Monday, January 30th, 2023
Monday, January 30th, 2023

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Don’t pass over Lake Aaron if angling Douglas County area

Associate Editor

Folks in the neighborhood often mention lakes Aaron and Moses in
the same breath, but now, as in the past, Aaron usually gets
overlooked by its watery brother, Moses. The two, anatomically
speaking, are joined at the hip.

You won’t find an exodus of anglers heading to Aaron, a 545-acre
lake in northwest Douglas County. But should something tell you to
fish the lake, you might be happily surprised with the results.

“It’s a good all-around fishing lake,” says Todd Call, a DNR
area fisheries specialist in Glenwood. “But you don’t often hear
much about it, fishing-wise. More reports you hear are from
Moses.”

While few would classify a fishing outing on Aaron as a truly
religious experience, it can be a reprieve from the paved world.
Call said the lake is just slightly developed, and parts of the
shoreline are rich in vegetation.

Mysteriously, while the lake’s maximum depth is just 16 feet, it
hasn’t winterkilled in recent years. Call said that’s likely due to
a flow of water that runs through Aaron.

One would need to be prophetic to predict what will bite once a
lure hits water. Lush vegetation is ideal for largemouth bass,
northern pike, and bluegills.

“It’s pretty much a complete lake, except for muskies,” says
Dick Wagner, of Shady Creek Resort, which serves vacationers on
both Moses and Aaron.

When DNR officials electroshocked the lake a couple years ago,
they counted 35 largemouths per hour.

“The number was moderate, but the size structure was pretty
good,” Call says. “There were quite a few over 15 inches.”

The best stands of emergent vegetation are on the west and
northwest shores, he says. Those stands, along with good submergent
vegetation mean you’re likely to find bucketmouths in the vicinity.
There, you’ll also likely find pike.

In 1998, when the DNR last surveyed the lake, 10 pike were
pulled per lift. While the numbers were high, Call says the size
structure left something to be desired.

Sunnies, too, followed the pike pattern; numbers were high, size
was so-so.

Crappie numbers provided survey crews with a pleasant surprise
in 1998. They came to the trap net at a rate of five per lift.

“We typically don’t see that many crappies,” Call says. “That
would indicate relative abundance.” He says over 90 percent of
those crappies surveyed were from two extremely good
year-classes.

“At certain times of year, we’ll see people catching crappies,”
Wagner says. Come ice season, the north shore, and an area known as
the “rock piles” provides crappie and pike action.

Walleyes have made a comeback in Aaron, largely due to DNR
stocking efforts. Natural reproduction occurs on a limited
basis.

“During our survey in 1998, we had around 10 fish per lift,”
Call says. “That’s above our expectations.”

That number was the highest on DNR record since the 1978 survey.
In prior surveys, the number per lift has ranged from three to five
fish, he says.

The DNR stocks 1.5 pounds of fingerlings per littoral acre every
other year.

According to Wagner, walleyes now are what anglers most
regularly seek. While recent hot weather slowed the bite, walleye
fishing picks up later in the summer “when the frogs start crossing
the road,” he said. Productive areas include the public access bay.
Otherwise, it’s just a matter of searching.

“It’s not that big, and there’s not a lot of structure,” Wagner
said.

An angling bonus: The DNR reported a “remnant population” of
smallies in 1998. Wagner says smallmouths are making a comeback in
Lake Aaron.

PROFILE: Lake Aaron

Nearest town…………Evansville

Surface water area……545 acres

Shore length…………4.8 miles

Maximum depth………..16 feet

Water clarity………..6 feet

Walleye, largemouth bass, black crappie, northern pike,
bluegill, pumpkinseed sunfish, yellow perch.

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