pretty good bass and that was nearly 80 years ago. And the spot he caught the world record is just about silted in and no one would have ever expected a big bass, much less a world record, to come from there looking at it now.