(KAIT) -The drawdown of Lake Poinsett seems to be going quicker than I thought it would. Since the pool is getting smaller, from one weekend to the next, it seems to be dropping exponentially. Each week seems to expose another 15-20 feet of lake bed. Although the latest picture I've posted was taken last Saturday (9/30), I made a trip back Monday (10/2) to fish the lake with my grandson, Dyllan.
I was thinking like a lot of other people, since the fish are more concentrated, I would have a better chance to catch a lot of good fish. Well, catching fish was not what we experienced. By the time we got into the lake, the wind was blowing about 15-20 mph. It stayed windy the entire time we fished. We couldn't really fish around the exposed trees, because the wind kept us bouncing off of the thick stand of stick-ups.
The water is very shallow for hundreds of feet from the bank, which makes it hard to run a trolling motor without boiling up a large amount of silt from the lake bed. There are even areas in the main part of the lake that are only a few feet deep. I checked a couple of places that I would have thought was the deeper part of the lake (I didn't have a depth finder and I don't know where the channel is) and found out that there was only about 8-10 feet of water in those areas. I have fished Lake Poinsett for many years, with it at normal pool. I knew there were some trees and stumps sticking up above the water surface, but I had no idea of how much was hidden beneath the surface in the middle of the lake.
If you plan to fish the lake from a boat, there are a couple of things you need to know. First of all, the AGFC has put a sign at the end of the concrete ramp, stating that vehicles are not allowed on the lake bed. If you are like me, I am willing to drag a small boat to the water and carry my gear to the boat, in the hopes of catching a lot of good fish. Being the law-abiding citizen that I am, that is what Dyllan and I did. We unloaded the batteries, trolling motor, and all of the heavy gear so we could drag the boat down to the water. I had expected to wade a few feet of mud to reach the water, but I was startled at what we ran into.
If you note in the picture I posted today, the bank looks dry to within about 30 feet of the water. The first few feet of the part that looks damp is actually mud that has dried about three inches deep, and looks deceptively firm. What actually happens is that you step on the dried surface then the bottom falls out underneath it. You end up halfway to your knees in a very thick mud that acts like quicksand. The longer you stand in one spot, the deeper you go. At that point you find out that you can't remove your feet from the mud. I literally had to use my hands like a shovel to dig enough mud from around Dyllan’s foot so he could get it out, then I had to dig out his other foot. After doing that about three times I sent him to the drier part of the bank, and dragged the boat by myself.
I did manage to drag the boat to the water, because the closer I got to the water, the mud was more liquefied, and it made it easier to pick up my feet. At the point of reaching the edge of the water, I was standing in mud and water that reached all the way up to the upper front pockets of my cargo pants. I had to move my wallet to my shirt pocket to keep it from getting soaked. Then I spent about 15 minutes fighting the mud to carry the batteries and other gear down to the boat. After getting in the boat, I made my way over to the levee to pick up my grandson. It was easier for him to get to the boat at the levee, because someone had used some of the old tires from the levee to create steps from the dry part of the levee across the muddy part at the edge of the water. Once I got Dyllan in the boat, we set out to the trees in the middle of the lake to fish. The wind was so strong that it was impossible to do a thorough job of working the area. When we threw a spinner bait, we had to use some “Kentucky Windage” to get the bait where we wanted it. Even doing that didn’t help if the wind blew so hard that the bait wrapped around a tree or stickup. At the end of the trip, we had one crappie and one bass. Hardly worth the hard work it took to get in and out of the lake.
Since I intend to try to fish the lake one more time, I am going to talk to Brett Timmons with the AGFC about the project, and will post a follow up story later today or tomorrow.