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Question For The Creek Fishermen


JimG

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With the warm up into the 60’s this week what affect do you thing this will have on the creek fishing? Will the warmer weather get them hungry and moving or would there be any affect at all? I’m thinking about wading part of the James or Sac rivers if I can get away.

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you have been stuck inside for months, cant hurt to get out and try, shake the dust off.

depends on the length of warm weather. the ice has to melt first even then thats cold water.

yes the creeks warm up first normally but thats after warm rain brings in warmer water.

the mud banks on the north side if i remember right. depending light penatration.

then rock especially if its windy and the sun warms the rocks alot and the water that wets them.

dirty water warms the fastest but might not be as fun or productive at first to fish depending your preference.

cold and dirty water = blah

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Yep, like Aftershock said, the ice has to melt almost completely...not just the ice in the streams, but the snow and ice on the ground. As it's melting it's putting water in the low to mid 30s into the creeks, not good. But once most of it is gone, on a sunny day with temps in the 50s the water can warm up as much as 6-7 degrees during the afternoon, and once it gets up above 40 degrees there's always a possibility of something happening, although it will still require fishing SLOW most of the time. Keep in mind that nighttime temperatures down in the 30s will cool it off again as much as several degrees, so best fishing is usually in the afternoons.

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Just find the deeper holes and fish with a float N fly and don't worry about the water temp. Fish it slow near the bottom and you will get some action I am sure.

Respect your Environment and others right to use it!

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I'm with Al Agnew and Aftershock-it's the warm rains that will get the fishing going more than warm air temps. The low winter water just won't furnish much in the way of fishing until it gets washed out and replaced with warmer rain-water-the water that will be in the creeks after this thaw will mostly be snow melt, which isn't exactly what you need to get the warm-water fishing started. But as soon as the creeks settle down after the first warm spring rain, you can be sure that I'll be out there seeing what there is to see. I'm hoping that'll happen early on in March.

That said, if you're wanting to look for smallies right now, you'll do best fishing in the areas that you'd normally target trout-they're attracted to the warmer spring water. In mid-winter I often have some success catching smallies in some pretty off the wall places-last year while trout fishing in January, I caught a bunch of smallies on Blue Spring Creek, and similar things have happened on the Blue Ribbon stretch of the Little Piney. This time of the year, when I catch smallmouth it's almost always on something like a woolly bugger dead drifted under an indicator.

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Small waters bodies warm more quickly than large water bodies, so little creeks and headwaters are a good place to begin. At a minimum, it's a good time out in the woods and fields prospecting. And you might come upon some early feeders. Go with it! I plan to soon.

Silence is golden.

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I'm going on a float tomorrow on The James and I'm not really expecting to catch much. The water will still be cold and the fish will still be inactive. I'll fish but I'll probably spend most of my time enjoying the sun and looking for birds. I'll let you know how it goes Jim.

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Size seems to matter, but when fish are still in winter mode, which they will be until we get a long stretch of warm weather or a few warm rains (sometime in March, usually), the smaller streams can be very tough unless they are heavily spring fed. The more active winter mode fish are found in the larger streams, it seems like. I've beaten my head against the wall fishing smaller streams that I KNOW are full of fish in the summer and that have enough deep pools that it looks like there should be wintering fish in them, and never have done very well. And yet, once in a great while I'll hit it just right, after a good warm rain that gets the water up a bit and murky, and catch several good ones in those streams in late winter.

If you're looking for really active stream smallies, though, the type of fishing where you can catch them on just about anything, it almost never happens until the first of April. I go a little more by water temps than I used to--I'll be looking for water temps in the upper 50s--but I used to go by when the redbuds were in bloom.

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I would look for large flats on the north banks. They will warm faster and give the fish a more comfortable area to search for food. By large, I mean relative to what the norm is. A big flat off of a deep channel can warm enough to bring some of the bigger largemouth out for a warm-up and a meal. Usually about 11:30 to 1:00 is a good time to find the more active fish. It may be a short timespan, but you have the potential to catch a couple of nice fish. Spinnerbaits and crankbaits can be very productive if everything falls into place. The deeper slow holes are usually better fished slow with tubes and other soft plastics. I like about 4 warm days for the best results.

Good luck. I wish I was off during this week to do some floating. :angry:

If fishing was easy it would be called catching.

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