Doug Wynn's Fishing Report
For August 14, 2018Report for Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley
Hello from the Excel Bay Pro 203 "Fishful Thinking".
Did you ever take a vacation trip or have an experience that took a few days to sink in before you could put it into words or on paper? That is what our trip to Mississippi last week was all about.
We (my cousin Ricki, our buddy Jere, and I) headed out for Enid Lake Mississippi in the predawn hours last Thursday. We were headed to an event called "Crankfest" that was loosely sponsored by Crappie.com but is put on by members of the Mississippi Forum of that site. Since none of us had ever fished the lakes down there, it was all going to be an exciting new experience.
After four-plus hours on the road with a couple of coffee breaks, we rolled into the Cossar State Park on Enid Lake. Since we couldn't check into our cabin for several hours, we decided to visit with the owner of Crappie.com and some friends from the site from several states.
The itch to get onto the lake was undeniable. Jere hooked up with one of the members from Mississippi while Rickie and I talked a guy we all know as BillBob (Ted from Indiana), a Vietnam war hero, into spending a few hours with us on Enid. Spending time with Ted on my boat was the highlight of my trip. The fish cooperated and our less than three hour trip yielded around 40 crappie with nine keepers. Fish on Enid and Grenada must be over 12 inches long to be legal. We sat 12 1/2 inches as our minimum since the keepers were all going on ice. All of our keeper fish were caught on Pico or c55 crankbaits.
Our second day found us all scattered. Rickie was with John, who Jere fished with Thursday. Jere fished with Don from Mississippi, and I was headed to Grenada to fish with Tom, a guide on Grenada who had invited me a couple of weeks earlier. Since we would be using Tom's Skeeter 20' Bay Boat, my Excel was left with the keys in it for those in camp without a boat to use. Ed (owner of Crappie.com) and Ted took it out for a while.
Tom and I hit Grenada and started out using a technique I have rarely used so learning it was very important. After a while with not much luck, we changed to trolling crankbaits. Seems Tom is fairly new to pulling cranks and wanted to pick my brain about how I did it on Kentucky and Barkley Lakes. Funny, the techniques that work here will work in Mississippi. Tom learned from me and I learned from him. That's how it should be. I did have to cut a hook out of Tom's thumb but he was a trooper and we got it out. We ended with several keepers in the box.
Saturday found Tom and Rickie in my boat on Grenada. I started looking for the exact same types of underwater structure I would seek out on our lakes here. Brush and man-made structure was not to be found in the deep water areas we wanted to fish. I had to depend on points, depth change ledges, and creek channels.
The fish were eager and willing to destroy our Pico crankbaits. Tom watched my every move on both boat control and how I used my Helix 12 Mega unit to locate and stay connected to the crappie. We were amazed by the sheer size and volume of crappie. There were times our productive area looked like Jonathan Creek on Kentucky Lake on Easter weekend. Boats were everywhere but we all worked together to get along and stay clear of each other's lines. Some were spider rigging, some pushing minnows or crankbaits, and some pulling cranks.
We had a great time at the Saturday afternoon meal and got to meet many new friends and put screen names with faces. The food was wonderful. I took several pounds of silver carp I purchased here locally and cooked it there. It was very well received.
Our final day was Sunday and Jere and Rickie joined me on my boat at Grenada. What transpired was a day of fishing we all will cherish. Our catch was less in numbers than previous days but the quality of the fish were amazing. We kept 13 crappie that would have individually been the envy of anyone around the cleaning station at home. Each one could have been the lifetime catch for several fishermen. Reeling in one after another was surreal. My only apprehension is how does one get excited about a 10+" keeper on KY/Barkley when we were throwing back 12 " fish that were too short? I'll soon be finding out.
Our trip home came too soon but we did bring back the memories of new friends and amazing fishing. We are already making reservations for next years Crankfest.
Congrats to my buddy from Evansville, Justin. He won the Twin Lakes Crappie Club tourney Saturday with a Pico crankbait catch on Barkley. Justin is less than a year from having fished cranks with me for his first time. He has been a model student.
Same things/different week. Try 15-25 feet deep around structure. There isn't much current as the lake levels have stabilized for a bit.
Catfish have been slow below the dams and on the main lakes. There has been an occasional good catch but fishing will pick up as the weather cools in a month or so and we get some rain to produce some current.
Be careful out there. School has started back so lots of families will be cramming as much time on the water as they can on the weekends. Wear your PFDs. Watch out for those who won't watch out for you.
The commercial fishermen are now setting more Asian carp nets than we are used to seeing so be extra observant for them and stay away from the areas they are set. Let's all get along and work together to rid our beloved lakes of the scourge of Asian carp.
Welcome to our slice of Heaven.
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