An abundance of submerged trees throughout this 41-acre lake, and patches of water willow along the shoreline, give fish plenty of places to hide and angler’s places to fish in 2021. The 2020 spring sample indicated good numbers of largemouth bass within the protected slot limit of 12 inches to 15 inches. This protective regulation should provide good catch and release fishing for 2021. Anglers are encouraged to harvest bass under the slot limit. This will reduce the numbers of smaller, slow growing, bass allowing the remaining bass to grow faster and eventually grow out of the slot limit and reach quality sizes, over 15 inches. Fishing spinner baits and topwater lures along the weeded edges in the early morning or late evening will be a productive way to catch largemouth bass from this lake.
The current bluegill population is fair. Fish for them along shoreline vegetation. Look for bluegill spawning in shallow waters in May and June. The best live baits for nesting bluegill include crickets, worms or grasshoppers set 1 to 3 feet below a tiny bobber. Remember to think small when fishing for bluegill, since the fish have small mouths, a number 6 hook should be large enough for your bait. Anglers who desire a challenge and want to land a Master Angler Award quality fish may want to try catching the larger redear sunfish in 2021. These fish can be found in shallow waters in mid-April to early June. They can be found where there is plenty of standing timber and vegetation. Redear typically inhabit deeper water than bluegill and congregate around stumps, logs, and rootwads. Favorite baits for redear sunfish include worms, crickets, and grubs. Catchable sized channel catfish are stocked annually in the fall. They can be caught in the evening using dead minnows or cut-bait in the latter part of the winter season and early spring. Use prepared cheese/stink baits in the summertime once the water temperature warms. Chain pickerel offer another great angling opportunity with quality fish and good numbers expected for 2021. Concentrate angling efforts using topwater lures in and around the aquatic vegetation, especially in the spring. Sims Valley Lake offers a covered fishing dock, picnic area, privy, concrete boat ramp, courtesy dock, and includes disabled access. Anglers who want to boat fish are reminded that only electric trolling motors are allowed. There is a bulletin board located at the boat ramp with regulation signs.