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Brown: Water level as big a factor as temperature in difficult fishing

Brown: Water level as big a factor as temperature in difficult fishing

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Summer is here, finally, and with it comes high humidity, boiling temps and concerns that fishing will slow way down.

For those of us who live for this time of year, it has to be better than the spring that was up and down, to say the least.

I don’t know what happened this spring, but overall, weights were down in fishing events, and with exception of a few bigger catches, our lakes have been tough. Many speak to the up and down weather, but my belief is up and down water levels were equally an issue.

The south has seen more rain than has occurred in many years, and from low water to flood conditions occurred almost overnight. For instance, this past week the Bassmaster Classic was held at Lake Ray Roberts near Fort Worth, Texas, and water levels were 6- to 7-foot higher than normal this time of year. Ramps and parking lots as well as parks were flooded, and some areas had 4- to 5-feet of water over the old bank line, not only making access tough, but fish hard to locate and stay in areas obtainable by boats and the anglers. 

Storms delayed one day of competition, plus Texas-style hot and humid temperatures and wind made fishing difficult to some anglers. Hank Cherry of North Carolina doubled down with his second Classic win in as many years. He joins just a handful of anglers who have done this with Rick Clunn, Kevin VanDam and Jordan Lee being the only others to win back to back. No matter the conditions, the elite bass anglers find ways to put fish in the boat.

From Kentucky to the Gulf Coast, floods have been the rule this year and have left many lakes and rivers swollen and unfishable. Although rare this time of year for their areas, it has happened before and really isn’t an anomaly.

The central part of the country has seen its share of swings this year, too. Local lakes that were 4- to 5-foot low are flowing over the respective spillways in a matter of a few days. The funny part is most have remained relatively clear. That is not normal here in the Midwest — spring rains normally mean muddy conditions.

Although we got a lot of rain, it seems that steady versus lack of downpours allowed a lot of the water to soak in or not be the deluge of a gully washer. Warm early days allowed the fields surrounding lakes to thaw from a bitter cold winter and much of the rain soaked in. Water that did make it to creeks and streams that feed our lakes didn’t get nearly as muddy, and although fishing has been super tough at times, it wasn’t because of water color.


BNBC angler Jared Poppe with a couple of nice ones. 

By June, most cold fronts have passed. Not this year, and even this week — Monday night — we had high pressure and temps dipping lower than usual. Not sure why, but it seems that we get North/East winds and cool temperatures just about every Tuesday night when we have a Tuesday Night tournament.

I have recently just started to look at moon phases a bit more. Many anglers swear by them and many cell phone applications give both weather and moon phases for outdoors folks. Fishing is no doubt impacted by the weather, but moon phase are equally as important.

For a long time I have looked at length of day as a determining factor for success or failure, particularly in the spring. But I've seen major feed periods spot-on due to moon phase. is an excellent location to get information on when the best days are to wet a line. Even though we can’t necessarily always go when it's the best time because of work obligations, there are times that are more conducive to catching versus fishing, and I have found this app is more accurate than others.

Stable hot weather will be here soon and my old bones love the heat, so I’ll be out there. I hope to see you there too.

Sam Leman Everbloom Results

Brian Bounds and Eric Sharrow won the recent Sam Leman Everbloom Tournament at Lake Bloomington with 5 bass weighing 10.38 pounds. Second place went to Art Griggs and Keith Bahler with 4 fish weighing 9.74 pounds. Andy and Mike Veselak had big bass of 5.57 pounds.

Lexington Bass

Taylor Umland and Terry Brown won last weekend’s Lexington Bass Tournament on Lake Springfield with 5 bass weighing 15.30 pounds. Dave Whalen and Steve Volz were second with 15.26 pounds. They also had big bass of 3.53 pounds.

Clinton Lake Jackpot

Congrats to Clay Reeves and Danny Weikle on their win on the Clinton Lake Jackpot Trail Classic this past weekend. This is the third time they have won this prestigious tournament.

BNBC Tuesday Nighter

Larry Russell and Andy Veselak won the BNBC Tuesday Nighter on Evergreen Lake with 5 bass weighing 12.45 pounds. Taylor Umland and Terry Brown were second with two bass weighing 7.93 pounds. They also had big bass of 4.83 pounds.

Terry Brown is President of, an industry leading, daily website and social media fishing centered community that provides information on products, industry newsmakers and fishing techniques. You can read more by going to


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