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Winter Draw Down


Mike Worley

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I would like to talk a little about the draw down. The winter draw down is nothing new to BSL until a few years back the draw down every winter was about 5-7 foot I think the wet years we have had for the last few years made that not possible. This years draw down is having some good effects around BSL at least down here in Arkansas. The AGFC has been busy repairing boat ramps and even building a new one on Frost Point. These projects were badly needed as higher than normal water levels made the maintenance impossible and some of the parking areas were really getting to be in bad shape.

As for the effect winter draw down has on the fishing. It moves the entire fish population of the lake into a smaller area which should make it easier to find them. The fish are still there, they are not where they were last month or last week they are following the food source which is shad and the shad are moving in & out of the wintering areas as the conditions change. Soon enough winter will take hold and water conditions will stabilize. Unstable water conditions (temperature & levels) always make the fish more scattered and will cause many to suspend in deep water. Try to adjust to the conditions that are present each day you fish for example wind & cloud cover will bring some very shallow that day. I'm like most fishermen and have trouble not doing the same thing one day that caught fish a day or two earlier when conditions have changed. It's time to start trying the winter patterns ie: jigs, crankbaits & stickbaits in shallow water.

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Hi Mike

Will the shallower water be similar to the late spring levels from 25 to 30 feet? I assume the move would be from areas were they are now located to nearby water rather than up the creeks.

Joe

"God always gives His best to those who leave the choice to Him." Otto Davis

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Hey Mike: I don't see much of a drawdown yet. The lake is at 651' or so, right?

Have you heard ahything about a target lake level for the draw down?

Every Saint has a past, every Sinner has a future. On Instagram @hamneedstofish

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Hi Mike

Will the shallower water be similar to the late spring levels from 25 to 30 feet? I assume the move would be from areas were they are now located to nearby water rather than up the creeks.

Joe

Joe, in late spring the thermocline is forming in the 25'-30' range which is main reason the baitfish and gamefish are there. In late fall the baitfish will be attracked to the warmmer water & current(wind) in the shallower water in most cases less than 10'. Some things to keep in mind when looking for these areas are access to deeper water, wind direction (you want the wind blowing on the bank) and structure like ledges & drop offs. Big rocks hold warmth better than gravel and wood is also good. Transitions where one type of bank changes to another are also good as are cuts or ditches that provide the fish with access to deeper water. If a area doesn't hold the shad it will probally not hold much in the way of fish either.

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