WATER LEVELS? DOES IT REALLY MATTER?

Discussion in 'LOCAL INDIANA TALK' started by BIGCATFISH64, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. BIGCATFISH64

    BIGCATFISH64 New Member

    Messages:
    525
    State:
    Muncie,Indiana
    :confused2:How much does water levels effect the catfish bite? and does it really matter? Catfishcatcher and I have already debated this subject extensivly! What is your opinion?
     
  2. viperdragon6662003

    viperdragon6662003 New Member

    Messages:
    53
    State:
    IL
    i would think so are river is flooded right now and i cant catch a thing. but i know people can but just havnt found any good spots like when the river is down.
     

  3. treddinwater

    treddinwater Active Member

    Messages:
    1,123
    State:
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Rising water and water which is higher than normal pool can often times be good. It forces the catfish shallow in search of food close to shore where there is murky run off. That's a good chance to catch big fish from the bank fishing the backside of structure in current. However, high water does seem to disperse the fish. When the water is down, it generally concentrates the fish in select spots and when you get into them it's an all day catch fest. But when water levels are low, the water is generally clear and is more successfully fished in low light weather or at night.
     
  4. catfishcatcher

    catfishcatcher New Member

    Messages:
    493
    State:
    indiana
    When the water has been at a stable level or is on the rise the fishing can be great. When the water starts to drop the fish tend push out away from structure and the banks and back out to the main river channel. In a flood plain controlled lake with a big water drop can push the fish back out from the river and into the lake or reservior. The water dropping causues the fish to generally shut off. I have experienced this numerous times for the last several years on two different bodies of water. In each body when the water starts dropping the fish go cold just that quick. The exception is in the fall when the bait fish moves up into the river and when the lakes are drawn down the fish hang in there with the bait untill the bait moves out. Even moving out into deeper spots like the lake when the water is dropping doesnt yield any better luck. The water level is a major factor where the fish can be and if they are hitting. Water temp and bait is also important. I have had several people tell me this and it was true in my experiences on the water.
     
  5. tackleholic

    tackleholic New Member

    Messages:
    1,000
    State:
    New Albany
    I've fished at Patoka when the water was high. Bank fishing at that time was off limits with high water in 2 places. Went to a 3rd place & caught 3 cats in 65 minutes. That was with the parking area being flooded & very little room to park. At times high water does make a differents & there's times it don't.:confused2:
     
  6. drpepper

    drpepper New Member

    Messages:
    6,133
    State:
    Indiana
    The best flattie fishing is in the flooded river.... to a certain level. dangerous at night though... trees as big as semi's that you might not see will mow you down... I was almost killed that way.:crazy:
     
  7. BIGCATFISH64

    BIGCATFISH64 New Member

    Messages:
    525
    State:
    Muncie,Indiana
    And we keep trying to fish these conditions the exact same way we do when the water is on the rise, it's time maybe we change our strategies and quit holding on to what we know or are used to doing, and try something different.
     
  8. Trahviiz

    Trahviiz Member

    Messages:
    453
    State:
    Indianapolis
    My best fishing always comes on the rise, and as Rick said, I've had great days in really low water when the fish are concentrated together. I think it all matters, and effects the way I go about targeting the fish I'm after.
     
  9. drpepper

    drpepper New Member

    Messages:
    6,133
    State:
    Indiana
    The best channel cat time I had was at giest res. when it was way up. where the water thru the bridge. I couldnt lay my rod down. one in each hand and one held down by my foot. lol I finally put two away and just fished with one.
     
  10. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,168
    State:
    NC
    Mudkip taught me:

    Rising water, good, fish bite.

    Falling water, bad, fish are moving and not interested in bait.

    It changed my approach to muddy flooded water this year and got me second place in a tournament last weekend. :wink:
     
  11. drpepper

    drpepper New Member

    Messages:
    6,133
    State:
    Indiana
    once you figure it out you will always pray for lots of rain:wink:
     
  12. misterwhisker

    misterwhisker New Member

    Messages:
    1,056
    State:
    T. Bowl
    BULLSEYE :wink:
     
  13. Bill in SC

    Bill in SC New Member

    Messages:
    4,451
    State:
    South Caro
    When they are hungry, they'll eat, during rising or falling conditions. Don't limit yourself to any certain conditions, as results are also dictated by many other things other than water levels. That said, I always seem to do better on a gentle rise, but have caught fish in all conditions. All my knowledge is based on RIVER fishing. I'm not a big time lake guy, but hopefully I'll be doing lots more lake stuff as time goes by. Just fish any conditions that are safe and tolerable, as much as possible, and you will find success when you least expect it. It won't take you long to draw your own conclusions.

    Bill in SC
     
  14. RiverBuggy4x4

    RiverBuggy4x4 New Member

    Messages:
    589
    State:
    Indiana
    man i might try that after work then on the white off 67 past the ipl dam
     
  15. Ahquabi_Master

    Ahquabi_Master New Member

    Messages:
    999
    State:
    WDM Iowa
    fish roam for food when the water is up. rising banks means insects and other food sources are washed into the river. it's a great time for drifting a bait under a sinker. time of the season is important too. sometimes the spawn hits at a point where the water is low and fishing is terrible. it's always hard to pin one characteristic that causes a bad bite. chances are it's combinations of temperature, time of the season, food availability, baro. pressure, water level, presentation, bait selection, and whatever else us experts can conjure.
     
  16. river scum

    river scum New Member

    Messages:
    3,474
    State:
    hooterville indiana
    dont think i can add much to whats already been said. good answers guys. my take on it is, its good till the river goes out of its banks then they are too spread out. when its up go along shore and flip baits behind tree trunks and things that block current, let bait set for 10-15min(if ones there he will hit it fast in my experience) then go to the next current block. inside bends tend to be better at this time too. fresh cut bait generally works better here also. crawler can be really good but catch everything that swims.
     
  17. Shad Man

    Shad Man New Member

    Messages:
    785
    State:
    Tyler, TX
    I agree can't add much to this thread. But falling water usually = harder fishing and rising water = better fishing in my opinion. But this can be different at different times of the year.