Warm water discharges are known to attract bass in the winter just like cool water creeks attract bass in the summer. There are areas on lakes and rivers where warm water discharges from factories and water treatment plants affect the water temperature near them.
But then there are extreme cases where entire fisheries are influenced by warm water discharges. One such fishery ANGLR Expert Tyler Anderson frequents in Texas is Fayette County Reservoir.
Diving into Bass Fishing the Fayette County Reservoir
“In the winter, at the discharge, the water temperature is 90 degrees or higher and across the rest of the lake it’s in the 80’s.”
Fayette County Reservoir, also known as Lake Fayette, covers about 2,400 acres and has a max depth of 70 feet. The lake was created in 1978 as a coolant pond for the Fayette Power Project and is managed by the Lower Colorado River Authority. With water temperatures in the 80’s in the winter, the lake sees lots of anglers looking for a little remedy for their cabin fever.
So, how do you fish for wintertime bass in 80 to 90 degree water?
Fayette County Reservoir: Where to Target the Bass
“Well they behave like summertime bass since the water is so hot. It’s an offshore bite, deep crankbaits, and Carolina rig bite. There’s a lot of grass but the fish for some reason don’t gravitate towards the grass. Most of the time when I see grass on a lake, I’m going to head straight there. But for some reason they’re very school-related, offshore focused bass.”
“And they’re nomadic. They’ll be on a roadbed one day, then a rock pile the next and then head to the discharge for a few days. They just kind of roam around. I’ve caught some in the grass and the standing timber, but that’s not really where people win tournaments out there.”
Fayette County Reservoir: How to Catch Bass in the Spawn
The spawn is another interesting thing to look at on a fishery like this. Since the water temp is much warmer on Fayette County Reservoir than it is on typical fisheries in Texas, the bass spawn much earlier. On many fisheries, bass start to spawn when the water temps reach the lower 60’s. But they actually spawn when the water cools off on Fayette County Reservoir instead of when the water starts to warm up.
“They spawn in January when the water is at its coldest. But it’s never in the low 60’s there, they would have to turn the plant off to see that. They are triggered to spawn more based on moon phase than they are water temperature there.”
Fayette County Reservoir: How to Hot is too Hot to Catch Bass?
Tyler has also fished the Fayette County Reservoir in the summer from time to time and on one such outing he wanted to see just how hot of water he could catch a bass in.
“When I launched, I noticed the water temp was 97 degrees at the ramp. I knew the discharge would be even hotter so I went up to the main area near it and I caught a few fish in 110 degree water. I thought to myself, I’m probably not going to get an opportunity many other times in my life to catch a fish in this hot of water. So I idled as close as I could to the warm water discharge and caught a largemouth bass on a football jig. The water temp was 122 degrees were my boat was sitting.”
The takeaway from this trip to the hot tub? You can catch fish in Fayette County Reservoir throughout the year, you just need to spend some time finding them and homing in on what the bass want to chew on.
This article was contributed by an ANGLR Expert
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