Kerr Lake water levels see steady rise

Jan. 19, 2013 @ 11:40 PM

Six feet in three days! No, that’s not how much snow we got, it’s how much the water has risen at Kerr Lake between Wednesday morning and Saturday morning. 

And as I write this it’s still rising over 1 foot every 12 hours.

With the amount of rain and snow we’ve had, I would expect we will see it top out at over 305 feet above sea level, which will be put it over Nutbush Bridge. I don’t ever recall seeing it run up this fast, except maybe back around 10 years ago when it went so high once after a hurricane.

This amount of water inflow usually means slow fishing for a while until things settle down a bit. And if you are out there in a boat, you’d better watch for floating logs, picnic tables, and loose boat docks until the water starts to go back down and the wind blows the trash to the bank. I have seen some crazy things floating after one of these run-ups.  

Speaking of unsettled, last weekend’s spring-like temperatures had the fish acting like they usually would in April or May. Surface water temperatures rose from the low 40s a few weeks earlier into the low 50s. 

The low 50s wakes up the crawfish, and largemouth bass were feeding in less than 2 feet of water around rocks. Stripers were running baitfish up on the bank in the creeks back behind Nutbush Bridge.

Fishing was great, and I caught some nice bass up to 4 pounds on crank baits, jerk baits and football head jigs.

Luckily I got out while the water was extremely low and marked all the stumps and rock piles I could before the water came rocketing back up. Now they are hidden from other anglers so hopefully that will play in my favor this season as I focus most of my time on Kerr Lake tournaments.

Kerr Lake fishing report – Saturday I spent the day fishing in Grassy and Butchers Creeks, where fish were biting best in Butchers. I caught them on No. 5 shad raps in a shad color, fishing rocky points on the main creek in water less than 3 feet deep that was close to deep water.  
I didn’t do any good with the bass in Grassy Creek, but there was a big school of stripers at the mouth of the winding creek that runs to the north just past the Longwood boat ramp. 

They were hanging in 20–25 feet of water off the rocky point on the left, and I caught some nice healthy ones on a chartreuse jigging spoon.
There was also a giant school of stripers just inside the mouth of Butchers Creek, but I didn’t catch any there when I came through that area at around 11 a.m. Other anglers said they’d had a good morning before the fishing died off.

Late Sunday afternoon as I was about ready to head home I spotted a bunch of seagulls diving back where the old Spring Valley road runs under the lake behind Nutbush Bridge. 

Stripers were boiling the water under shad, and I caught a nice one on a small crankbait before I had to leave for home. Sure do wish I could have gone back out there last Monday.    

Next week’s report – Hanging out with my wife and grandson, John II, for a couple of days. I may get out on the water Monday since I have the day off. That depends on several factors, mainly how cold and windy it’s going to be!

Tip of the week — Get ready for the annual Ice Bowl Catfish Tournament coming up on Saturday, Jan. 26. The entry fee is $40 per boat and registration will start at 5:30 at the Occoneechee ramp in Clarksville, Va.  
The payback is 100 percent and there will be lots of door prizes and a catered meal at the 3:30 p.m. weigh-in. For more information, see www.kerrcrappieandcats.com.   

Contact the writer by email at waltbowen@yahoo.com, on Facebook under Walt Bowen, or on twitter at @WaltBowen.