FLW Outdoors Fishing Report - Almost Sauger Time

Murray, KY – Hi, Dave Washburn here, with the FLW Outdoors Weekly Fishing Report.

There's been a noticeable downturn in the bass fishing this week, though there's no particular reason for it. Scattered schools of fish are still popping up here and there wherever the big shad schools are found, but for the most part bass are transitioning into their fall patterns and a dependable bite is hard to find. Your best bet is to fish the main-lake points around bay mouths and inside the mouths of bays, coves and feeder creeks. Otherwise, try the very backends of such areas in 5-6 feet of water. Topwaters such as zara spooks, pop-rs and buzzbaits are producing some fish early in the morning, but then fishermen are switching to rat-l-traps and shallow-running crankbaits later in the day.

Crappie are scattered along main-lake and bay ledges in about 12-15 feet of water. Here again, small tube jigs in chartreuse, hot pink or other wild colors are producing some fish. Otherwise, stick with live minnows and fish straight up and down. The crappie are fairly lethargic and aren't chasing down small crankbaits the way they were a few weeks ago.

About the most consistent bite is for catfish: blues, channels and flatheads. The fish seem to be roaming up and down the flats and taking variety of cut bait, prepared catfish baits and big live minnows. Find a good flat adjacent to a ledge channel and give them a try.

Some of you are probably waiting for word that sauger season is getting cranked up, but it's just not here yet. The fish are beginning to move upriver, but you're going to catch a lot more catfish and drum below the dams now than you will sauger. We're still a few weeks away from the beginning of prime time.

A couple of quick tournament notes: if you're in the neighborhood, be sure to drop by the southern Illinois university campus in Carbondale Friday and Saturday for the National Guard FLW College Fishing Central Regional Championship. The top teams in the Midwest will be competing for a berth in next spring's national championship, where the winning team gets $100,000. The regional winner from this weekend's tournament on Kinkaid Lake collects $50,000. Friday and Saturday's weigh-ins start at 4 p.m. In the SIU arena. Eastern Kentucky University and Western Kentucky University are in the mix, as well as the SIU team.

Also, a reminder that the Marshall County High School fall open bass tournament gets underway at 7 a.m. On Saturday, October 22. It will be held out of Kentucky Dam Marina at Gilbertsville and is open to the public. Just bring a can of a non-perishable food item to donate and you're in. Prizes will include fishing tackle, gas cards and other goodies. For more information, call 270-205-9500 and ask for Jeff, or phone 270-205-1112 and talk to Nicole.

That's it for now. The fishing isn't great at the moment, but get out on the water and enjoy this beautiful weather anyway. It sure beats sitting at home.

This is Dave Washburn for FLW Outdoors, signing off til next week.