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Sat April 23, 2011
FLW Outdoors Fishing Report April 21:Brush Hogs, Sexy Shad Spoons and Curly-Tailed Jigs... Oh My!
By Kate Lochte
Murray, KY – So are you up on your zoom brush hogs, sexy shad spoons and curly-tailed jigs? Learn more with the FLW Outdoors Fishing Report!
Next the FLW Outdoors Fishing Report, but first a disclaimer: this commentary contains language, like "lipless crankbaits," that may be puzzling to non-anglers.
Scott Ellison here with the FLW Outdoors Fishing Report of the week. Bass fishing is the best bet now on Kentucky Lake, as some fish are still spawning in the shallows, while other postspawn bass are holding around shoreline cover and secondary breaks and points. Depending on who you ask, fishermen are catching bass on everything from soft plastics to shallow-running crankbaits.
Eric Benson at Benson's Sporting Goods says he's been selling a lot of zoom brush hogs and baby brush hogs in pumpkinseed or watermelon, which tells me that pitching and flipping flooded brush and trees are still producing good catches.
Ron Lappin, the Everstart Tournament Series Director for FLW Outdoors, also adds football jigs and swimming spoons such as the 1-ounce sexy shad spoon to the mix.
Of course, those last two are being applied in deeper water off points and offshore breaks for postspawn bass that are just hanging around and fattening up for summer. Spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits also are still the best bets for the guys who are just beating the banks and covering water. There are a lot of bass foraging up and down the shoreline and that's going to be the case for a while. Find the warmest water you can with scattered cover, and start chunking and winding.
Generally speaking, Kentucky Lake's water temperature is in the mid 60s and the lake level is up around 358 feet. After the rain we had the other night, probably the lake is going to be very close to its summer stage of about 360 feet.
Hopefully, it will stay there and quit moving up and down. The unstable water level and water temperature made for a weird crappie spawn this spring. It was never really consistent and even now bedding crappie are being caught. Otherwise, try brush piles in 12 to 14 feet of water for white crappie or hit the banks in 4 to 6 feet of water for black crappie. A lot of folks are vertical fishing brushpiles and stakes with minnows or firecracker or electric chicken-colored tube jigs in 3/32-ounce size. The bank runners are fishing curly-tailed jigs in 1/16th- or 1/8th-ounce sizes in similarly wild colors such as chartreuse and red or green and chartreuse.
Eric says most guys fishing for black crappie along the banks are just casting and winding. Julie Stubblefield down at Cypress Resort told me that about as many or more redears are being caught on the tiny jigs as crappie. In fact, it's time to start hunting for bluegill and shellcracker beds in some of the deeper spawning areas. Try crickets under bobbers for the bluegills, or plastic spiders on crappie jig heads. Don't expect too much yet, because the water temperature still is going to need to come up by a few degrees before bluegills and shellcrackers really start bedding. We need some sunshine, and we're not really expecting too much of that during Easter week.
Finally, if all else fails, try channel and flathead catfish between the old river and creek channels and the shoreline. When water is rising, which it is, you can always count on catfish to go on feeding binges. Nightcrawlers, liver, cut bait, commercially prepared baits all will work for whiskerheads.
That's it for now. Spring has sprung and the fish are biting somewhere. I hope you get your limit.
Scott Ellison is a lifelong fisherman and FLW Outdoors College Fishing Promotions Manager