Posted by Kerry Grissett on December 29, 2000 at 22:30:02:
Just got off the phone with a friend and he confirmed what I thought was probably happening about 2 weeks ago. I was stubbornly keeping to the upper middle of Flint while seeing the fish steadily decline even on the depth finder. Winds also kept me off of the lower end of Flint. My friend told me that 2 weeks ago they were taking limits from the lower end around the stumps and near the mouth of the creek where it empties into the Tennessee river.
Hickory Hills is the most logical place to put in to fish the lower end of Flint creek, but in years past there have been reports of vandelism. I haven't heard of any problems in the last 2 years, but you never know.
Although I didn't get to this area during the time my friend says they were really hitting, I believe what he says if only for the fact that it does give credence to what I thought was happening at that time. Given that we have had "some" rain which has made the creeks flow a little better than they have during the almost 2 year long drought, the rain has almost all been VERY COLD. I think this means that in the creeks (where the run-off is more significant in relation to usual current flow compared to the river itself) that feed the river the temperature is substantially lower than the main river channels. Also, since the rain has been intermittent of late, many creeks sit "still" for relatively long periods of time and that make them cool down even more as moving water tends to stay warmer than still water.
What am I trying to say with all this rambling? Well, take it for what it is worth. I am no expert, but I think the crappie, and probably other species, will be trying to stay close to deeper (warmer) waters with quick access to creek channels (shallower, but not too shallow) and bait fish. I have noticed quite a few shad "kills" due to the cold temps. This is normal with these extreme cold temps, but I haven't seen them die in these numbers in quite a few years. This may mean that the shad are trying to stay in warmer waters, but with TVA's handling of the current flow over the last 10 years or so, they (the shad) are often caught in areas that have sudden movement which forces them into much colder water and kills them. Of course, we haven't had an extended cold spell with these lower temps in many years! They have been predicting it for at least 10 years and, IMHO, they FINALLY got it right! (grin)
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