of many good places to start looking for Bass and other impoundment
fish is in or around the lakes many channels. The old river bed
winds its way through the main lake basin. As the river snaked
and carved its way along the old valley floor it created major
features such as steep banks, humps and hillocks around the river
banks .The major changes in topography were created by moving
water carving many channels to lower ground. The channels in the
lakes basin are now of course flooded with varying depths of water.
Channels could be classed into two categories primary and secondary
.The primary channel is the largest and often it is the original
river or stream that was dammed. This channel can be traced through
the entire lake and back to the rivers source at its headwaters.
Secondary channels are all the little tributary streams and gullies
that joined the main river along the way.
Break lines are sudden changes in topography or contour created
by channels in a lake basin. Any major changes in water depth
and exaggerated contours are prime areas for fish to aggregate.
The following areas should be investigated thoroughly as fish
will feed or stage around these break lines.
Use a good depth sounder to locate steep or near vertical contours
around channels. The submerged cliffs, rock faces, and old river
banks create ideal habitats for cod, Bass and yellow belly, these
fish are attracted to good structure. Water depths and water conditions
will vary throughout a lake, however temperature and oxygen are
more consistent at certain depths. Fish tend to concentrate near
these areas as they need only to move short distances to find
food and a comfortable depth zone. The close proximity of the
steep structure also provides shelter or an ambush point for fish.
The same solid structure funnels food along its length and creates
easy pickings for many predatory fish.
Because fish and forage are continually moving throughout a lake
system, natural aggregations of fish occur at many of the junctions
of primary and secondary channels. It is these concentrations
of fish/forage that anglers look for on their sounders.
Other good locations for angling around channels are where major
directional change occurs in the river bed (ie 90 degree turns
and Ox bows) These areas again concentrate fish and forage. I
am partly theorizing here but some text evidence indicates that
subliminal water currents do move through lake channels. Only
however when there is significant inflows and when there is an
outflow (dam gates open ). When this occurs it may trigger up-
welling of nutrient and create fertile areas for Phytoplankton
and zoeplankton to blossom. The beginnings of the pelagic foodchain
Mounds of sediment e.g. gravel beds or sand as well as rocky outcrops
along submerged banks are also prime fish holding structure. Often
these areas were created by the old river and its effects of erosion
and deposition. The changes in bottom composition ie. stone, gravel
and mud need to be thoroughly investigated in regards to fish
habitat and angling. Mark Thompson