Doug Wynn's Fishing Report
For June 15, 2018Report for Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley
Hey from the Excel Bay Pro 203 "Fishful Thinking".
What does one do to fish when you can cook a burger on the front deck floor? Plan on being on the lake early and late. Fish on the days that there is a bit of breeze predicted plus current being generated.
Having fished six of the last seven days in this heat, it's been tough tolerating the heat but fishing has been good to great. Some days I wish my bottled water cooler full of ice was big enough to lay in but given my size, I would have to buy a bigger boat to accommodate the cooler.
Vicki and I had the pleasure of taking our grandkids Georgia and J.T. out for some trolling on Friday. This was their first trip and it was a ball for all of us, even with the mid 90s and very little breeze. We broke out the Sportbrella and made the best of it.
They had never seen a gar up close so when J.T. caught a small one, I took the chance to teach a biology lesson. We all escaped unharmed. J.T.'s reaction to the teeth was priceless.
I know it sounds like a broken record but when we come in to the cleaning station at Sportsman's Marina and the tables are all dry, it obvious not a lot of fish have been caught by others. Very few spider riggers or vertical jig fishermen are braving the heat and humidity. We are still doing very well pulling Pico crankbaits as are the other guides who have started doing the same.
Heather at Sportsman's had a smile ear-to-ear Saturday when I came back in with my clients and noticed her wall display of Pico cranks was virtually empty. She showed me her order from that morning and instead of ordering a few of the many color patterns, she was ordering dozens of each. Her comment was she couldn't keep them in stock and folks were coming to the marina for the express reason of buying Picos.
Our catches in both KY Lake and Lake Barkley are coming from 15-30 feet of water. Structure and submerged cover is our target. The running depth of a trolled crankbait is determined by the amount of line you let out. That doesn't mean if you let out 200 feet of line the bait is going to go progressively deeper. Most cranks will max out depth at 120 feet of line or less. Keep in mind that many of our fish are only 8-10 feet down in deep water. Suspended fish will be the norm till fall. You will have to experiment with your depth and amount of line. That's why I think the line-counter reels are so important.
For the first time since fall, we are seeing bait balls of minnows in the bays and main lake. The crappie are keying on the bait. Watch your electronics for a big blob up off the bottom.
Simply Awsum, Bone Orange, Green Machine, and Zombie have been hot. Word of caution: we have lost several Picos to BIG gar the last several days. I'm talking gar up to five feet long that hit like a ton of bricks then jump like tarpon. They are a ball to hook but please don't try to net one to save a bait. They will rip you up like a weed-eater. If you can get pliers on the hooks, try to pry it loose but watch those teeth.
White and Yellow Bass
The jump action has started!! Watch for large areas of splashes and minnows on top. In-line spinners from Ken's TBC in Lake City are tops for jump fish. EASE into the area of jumps. The guy who drops his boat off of a plane at the edge of a jump will eliminate the chance for anybody to catch any.
We are catching good numbers of yellows on our cranks.
Current-current-current. Check main lake drops and rocky areas near deep water. Try cut bait, leeches, worms, and chicken livers fished right on or just barely above the bottom. The top days or nights will be when large amounts of current is flowing thru the generators at the dam.
I'm not hearing of any great catches but I'm seeing bass folks all over the main lake ledges and main points in the mouths of bays. Large crankbaits, creature baits, and large spoons are catching fish.
Often my wife and I are asked about how we prepare and cook our crappie. I've shared a recipe here that we use often when eating crappie.
Be careful out there! The heat is a killer if taken too lightly. Stay hydrated with water or sports drinks. Wear those PFDs when the big engine is running above idle speed. Watch out for those who won't watch out for you.