Murray, KY –
Scott Ellison here with the FLW Outdoors Lakeland Fishing Report
March is supposed to come in like a lion and out like a lamb, but somehow the weather did just the opposite of what it was supposed to do this year. It was warm and sunny toward the first of the month, but then got cool and dreary here at the end. Although the spring weather we're experiencing now is more the norm rather than the exception, the balmy temperatures of a few weeks ago sure felt nice and helped the fishing.
John Parks at Fisherman's Headquarters in Draffenville told me that I could use the fishing report from him last week and apply it this week, because not much has changed. Bass are being caught mainly on medium-depth crankbaits and rat-l-traps on secondary points, flooded creek beds and flats between deep water and spawning areas.
Julie Stubblefield at Cypress Springs Resort and Eric Benson at Benson's Sporting goods in Murray pretty much echo what John Parks says. Though it's just a temporary deal, fishing has slacked off lately in the lower park of the lake because of the falling water and falling water temperatures. Fish are on the move, but they're not settling down anywhere long enough to be caught. Crappie fishing actually seems to have picked up a bit since last week, if only because fishermen have stopped checking the stake beds and shallows so much and are sticking with the mid-depths.
Bass or crappie aren't going to move into the shallows in numbers until the water stabilizes and the temperature moves consistently upwards. The lake level is holding steady now after falling, but there's still the water temperature to contend with. It's fallen about 3 degrees in the last week or so and that's no good. Female fish are carrying eggs and, being cold-blooded creatures whose body temperatures are regulated by the environment around them, they're going to stay in the best depth they can to incubate those eggs. When the inshore temperature gets right, they'll move in, but not before.
Still, better weather is on the way, and this weekend could see a nice change in the fishing action.
The college fishermen who were here practicing for the National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship on Kentucky Lake have all gone home and are getting their tackle ready. The lake went off-limits at the first of the week and the anglers should see quite a difference in the fishing when they return for the championship next week. The semi-final and championship weigh-ins will take place in the CFSB Center at 4 p.m. On Friday and Saturday and it will be quite a show.
One of the contestants, Miles Burghoff of the University of Central Florida, came up here to practice, caught a few fish and then said he figured that it would take at least four good bass and one lunker a day to have a chance to win the championship. I agree, and i bet he's not the only contender who figured that out. The fishing is going to be great, and no doubt there will some eye-popping stringers brought in to the CFSB Center by these college anglers. I'll see you there.
Scott Ellison is a lifelong fisherman and FLW Outdoors College Fishing Promotions Manager.