The last week has seen a jump in water temperatures - as much as 10 degrees or more on the surface depending on the day& weather. The Alewife spawn and thus Spring night-bite is in full swing with the water temps on the rise.
While it seems we had a LONG winter, and a cool Spring thus far - water temperatures are actually in line with where they were the past two years for the same weeks, in the lower 60's on the surface and the depths in the upper 40's. Perhaps more importantly at the moment is the water clarity - or as is the case in much of the lake - the lack of it. As of 4/25 there was heavily occluded water down to R32 on the Roanoke side with very stained water down to the Coast Guard Aux station area. The creeks below the bridge seem OK in terms of clarity and the lower lake is close to its normal pristine water. Hopefully the mud will settle out before the majority of the fish return back up the lake.
Catching up on a few water temperature reports..... with the cool nights, but some sunny, warm days, the surface has been up and down a but ranging this last week from around 75 to upper 70's this weekend with the sun & warmer temps - but we are clearly heading for a cooling trend with shorter & cooler days and cooler nights.... Look for the fish to start moving up in the water column.
It's been a while since we've posted up any water temps, but the summer has been pretty mild in terms of temperatures - with temps surface temps hovering in the upper 80's to low 80s pretty much all of July and August - with a few days around the mid 80s. With the days getting shorter, temperatures will begin to fall..... cooler days are not far away.....
Nothing special to say about the temperatures this week other than the fact that the top 20' of water are warming up as usual - and the cold-water retreat is below. Stripers will not release well after being exposed to a fight in temps in the high 70's and above, so especially when trolling u-rigs or other artificial and you end up fighting the fish in those upper layers for an extended distance - keep that in mind before releasing fish this year - keep your limit and quit.
The summer water temperature profile is setting up with a distinct temperature transition around 20' Look for the temperature in the lower depths to begin to rise, and the top surface temps move into the low to mid 80's (lots of reports of 80-82 surface temps already on various days).
Now, if I were a Striper, where would I want to be..... :)
The warm days are definitely settling into the upper water column now - you have to get below 20' to get water under 70 degrees. Keep that in mind when looking for fish....
Memorial Day has past which means "Summer" is here - though our water temps are still a little cooler than normal on the surface - however, with days in the 80s or more, it won't be long before we see a lot warmer temps. Please keep in mind that as temperatures rise, Catch & Release of striper becomes harder - especially when fishing with umbrella rigs or other techniques that result in longer fights with the fish in the upper levels of the water column.
The slow, continued warming trend is occurring with surface temps right around the 60 degree level. As usual, warmer temps can be found in the back of stained creeks on sunny days, as we see several degrees of surface temperature fluctuation across the day due to nights that still get a little chilly. However, the upper 20-30 feet of the water column are definitely in the striper's preferred temperature zone so free-lines and light-lines should be working well, along with top-water or shallow-running plugs.
With the longer, sunny days we are seeing the surface temps warm into the mid/upper 50's mid-lake, and into the low to mid 60's in the back of stained creeks - on Saturday 4/12 temps up lake were around 60-62 in the lake channel. And with warmer water, the fishing is turning on!
Our "Man on the Water", Joel J, diligently collects water temperature measurements across the lake.