“Find the food source and you find the fish” holds true in rising waters too

By Don Ingram
   As the lake keeps rising, shad start migrating to the back of the creeks and shallow flats. The rising water conditions scatter fish to the flats and back of creeks in search of food. The old adage “find the food source and you find the fish” holds true during rising water.
   If the shad go to the banks, then the chances are good the fish are right behind them. Whether you are fishing a lake or river and stream, Bass, Crappie, Catfish, and Bluegill will be wherever there is an abundance of food. Once you identify the primary source of food for that species of fish, start using or mimicking the food source.
   For example, I recently went to a lake I hadn’t been on in a couple of years. The lake was flooded about 10 feet above summer pool with a surface temperature of 61 degrees. Because of the time of year and high water conditions, I rigged a Prowler Brushhog, a 1/2 ounce Lunker Lure Ulitmate jig, and a large ½ ounce spinnerbait.
   For the first hour, I fished main lake channel banks looking for late prespawn bass on the steeper banks. After about two hours without a bite, I noticed something chase a Shad across the back of a shallow pocket. I decided to start working my way toward the back of a main lake pocket.
   I pulled out a 6’6 G-Loomis NRX spinnerbait rod and a 6’6 cranking stick with a shallow water 100 series Bandit crankbait. I started fishing isolated bushes and cover on the sides of the pockets. After about ten minutes, I caught a two pounder. I started in a short, side pocket off the main pocket and caught a three pounder, then a four pounder. To make a long story short, I caught a total nine fish in four hours of fishing. The largest five fish weighed about 19 pounds. Remarkably, all nine fish were caught in less than two feet of water.
   By recognizing the surrounding conditions, I was able to adapt and catch several fish. If I had continued fishing outside channel banks, I might not have caught anything. It wasn’t looking to promising at the time. The more I go fishing, the more I realize how little we understand about how fish adapt to changing conditions and how they survive in their environment.

Don Ingram publishes an outdoor article entitled “Outdoors with Don Ingram” that is printed in various publications throughout Kentucky. He is a two-time All-American qualifier. Don has been very successful competing in tournaments in Kentucky and Tennessee. He has appeared on numerous outdoor television programs like, “Kentucky Afield,” Walmart’s “Great Outdoors,” and “Outdoors with Dave Shuffett,” aired on the Outdoor Life Network and the Outdoor Channel. Don is a Pro Staffer for the following companies: Skeeter Boats, Yamaha Outboards, Shimano G-Loomis Rods, Bandit Bait Company, Prowler Soft Plastics, Mustad, Optima Batteries, Lunker Lure, and P-Line.

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