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thinking about the frog bite
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Posted by FishingwithRusty
11/18/2020 9:12 AM
i moved here in 2016, it was the BEST frog year that ive seen since ive been here, was trying to figure out why. well i got to looking at the lake levels(you have to click the boxes to add previous years data) but when you look at this information i think its REALLY clear why that year was better than the others. the mats were everywhere and in GREAT shape that year.


http://www.chickamaugalake.info/Level/
Posted by WaterChap
11/18/2020 9:26 PM
So, the lack of big spikes in the level allowed better mats to form?
Posted by 31airborne
11/19/2020 7:05 AM
From my foxhole:

- I agree that stability in water levels (and other conditions like clarity, flow rates, temps) is key. Bass like stability. It eliminates stressors that would otherwise distract them from feeding.
- I fish a lot of tidal rivers. Grass is a big deal in these scenarios. Weather has been the biggest factor from my perspective. Heavy rains last spring essentially washed out the traditional grass beds on the main river and major feeder creeks on the Potomac. There were spots where the bulbs anchored deep enough to survive the strong current but when they sprouted the grass was spotty at best. Then the heat came and with a bit of a dry period. We all know what happens to grass when it's hot and dry. On the Potomac mats that were historically a couple hundred meters deep were 1/4 mile deep or more. In some places creek channels that are normally open for WOT navigation were choked out. Some of the Potomac regulars suggested the grass might be too thick. The stability of summertime temps and flow rates was overtaken by an explosion of SAV. The fish made the appropriate adjustment to the new conditions. Most of us fishermen did not.
- The only consistent truth about rivers is they change every day. In most cases those changes are so subtle they're indiscernible to even the most frequent fishermen. The art of the deal is understanding how the fish adapt/adjust to those changes. The conditions in 2016 were familiar to you and allowed you to make all the right choices. Some of that was TOW, some of that was confidence, but a lot of it was a function of stability. My guess is you'll figure out the right adjustments for those years when the changes are more dramatic. This is where TOW pays its biggest dividends.

Edited by 31airborne 11/19/2020 7:37 AM
Posted by FishingwithRusty
11/19/2020 8:04 AM
WaterChap - 11/18/2020 10:26 PM

So, the lack of big spikes in the level allowed better mats to form?


i think so, the rains associated with the spikes wash away the cheese and i think the up and down just pulls the mats apart
Posted by FishingwithRusty
11/19/2020 8:06 AM
31airborne - 11/19/2020 8:05 AM

From my foxhole:

- I agree that stability in water levels (and other conditions like clarity, flow rates, temps) is key. Bass like stability. It eliminates stressors that would otherwise distract them from feeding.
- I fish a lot of tidal rivers. Grass is a big deal in these scenarios. Weather has been the biggest factor from my perspective. Heavy rains last spring essentially washed out the traditional grass beds on the main river and major feeder creeks on the Potomac. There were spots where the bulbs anchored deep enough to survive the strong current but when they sprouted the grass was spotty at best. Then the heat came and with a bit of a dry period. We all know what happens to grass when it's hot and dry. On the Potomac mats that were historically a couple hundred meters deep were 1/4 mile deep or more. In some places creek channels that are normally open for WOT navigation were choked out. Some of the Potomac regulars suggested the grass might be too thick. The stability of summertime temps and flow rates was overtaken by an explosion of SAV. The fish made the appropriate adjustment to the new conditions. Most of us fishermen did not.
- The only consistent truth about rivers is they change every day. In most cases those changes are so subtle they're indiscernible to even the most frequent fishermen. The art of the deal is understanding how the fish adapt/adjust to those changes. The conditions in 2016 were familiar to you and allowed you to make all the right choices. Some of that was TOW, some of that was confidence, but a lot of it was a function of stability. My guess is you'll figure out the right adjustments for those years when the changes are more dramatic. This is where TOW pays its biggest dividends.


and this is where the quote from Rick Clunn, that i adopted as my matra years ago comes in; "There is NO substitute for time on the water!"
Posted by churly
11/19/2020 8:11 AM
So many factors affect the "Matts". In my opinion, the greatest factor that decides how much grass we have is the amount of rainfall that year. Heavy rain fall years, like the the past 3 years, keep the water turbid. Turbidity decreases the amount of sunlight that reaches the bottom. Also, on active tropical years, as low pressure systems move off of the gulf and through our area, they dump a good bit of rain which causes the levels to abruptly rise, then fall. That will wash the mats away quick. When the grass flourished back in the late 80s-early 90s we were experiencing a multi year drought. If you like mats pray for hot dry summers.

Edited by churly 11/19/2020 8:11 AM
Posted by silvertalon
11/19/2020 1:14 PM
Rain days equal 'No Sunshine' days. 30 rain days equal 1 month without optimal growth. Then lower the lake 2-3 feet and kill the shallow grass that did make it. Then, spray more chemicals depleting the shallows of oxygen. Combine that with the slow but steady decline in veggies over the past 3-4 years when we 1st started complaining. Throw in a 100 percent increase in unemployment fishing pressure. Guntersville does better than Chick because of the long expansive flats on long stretches of river. Here, we have location changes of vegetation every year so fish catching locations change as well. Also, trophy fishery's suffer the most as the fish are not given the chance to spawn properly. Let's have another tournament!
Posted by WaterChap
11/19/2020 1:23 PM
Silvertalon, that’s a great point about the water defoliant they’re spraying everywhere. Who knows how it’s effecting vegetation throughout the fishery, or the kids who swim at CFP?
Posted by silvertalon
11/19/2020 5:56 PM
WaterChap - 11/19/2020 2:23 PM

Silvertalon, that’s a great point about the water defoliant they’re spraying everywhere. Who knows how it’s effecting vegetation throughout the fishery, or the kids who swim at CFP?


Defoliants actually, are stringently tested by EPA before they are placed in public waterway's and supply sheds. They are supposedly safe for the fish as well. Where fishing quality comes in is the lack of oxygen producing plants hence, lack of bait and fish life in backwaters. Another good lake in question right now which is in decline from lack or veggies is Toledo Bend. Recently, it was at the top of it's bass catching game a few years ago after a year of record low water levels. Now it's hurting like the Chick. Hence a poor frog bite.
Posted by rippinlips2win
11/19/2020 11:20 PM
Interesting read, some good thoughts to ponder, also some great points about time on the water. My belief is that the biggest problem with being a trophy lake is the surge of seasonal fisherman. Look at the spring on Chick, it is insane how many people are out there from Feb-May trying to get a PB. Their pressure on the "obvious" stuff is moving the fish to other areas and changing their feeding patterns and that learned behavior changes their biorhythm. It is more than TOW, it is spending the right time on the water. Not that I think RC's quote is incorrect, but it needs to be modified to fit the pressures that we are now seeing. I am not a local, but I love the lake and have for a couple of decades...I enjoy spending time looking at different stuff and exploring. Fact is that I love the TN river and TVA lakes. Ok, done rambling. see some of you on the water.

Edited by rippinlips2win 11/19/2020 11:22 PM
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