If you are looking for bass, take your pick of area lakes and rivers. They are biting.
Gibson County Lake
Water temperature: mid 70s.
Bass: “Smaller bass are schooling up and hitting top-water stick baits,” Trenton’s Brent Smith said. “Shellcrackers seem to really be making a comeback this year – five-to-eight-feet on the bottom. Use red worms.”
Catfish: Good size catfish are being caught on jugs out toward the levee.
Water temperature: 75 degrees. Elevation: 414 feet.
Bass: “The best time of the day for me has been early in the morning, even if no generation from the Dam is present,” Clagett Talley said. “At day break, I like to throw a top-water bait, (and) around 6 a.m., I start catching fish on a Strike King Series 3 Crankbait.”
Clagett, a tour guide from Savannah, said he fishes this Series 3 for a least an hour or more with confidence he will catch upwards of 10 fish.
“My favorite color right now is white with red eyes,” Clagett said. “I like to start off on a point with some structure involved. On my guide trips, I like to use two or three different colored Strike King Crankbaits until one of the fishermen starts catching more on one color, then I might have both fishermen use the more productive color.”
Clagett said he oftens throw this size crankbait all day (Series 3), but if you do not use the proper rod with the right action, you are cutting down the attraction to your bait and in return the amount of fish you will catch.
“For a crankbait, you must not use a heavy or even a medium heavy rod,” Clagett said. “My choice of rod is a medium action Lews Perfect Speed Stick rod and 10-pound test Lews Line.
“This set up is perfect for casting these smaller sized Strike King Crankbaits and it gives them the action they need to attract bass.”
Clagett said if you would like to fish a little slower, I would throw a Carolina rig.
“I have caught a lot of nice bass over the last two weeks on different plastics on a Carolina rig,” Clagett said. “The most productive color has been green pumpkin with red flake Strike King Rage Craws.
White Bass: “If you like to catch a lot of fish, you can still load up on white bass right now,” Clagett said. “Using the same Series 3 Strike King crankbait in the river will catch a large number of white bass while catching largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass along the way.”
Clagett said The Botel area below the Dam is a good area to cover for all these species with the eight-inch diving Strike King crankbait.
Clagett said he has also caught a lot of white bass in the Savannah area using the same crankbait along rocky banks.
Stripers: “Stripers are biting really well when the Dam is generating,” Clagett said. “Yellow tail minnows are running strong right now and accounting for a large number of fish. Fish these yellow tail minnows close to the bottom and drift down stream.”
Clagett said if you fish during the morning hours or late afternoon, you can catch a lot of fish on a King Shad by Strike King.
“This bait runs below the surface and is big and strong enough to hold up to big stripers,” Clagett said. “It is best to fish the King Shad on a 12-pound test line and throw it where there is a lot of current, because it is jointed its action attracts fish when you simply reel it back slowly with a tight line.”
Catfish: “I have caught a few catfish while striper fishing,” Clagett said. “I see a lot of catfish caught below the Dam in 20-to-25-feet of water. Most people I see are using bait they are catching in the water- such as yellow tail minnows and skip jack.”
Want more from the “Mayor of Pickwick Lake?” Visit Clagett Talley on line – www.pickwickareaguide.com or give him a call (731) 607-5266.
Kentucky Lake/Lake Barkley
Water temperature: lower 70s.
Bass: Largemouth bass are steady on the main lake channel breaks on Carolina rigged Big Bite worms in green pumpkin, Texas rigged Creature baits or Zoom trick worms. Some good fish can be found on secondary points using spinner baits and top-water baits early and late.
Smallmouth bass are a little slow, but some good size fish are being caught just off the main lake in the mouths of the bays using Carolina rigged Creature baits and large tube jigs in watermelon color.
Crappie: They are in post spawn pattern and being caught in 10-to-15-feet of water trolling Jenko Crankbaits in any bright color. A few fish are still being found in wood cover in eight-to-10-feet of water – mostly blacks – and they are hitting red/chartreuse tubes tipped with minnows.
Bluegill and Redear: They are getting busy, and several big Redear are being caught by targeting the yellow flowers. Beds are still not showing up on the Humminbird side imagers, but should be any day. We’re told black plastic bugs tipped with a wax worm or red worm is working when fishing for the large Redear.
Beech Lake tournament
The Henderson County Bass Anglers Thursday night bass tournament continues from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., tonight, at Beech Lake.
Remember, you do not have to be a club member to participate.
David Thomas, Twitter – @DavidThomasWNWS