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Kerr, 16-17 Apr 2020

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  • Kerr, 16-17 Apr 2020

    Apologies up front - this will be a little long. Two days worth of info and observations to share.

    Got here around 9 on THUR AM. Was taken aback a bit as I drove over the Clark-vegas bridge. Have not seen Kerr look this bad . . . ever. There were some sequoia-sized floaters in the main channel to go w/ the red mud. Must admit, I was kinda impressed at how the main river channel kept all of the muddy water I its boundaries. Of course, that changed on FRI. There was red mud all over the friggin place on the main lake.

    Put in at Rudd's Creek both days. Was surprised to see it open. Kudos to the CoE for taking the initiative to cater to us fisher-doods. I usually put in at the state park but there was no way I was gonna run the main channel uplake w/ all that crap in the water. This is a great facility. Protected from the wind, plenty of parking, easy to find/get out, and there is plenty of space to tie off while launching or recovering. I fish in the upper end of Rudd's Creek a good bit but have not used this facility much in the past. I'll hafta keep it mind for future trips.

    THUR report. Was chilly at launch. 39* air temps and little breezy. Saw 55.2* at launch w/ a heavy stain (maybe 2-3' of viz). I spent the first couple hours working points, brush piles, and flooded buck brush in the back of Rudd's w/ nothing to show for it. From there I ran over into Panhandle where I spent the better part of the day. Points, channel ledges, off shore humps, and flooded brush were my targets. Didn't take long to connect - skipped a fluke up into some brush on a do-nothing point. The line jumped straight away. Nice little keeper fish. That bite held up for almost the entire day. No size to the fish but plenty of takers. I also flipped a jig quite a bit. Had several bites but again, short keepers. Got snagged a few times and as I eased up to free my bait I kept an eye on the bottom to see what the fish might be doing. Marked quite a few holding in 6-10' and tight to the deck. I eased off of the point and threw my c-rig up shallow and slowly worked it down the spine of the point. About a dozen casts into this I land a chunky 2-2.5 lb fish. A little later I caught my best fish of the weekend - a fat 3.5 (maybe a lil more) fish that absolutely hammered the bait. I spent the better part of the rest of THIR throwing the ball-n-chain. Just about every point had a fish on it. The strike zone was 6-10'.

    FRI report. I get to the ramp around 6:30 and it's already half full. The water had come up about 2' and had flooded about half of the lower parking lot. As I was rigging my boat for launch I notice a lot of surface feeding activity in the flooded area, to include where the water had come up over the riprap and onto the pavement. After I launched the sled I pulled out the spinny pole rigged w/ a small swimbait. As the other doods were blasting off towards the main lake I dropped the TM and started fishing along the pier and adjacent flooded area. Third cast I nail a small keeper. A few casts later I catch another one. I spent about 30 minutes doing this, catching a good number of small keepers and short fish. Was kinda surprised the fish were up so shallow. The temps at launch were close to freezing (there was frost on the pier walkway). I figured the fish would pull back a bit. Nope. The 59.2 I saw at launch was warm enuff to draw and keep them shallow.

    From there I ran down lake into some main lake coves and smaller feeder creeks. There's a couple of stretches that have some really cool off shore stuff on them. Long, tapered points w/ lots of humps and bumps. I'm talking structure that is in 3-6' of water w/ 20+' close by (within 5 yards). Didn't take long to land a solid keeper, maybe 2 lbs. The first point gave up 4 fish. The second gave up 8 (I missed half dozen more). The third point gave up only one but the dood who was fishing it before me caught three off of it. I motored up into the back of Eastland to fish some similar structure and found the same bite. 4-6' was the happy zone. If I ticked some brush or crawled the bait over a log I got bit. The bite in Eastland was a bit more active. Had my first top water fish of the season - was working a spook on a slow cadence thru some flooded brush, had a nice 2 lb'er blast it as I worked it past the edge of the bush. I mean hammer time. From there I worked a deep diving square bill along the first break - managed a couple more short keepers. I also spent some time flipping flooded brush and willow trees on points and was rewarded a number of times.

    I spent the last couple hours in the back of Butcher's Creek, working points and flooded brush. The bite I enjoyed earlier in the day held up. C-rig and jig did the damage. I ended the day by catching a fish off of the end of the Rudd's Creek ramp. Lil booger was holding right off the end of the concrete.

    Quality was better on THUR, numbers on FRI. Either way, the trip was a success.

    Observations: 1) WT ranged from 55.2 on THUR AM to 64.7 in the back of Panhandle on THUR; 59.2 to 64.7 in the back of Eastman on FRI. 2) Water clarity improves the further down lake you go but there is a good stain everywhere. 2-3' of viz in the back of Rudd's, 3-5' in the back of Eastman, 4-6' closer to North Bend park. 3) Marked lots of bait both days and it was fickle. Some places it was up in the water column, other places it was dead on the deck, other places it was suspended. I did see some surface feeding activity but it was sporadic. 4) Almost all of the fish I marked were holding tight to the bottom. Slow presentations were the most reliable. I got bit on crank baits but it had to be digging hard on the bottom. 5) I caught fish from all stages - stagers to post-spawn. In many cases they're sharing the same water. 6) Wind blowing across points was better than wind blowing in on points. The bite died when the wind died. 7) Some of us will remember our land navigation lessons from Scouts or military service. We recall that a saddle is an area of low ground between two higher ground areas. There are many points and off shore areas on Kerr w/ saddles. On FRI the saddles were money. 8) I was surprised at how shallow the fish were on FRI after the cold nite we had. I didn't give enuff credit to the stained water for its ability to hold some of the heat it had captured during the day on THUR. The fog was the clue. 9) Contrast is important in stained water conditions. If you have darker plastix or jigs they'll stand out better in stained water conditions. Bright colored hard baits (citrus shad, black/chartreuse) will stand out better. Anything you can do to help the fish find/see the bait helps. 10) We often hate the wind because it frustrates our ability to keep the boat on position but it really is our friend. Spotlock was a real advantage these two days. It allowed me to thoroughly work points, ledges, and off shore structure even in the stronger winds. 11) The chart function on my electronix was once again a real enabler. It allowed me to see detail in contours and structure printed maps do not show.

    I'll stop here. If you need more PM me. I'm happy to share. But I think you'll find enuff here to get a good feel for what's going on. Was great being back on Kerr. This was my last trip in 2019 before my shoulder surgery. Was really cool to be able to fish hard for 2 days pain-free. There were a lot of swing-n-miss hook sets. None of them hurt.

    Was grateful for the escape from working-from-home. Always to get out but this weekend I really needed it. Many thanks to the crew at Cooper's Landing for their hospitality. Nicol made room for me when the state park cancelled my cabin rez. The food was superb, as always. If you haven't eaten here you're missing out. Worth the stop.

    peace,

    B
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  • #2
    sounds like a good trip!
    Make VAO Great again

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