ORIGINALLY WRITTEN BY BRIAN HUXMAN
Dale Snelling, director of Marion County Lake, said one aspect of fishing a lot of people do not understand is the physiology of the lake itself.
?One month from right now, there will be a big change in the fishing,? Snelling said. ?People either don?t know or understand that when the lake gets colder, the fishing gets slower.?
Snelling said that fish, like humans, have a metabolism. The difference is that a fish?s metabolism is determined by water temperature.
The colder the water, the slower the metabolism. In turn, fishing becomes slower, and some species are dormant in the winter months.
?As the weather warms up, so does the fishing,? Snelling said.
This has to do with the amount of water fleas and plankton in the lake.
During winter months, since the fish feed slower, they are more likely to feed on smaller objects. But fishermen still like to use large lures or bait, leading to a frustrated sportsman with an empty net.
?You are going to have your best luck this time of year with ultra light rods and reels, with line no heavier than four to six pounds,? Snelling said. ?Then you have to use small jigs or bait and be very patient.?
Snelling said crappie are the most aggressive winter fish, but remain slow, while channel catfish are slow and found mostly in the deepest parts of the lake.
Snelling said a few bass and bluegill have been pulled out this winter, but both are also slow.
The Free Press, in cooperation with Marion County Lake and Marion Reservoir, will be providing weekly fishing reports beginning with this issue. See Scorecard.