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Kerr, 21-23 FEB 2019

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  • Kerr, 21-23 FEB 2019

    Have to apologize up front for the lack of detail in this report. I'm back on Kerr in 4 weeks and will post a full report then. I assure you, this isn't a case of me having a spectacular outing this past weekend. The weather and the fish definitely came out on top.

    Had not been on Kerr since last spring and had not been able to witness first hand the effects of the massive rains we'd experienced. I've seen sections of Kerr get trashed by hard rains but never the entire lake. Until this weekend. Was grateful the flotsam had settled out. Had no issues running the lake whatsoever (did not go above the Clarksville bridges tho' - there's some trash in the water up that way). Most notably, I could see the marks on the trees where the high water had been, in some cases ~10 feet over where it was this past weekend (300-301). We're all used to seeing the lake at 303-304 during the spring. 310 is something of an anomaly. The ol' picnic table pattern comes into play at those levels.

    This past weekend was a mixed bag of weather - started w/ snow (we had 4" in Blacksburg), sleet, and a cold rain; short interlude of true spring w/ 60s; followed by 2 more days of cold rain. 30-degree temp swing from WED to THUR, 20-degree temp swing from THUR to FRI/SAT. Had a short reprieve on THUR from ~1000-1600 - the rain let up and the wind stayed down but the cold rain had done its part. Water temps on THUR at launch (OSP) were 43+. Saw 44 in Eastland, 45 in Mitchell's, 44+ in Rudd's/Butcher's during the AM. By early afternoon all of those locations were 4-7 degrees higher. Had one person tell me he saw 52 degrees near OSP. Temps were back down to 44 SAT AM. Saw 45 in a couple places down lake. Water conditions are best characterized as various stages of jacked up. The water above Goat Island is choco milk. A few places where you might have a few inches of viz but that's it. Things cleared up a bit east of Goat Island - several of the main lake coves/cuts had water w/ a foot or better of viz. Stained but fishable. The closer you got to the dam the better the water got. Upper end of Nutbush was the best. Water in the upper to middle sections of Mitchell's was also pretty good. Eastland was a mixed bag - some areas were easily fishable while others were muddy.

    Fishing was also a bit of a mixed bag. Started off slow on THUR but picked up dramatically around 1100 or so. There was a moving bait bite the likes of which I haven't had in a long time. They were throating it. Most of my bites came in shallow water (<5'). The bite on FRI started off ~solid but got progressively slower as the day went on. The bite was nonexistent on SAT. I had one bite all day and it shook off about half way back to the boat. Bait that was back in creeks on THUR had pulled back by SAT AM.

    In lieu of observations here are some late winter/early spring suggestions for a safer, more comfortable outing. Will give you all of my observations when I post after the late MAR event. 1) Layers, not one big coat. Layers trap air close to the body, better retaining heat. Layers also allow for easier movement than a single heavy coat. 2) Keep spares on board. I put a set of thermal/base layers and an outer layer in a sealed plastic bag on board just in case I get wet (like I did yesterday). 3) Yesterday's rain was relentless. It put all of my so-called waterproof gear to the test. My bibs and outer layer held up fine but my gloves did not. They were soaked by 1000. Keep spares. I'm gonna try waterproofing on one pair to see if that helps. 4) Hand warmers are a must. Once my gloves got wet there was no keeping my hands warm. Even the insides of my pockets were wet from the in-n-out routine I was doing. Those little hand warmer thingies were the shizz on a day where weather ruled. You can get hurt badly in weather like we had yesterday. Hands are the most susceptible because they're always getting wet. 5) Protect your feet. No-kidding waterproof shoes w/ a good thermal rating are a must. Treat leather portions w/mink oil to help keep seams water tight.

    Altho' the weather made for tuff conditions I did learn a lot this past weekend. Saw lots of new water with some interesting structure. I have much to explore further when I'm back end of MAR. Again, apologize for the lack of usable detail. You'll get it all in a few weeks.

    peace,
    B
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  • #2
    +1 on trying to keep your hands and feet dry.....I need to get some type of water proof boot/shoes
    Make VAO Great again

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    • #3
      Great weather / lake condition report. Observations aside, nice suggestions.
      2013 Frog Only Tournament Winner
      2010 Tie for VA-Outdoors Angler of the Year
      2009 Caroline County Rotary Club Tournament Winner
      2007 Tuesday Night Classic Champions
      "Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after."
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      • #4
        You will get um next time B.
        1st Place VA East FOMNTT Potomac River 2006, VA East FOMNTT Big Bag 2006, VAO Frog Only Tournament Winner 2011

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        • #5
          So, I just checked the CoE board for lake level. 309.75. Was just above 300 when I got to Kerr last weekend. Rose ~2' last FRI to SAT AM. Has risen 7+' since. Geez, that's a lotta watta.
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          • #6
            Hope it gets back to normal by the end of next month! Good report 31, even on a tough day.
            Eric

            2004 Fishers of Men VA-East Division Champions

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