If you have been by Carr Creek Lake in the past few weeks you might have noticed that the water level is quite a bit higher than it normally is at this time of year. And it has been at this level for a while.
My understanding for this is that the lake is going to be used as the water source for a new water plant sometime next year. I was told that in the spring the lake would be raised some more for the new plant, which is located adjacent to the lake.
All of this is great for people with bad water to be able to get good city water, but what does all this mean to the lake and to all the folks that fish it a lot? I think it could bring a lot of new and exciting fishing opportunities to our lake.
The first reason for this is because the lake has been raised and lowered to basically the same levels for the past 25 plus years and the fish are used to moving to the same deeper water areas in the cooler months and to the same shallow water areas each spring. With the lake at a brand new winter pool level this changes everything.
The biggest thing that will affect winter and late fall fishing will be the fish moving to new areas of the lake that were not available to them in the past. For an example of new water, look from the bridge where you cut off to go toward Hindman. This part of the lake is called Carr Creek, and normally at this time of the year it is basically down to the original creek. You will notice it now has plenty of water and can be fished all winter.
There are also several other shallow water areas of the lake that now have water on them and can also be fished. Not only does this offer new shallow water areas to fish but also offers the deep water fish and the fisherman some new fishing opportunities.
What I mean by this is that in the cooler water the fish such as bass, largemouth and smallmouth, walleye and crappie will hold on deeper cover and will look for cover that will let them move up and down in a vertical movement. This means the fish will not have to move far to look for food and will not burn up as much energy while on the prowl.
Types of vertical cover are places such as standing flooded timber, humps, bluffs and steep rocky banks and the deepest side of a main lake point. Any of these types of cover are good winter fishing spots. And if they have deeper water close by, like a channel, it makes them even better.
What this means to the winter fishing on Carr Creek is this: Say you like to fish in the Kelly Fork area of the lake during the cool water months. In the past some of the flooded standing timber had 8 to 12 feet of water on it and you had to use a small jig or tube bait or grub to catch a bass. Now this year the same timber will have 15 to 17 feet of water on it, meaning that now you can fish a crank bait or some other type of bait that you could not fish with in the lower water levels.
With the higher water levels I feel the fish will move to newer shallow water areas and move more up and down on the deeper cover. This is like a new lake to the fish and the angler at this time of year. And in the spring, with the new higher water levels and new areas to fish, I think it will only offer new fishing for all of us anglers.
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