Murray, KY – Scott Ellison here, with the FLW Weekly Fishing Report
It feels like winter, but the fish think it's spring. Bass fishing has really heated up lately on a variety of baits, including the ever-popular Alabama rig teamed with swimbaits. Good catches are coming from creek ledges and secondary points or anywhere shad are moving. The lake is up about 5 feet and damkeepers are running a lot of water through. So the current is energizing the bass, and the bite should continue until the lake reaches winter pool again. Then we'll see.
Crappie fishing also is running on all cylinders, with the stake beds and brushpiles producing nice stringers on small jigs and tubes in 8 to 12 feet of water. If there's one complaint i keep hearing, it's that while there are plenty of hungry crappies around, most of the ones being caught are under the size limit of 10 inches. Still, that bodes well for next year, as most of those undersize fish will add an inch or two between now and when the dogwoods bloom.
Incidentally, as I reported recently, fishermen are also catching a few nice redears mixed in with the crappies, but that's probably not anything that's going to hold up.
Most years, it's a lot easier for me to figure out what the fish are biting on then it is to figure out what gifts to get people for Christmas. However, over time I've become pretty good at figuring it out if the person who's going to get the gift likes to hunt and fish. Just in case you've run out of ideas, let me share some of mine.
Who hasn't gotten a hunting or fishing license from Santa in times past? A license still makes a great gift. Also, how about a gift certificate from a store that sells lots of hunting and fishing equipment. It's hard to know what a hunter or angler prefers, so the best thing to do sometimes is to let him or her pick out his or her own stuff.
You hear about the hottest video games and toys that pop up each Christmas, but it's not exactly the same in the hunting and fishing world. Still, the hottest thing going right now is the Alabama rig. Reasonable facsimiles are available now from some local marinas and bait stores, but if you want the original, go to the online store at the alabamarig.com they're selling for $27 apiece, but I guarantee you any bass fisherman would like to find one in his Christmas stocking.
Otherwise, a new Zebco spincast outfit for bass or crappie fishing is an option, as is a new Plano tacklebox, a boat helmet or goggles, a subscription to FLW Bass Fishing Magazine, an electric fillet knife, a lake map, a spool of fishing line, or, if somebody's been extra good this year, a new Lowrance HDS fish finder.
Hunters will like ammo, binoculars, hunting scopes, gun slings, knives, knight & hale duck, goose or turkey calls and decoys to match, gun cleaning kits and gun cases or trail cameras.
For those who hunt and fish, how about warm socks and gloves, chemical heat packs, an insulated camo snowsuit or even one of those propane-powered 9,000 but mister heater buddy for boat or blind.
Come to think of it, there are so many good gifts to get a hunter or fisherman, I don't know why I ever had so much trouble Christmas shopping before.
This is Scott Ellison for FLW, reminding you to be nice rather than naughty, because Santa has his eye on you.