Archive for the ‘water levels’ Tag

FINDING PUT-N-TAKE TROUT   Leave a comment

292308_204291753032582_2079233137_n

Classic trout fishermen typically throw very small flys.  The reason they can do it is that trout are sight feeders and their vision is very acute.  Conditions dictate that fisherman to use certain flys.

Just because anglers prefer to use dry flys because it is more fun it is not the only option.  Their eyes are mid-range.  That means they are comfortable looking up for food as well as down making them multi-directional feeders.

Trout in the wild prefer cold moving water over a rocky bottom.  They can survive in the still water of a pond but on a more limited basis.  The ideal water temperature for trout is in the 40 to 55-degree range.  This can vary by sub-species.

On rivers where water levels change during the day, they survive through adaptation.  When the current is fast, they will be near the edges of the river system.  As water levels lower and current decreases they will go more toward the middle or they will range the river system.

Their relating to structure is to conserve energy and preserve calories.

A trout has a lateral line like all fish.  He responds to movement, vibration and sound.  The lateral line allows him to pinpoint a direction from which those things emanate.  He then moves toward that sound and then uses sight to zero in on it.

Trout have tiny scales allowing them to love in a moving water environment.  This coupled with their slime coat allows them to go nose into the current with less energy.  It also makes them very slippery to handle while landing.

Most popular are rainbow trout and brown trout.  Rainbow is the prominent stocking fish.  That is because they are the easiest trout to grow.  They take to the food, they take to the overcrowding and they take the polluted water a little bit better than a brown trout.

When you remove a trout from a hatchery and place it in any body of water there are two things to remember.  Where did that truck back up to? And what do you have a lot of in your tackle box?  For about 3 days trout will be stupid.  They spend some time where they are released trying to get acclimated.  They will bite anything until accustomed to the habitat.  They do not have the instincts and intuition of a wild trout because they have never had to do anything for their meals.

In most instances most manmade lakes have an area where there may be a little bit of a spring.  When the builders dug down perhaps they found a little spring trickle.  If the fish find that area they hang out there and feed to survive through the summer.  It might only be 2% or less of the total water available.

Stocked lakes do not usually have a trout kill.  Anglers remove most of the trout.  Every once in a while someone catches a whopper in a lake where they have been stocking them for a number of years.

Brown trout are more likely to be in cooler water and in moving water.  They will be in habitat that has more structure.  They are thinking ambush.  They think prey.  They are thinking what to do for the next meal.  Rainbows are just happy to be there and will just swim around.

 

SUMMER BASS ACTION IN ILLINOIS RIVER   Leave a comment

Bass 3

The Illinois River north of the Alton/St. Louis area is an ever changing situation for the bass angler.  What man has not changed weather is likely to modify.

The joining to the Kankakee and the Des Plaines rivers forms the Illinois river which proceeds some 273 miles southwest and south to enter the Mississippi River some 14 miles upstream from Alton, Illinois.

Variations of water level, wind, weather and temperature conditions provide the angler with a challenging time trying to get a handle on the most effective fishing patterns.

Some anglers have reported fishing a single stick‑up and taking four fish from it.  They can then move away for a short period before moving back to the same spot and finding the water had dropped 5 inches.  Bass move in and out of an area in response to the rise and fall of water levels.

Anglers fish the same log for days, making several casts and catching nothing.  An hour later they return and cast to the same location and catch fish.  The variable is the change in water level.  Floods and fluctuating water levels, due to water releases from dam gates, can affect shoreline habitat.

At one time the river with its backwaters, tributaries and fertile watersheds was probably the most abundant and diverse river fishery in the upper Midwest.  Man used it not only as a means of transportation for people and goods, but also for disposal of garbage and other waste.  Since the early 70’s water quality has improved in part due to passage of the Clean Water Act and the funds it made available.

Largemouth bass are in the entire river in the tailwaters, lakes and slough habitat.  The side channels as well as the main channel provide structure and habitat.

Not all fish habitats are open to the angler. Illinois law declares public only backwaters that have natural connections to the river and where the water rises and falls along with the river.  Dug out areas such as marinas and entrances to private hunting clubs are not natural connections.

One local angler reports the secret to finding bass is to go north with the high water until it begins to muddy up, then move south.  As the water rises one is able to move over sandbars into waters otherwise unapproachable.  Fish move into these areas with the high water.  Usually where one finds one fish there will be several.  Looking back to where barges are loaded or parked and into some the little feeder creeks is often a good idea.  Some of these areas lead way back into the creeks.

Some of the best bass fishing comes when the water temperatures warm to 75 degrees or more.  Morning and evening are most productive.  Sudden rainstorms in the upper watershed of the Illinois River can produce significant variations in water depth.

Frequent changes can make finding fish difficult.  Fish like the cover of weed beds, brush, stumps, willows and fallen trees.

The Illinois River is popular with recreational boaters and anglers have to compete with them.  The commercial barge traffic on the river proper can also be a nuisance. Weekends are particularly busy.

Crankbaits, plastics and spinnerbaits all produce fish.  The veteran river anglers tend to prefer spinnerbaits and plastic craws.  The jig‑and‑ pig combination does not fare as well.  Many locals find the ringworm plastic lure produces good action.  The bubble action seems to attract the bass.  Purple and white are popular colors.

During July and August, topwater lures are popular.  Often bass fishing takes a back seat to catfishing during the hotter months.

There is no doubt that the Illinois River provides an excellent fishery.  It is difficult to master. Its future sometimes appears questionable due to man’s lack of vigilance.  If one takes time to learn the habitat, bass are there to catch.

PUT-N-TAKE TROUT   Leave a comment

Midwest trout

Put-and-take trout fishing requires more thought than most anglers believe.  Sure it is possible to catch them with little effort.  Consistently getting results after the first few days is a little more difficult.  Finding fish requires knowledge of their habits.

Rainbow trout are the prominent stocking fish.  That is because they are the easiest trout to grow.  They take to the food, the overcrowding and the polluted water a little bit better than other trout.

Trout fishermen in the classic sense typically throw very small flys to these sight feeders.  The reason they can do that is that the fish’s vision is very acute.  Conditions cause the fisherman to use certain flys.

Just because anglers prefer to use dry flys because it is more fun it is not the only way.  The trout’s eyes are mid-range.  They are comfortable looking up for food as well as down making them multi-directional feeders.

In the first few days away from the hatchery, trout seek their food on or near the surface like the food pellets they eat in the hatchery.  Gradually they revert to normal food sources in the water such as small minnows, crustaceans and insects.

Trout in the wild like cold moving water with a rocky bottom.  They can survive in pond water but on a more limited basis.  They prefer water in the 40 to 55-degree range.

On rivers where water levels change during the day, they survive through adaptation.  When the current is fast, they will be near the edges of the river system.  As water levels lower and current decreases they go more toward the middle.

Trout relate to structure only to conserve energy and preserve calories.

Trout have a lateral line like all fish and respond to movement, vibration and sound.  The lateral line will allow them to pinpoint the direction from which those things emanate.  They move toward the sound and then use their sight to zero in on it.

Trout have tiny scales because they live often times in a moving water environment.  This coupled with their slime coat allows them to go nose into the current with less energy.  They are also very slippery to handle while landing.

When removed the hatchery and placed in any body of water there are two things to remember about trout.  Where did that truck back up to? And what do you have a lot of in your tackle box?  For about 3 days they are stupid.  They spend some time where they are released trying to get acclimated.  They will bite anything until accustomed to the habitat.  They do not have the instincts and intuition of a wild trout because they have never had to do anything for their meals.

In most instances most manmade lakes have an area where maybe there is a little bit of a spring.  When builders dug down perhaps they found a little spring trickle.  If the fish find that area they hang out there and feed to survive.

Stocked lakes do not usually have a trout kill.  Anglers and local predators remove most of the trout.  In warmer climates, the remaining fish tend to die in hot weather.  Every once in a while someone catches a whopper in a lake where they have been stocking them for a number of years.

 

%d bloggers like this: