FLW Fishing Report: Good Fishing Despite Low Lake Levels

May 9, 2012

Scott Ellison here, with the FLW Weekly Fishing Report.

As there hasn’t been enough rain to settle the dust, the lake is about three feet low and there’s no sign that it’s going to go up anytime soon. Still, the air temperature has moderated, the water level is staying fairly stable and the fishing has gotten a lot better for most species.

The hot ticket now is bluegills, as apparently there’s been a big surge in spawning activity all over the lake. Limit stringers are coming off shallow points and in the backends of pockets where there’s a mixed bottom of pea gravel and sand. Redworms and crickets on splitshot or dropshot rigs are the best natural bait. By the way, have you noticed how big the bluegills and shellcrackers have gotten on average over the last 4 or 5 years? Used to be, all the fish you caught were about hand size, which indicates overpopulation. Now, fat bull bluegills that measure 8 or 9 inches and shellcrackers that go 10 or 12 inches are pretty standard. And, boy, are they good to eat.

I hate to sound like a broken record, but if you just want to catch a mess of bream for supper and not go to a lot of trouble to do it, try some of those dark-colored Phyliss’ bluegill bugs that are sold at Benson’s and elsewhere. Use an ultralight spinning rig with 6-pound-test monofilament and tie on a 1/32th-ounce bug if the wind isn’t blowing, or a 1/16th if it is. Cast out the bug, let it settle to the bottom and then drag it back by using the rod tip. It finds fish fast, and sometimes it doesn’t even get to the bottom before a bluegill nails it… A great way to locate beds, and best of all, you don’t have to mess with worms or crickets.

Although there still are a few bass spawning or cruising the banks for the dwindling shad spawns, the fishing focus for them has turned to the ledges. Guys cranking the mid-depth ledges with big crankbaits are bringing in some good stringers, but really just about any of the standard soft-plastics or jigs are catching bass anywhere from bank cover to the drop-offs.

There’s an Everstart Tournament out of Moor’s Resort this weekend and the way the bass are biting, it’s going to take daily average weights of 22 to 25 pounds to stay in the running. The fish have only just arrived on the ledges and they haven’t been pressured too much yet. That means they’re easy to fool right now, though that won’t last long.

Mark June 7-10 on your calendars. That’s the weekend the Walmart FLW Majors Tour visits Kentucky Lake for a big tournament with all the big-name pros. On Saturday and Sunday, June 9th and 10th, the semi-final and championship weigh-ins will be held in the CFSB Center. You won’t want to miss those, and the free outdoor show that accompanies them. This is a very kid-friendly event with all sorts of games and attractions for the youngsters. Again, the dates are Saturday and Sunday, June 9th and 10th, in the CFSB Center.  I’ll have more on it later.

That’s it for this week. Bass are biting, bluegills and shellcrackers are biting. Go get ’em. This is Scott Ellison, signing off for FLW.

Scott Ellison is a lifelong fisherman and FLW College Fishing Promotions Manager.