Doug Wynn's Fishing Report
For May 9, 2019Report for Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley
Hey Folks. Greetings from the extremely busy Excel Bay Pro 203 "Fishful Thinking".
The Excel Bay Pro 230 is now in its home in my garage but still minus the Suzuki 250 outboard that should be delivered next week. The decision was made to get the 230 home and get it all rigged while we wait on the engine.
That way it should take a couple of afternoons to get the break-in hours on the Suzuki and it will be ready for service.
Crappie Masters Rend Lake, Il.
My fishing partner Justin from Evansville and I competed last Saturday in the Ozark Rods Open. This event was a qualifier for the Crappie Masters Classic at Grenada Lake, MS in September. Having never been on Rend Lake, I bought up maps and LakeMaster map cards for my Humminbird Helix 12 and studied for spots I would be if I was a crappie.
We fished in driving rainstorms on Thursday and Saturday and heavy fog on Friday. We located a good concentration of crappie and were able to finish fifth place and have the second heaviest crappie for the event. Again, we were in the distinct minority and pulled PICO crankbaits in heavy submerged timber. To say we lost a bunch of PICOs would be a huge understatement.
The satisfaction of the whole event was Justin and I finishing above some past World Champions and current top crappie fishermen in the country. That doesn't mean we are better than them, just we had a good day. We qualified for Grenada so now we are going to be fishing both the Crappie USA and Crappie Masters Classic events this fall.
We are still doing very well pulling PICO cranks in deep water areas of the larger bays. The bait colors change almost hourly but Simply Awesome, Geezer Clown, Orange Tiger, and Mean Green will be on our lines to start most days. The PICOs are available at Sportsman's Marina, Fast Eddies, KY Lake Outdoors, Ken's TBC in Lake City, and on-line.
Many of the crappie are completing their spawn and are starting to move back out of shallow waters. They can still be caught vertical jigging cover, spider rigging minnows and jigs, and by casting jigs under a bobber.
Bluegills and Redears
Folks ask me almost daily if the Asian carp are having an effect on the fish we seek and I can say they have had the worst effect on the shallow spawning areas that we traditionally catch bluegills and redears in.
I have ran the Side Image over literally hundreds of empty spawning beds that have always produced good catches. I'm seeing some good quality bluegills but in smaller numbers. Same goes for the redears. I have adjusted my fishing for gills and redears to deeper areas.
Check out gravel bottom areas in coves where creeks run into the cove. Avoid muddy bottoms. Try drop-shot rigs with a pinch of worm, cricket, or popeye jig with a wax worm fished slowly on bottom. The redears will be in water 6-10 feet typically, the bluegills shallower.
Keep this in mind: there is not a spookier fish than a redear. If you make noise in shallow areas, run your boat up on top of bedding areas, or cast a large bobber into the redear haunts, they will leave pronto. Always make long casts and try to be as stealthy as possible.
As the water warms up, so will the catfish bite. We are starting to catch them daily when trolling cranks. Use worms, cut bait, or commercial stink baits on the bottom in chunk rock and pea gravel bottom areas. Rip Rap areas will also produce.
A note to those of you who don't have boats; the paved trails on either side of Eggner's Ferry Bridge are wonderful spots for just about any species but especially catfish. I would tend to use a slip bobber rig in these areas to keep the bait just off the bottom. Park in the designated parking areas at either end of the bridge and use a cart or wagon to carry your tackle and a cooler PLUS a comfortable folding chair.
Sunscreen is a must too. Give your fellow anglers plenty of room. While eating breakfast at JoJo's Cafe this morning, I listened to accounts of very rude anglers who were fishing a bank area and crowded my friends, who happened to be catching fish and were at the spot well before the others. This made for some tense moments and hard feelings. Life is too short to cause hard feelings while fishing.
With the warmer weather and water temperatures, the recreational traffic is increasing. Everyone has the same rights to be on the water but we each must be responsible for our actions. The lack of law enforcement presence on our lakes is infuriating to me. I see irresponsible actions on the lake most every day and much of it is a direct result of alcohol. Folks don't seem to care that the penalties for operating a boat under the influence are extremely stiff. It seems it is going to take a tragic occurrence to open the eyes of the public and law enforcement to this problem.
Be careful out there! Watch out for those who won't watch out for you. Wear your PFDs and practice safe boating principles.
I'm looking for ideas for the Fishing Tip of the Week videos. If you have a subject you would like to see done, please let me know.
And happy Mother's Day!
Welcome to our slice of Heaven.
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