Larry's Fishing Hole


The heavy rains we had early had caused high water conditions on most rivers and many lakes. In fact, it created flooding in low-lying areas. I heard some anglers state that the soggy conditions dampened many of their outings. Lakes swelled to about 2 times its surface size. Many southern Illinois lakes were well over pool and even spilling as were other southern states lakes that swelled to 2 times or more its normal surface size. Rains are unpredictable and can even ruin a spring fishing trip and fishing high water requires a high degree of persistence.
But on the bright side this should make for better fishing for the next couple of years. These high water levels make for the best spawning conditions for most all species of fish. We remember past years when lake levels got into the trees and onto weed flats or bays, for two-three years we saw more baitfish and reaped benefits or better catches. A few years ago Bull Shoals Lake in Arkansas was 30 foot or so over pool but had a tremendous spawn and fishing was awesome for 4 years. We noticed a taper off in size of fish last year but as I write this the lake was about 39-41 foot over pool (maybe a record) so the fishing should be great for next few years again.
High water conditions often means increased current, murky or muddy water, floating debris and when waters rise into the launch ramp parking lots, many launch areas may be closed and you may need to do some checking. As for fishing, we have found that heading to the backs of creeks or backs of coves where the muddy and clear water meet and fishing this edge can be productive. Another spot is to maneuver over areas of flooded vegetation with your trolling motor where fish are feeding on worm and insects.
When lakes drop back down, those large numbers of baitfish get pushed or squeezed into a smaller lake area and the predator fish have an easier time finding their primary food source. This makes for a much better survival and better growth rate for the game fish we all try to catch.
Another factor of these high water conditions is with the large amounts of water released or spilled by these lakes makes for an impact on more fish showing up downstream.
Now after all this flooding may come a hot summer and with all that more bait or food, your fishing success may seem slower but we can assure you there will be more catchable and better sizes in the next couple of years.
Knowing the lake or stretch of river you will be fishing is important since fish will be near structures such as ledges, rocks, trees, stumps, logs which may not be visible on the surface now. Since there may be no way you would know this is where a good topographical lake map is important no matter what type of fishing you do. It will provide information as to the terrain and general depths you will be dealing with. Knowing if lake is normally a shallow or deep lake, are there flooded old road beds, where the creek channels are, etc. A good contour map will point out all those prime underwater fishing spots such as humps, islands and flooded timber. This is a great time to have a lake map while the lakes are high and hard to key into areas from the shoreline that is exposed. There is now a new topo/contour map with 3D image on back available for Evergreen Lake at the park headquarters at the lake. Be sure to get your copy next time you are there.
EVENTS: Illinois Free Fishing Days will be June 6 9th this year. Get out and enjoy fishing during this weekend when a fishing license is Not required.
PRODUCTS: We are testing some new baits this year and one is the American Spirit Double Dancer Lure a versatile spoon that can be cast, trolled or jigged. We had good success trout fishing and will be putting to use more. Check them on the web at and look over their catalog.
Check our site for photos or for fishing reports, new product reviews and more fishing material at


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