Murray, KY – Learn about the float n' fly in this week's FLW Outdoors Fishing Report with Scott Ellison.
Though the wind kept a lot of people off the lake last week, the weather has settled down again and the water temperature is headed into the low 60s. Fishing is pretty much hit-and-miss, with some anglers reporting good success on topwater lures including poppers, walking lures like zara spooks and buzzbaits, while others are beating the water to a froth without anything to show for it.
Eric Benson at Benson's Sporting Goods says that some guys are still finding schooling fish out in the main lake and on the flats inside the bigger bays, but most are focusing on the feeder creek ledges, secondary points and rocky shorlines now. If you do check the feeder creek ledges and points, try rat-l-traps or medium-running crankbaits.
As Eric puts it, lately nothing has been the same for very long, meaning that the weather keeps changing. The cold front that came in last week might have been the signal that it's not going to do anything except get cooler now, and that will actually help the fishing for a while. Bass will be aggressively chasing shad for at least another week or two and then that bite will fizzle out somewhat, though of course it's possible to catch bass all winter. The crappie fishing definitely will continue to improve around the stake beds and secondary ledges on jigs and minnows, because crappies seem to perk up as the water gets colder.
I don't know why that is, except to say that the metabolism of crappie is different from that of bass. In warm weather, bass are running on all cylinders and sometimes it seems that they can't get enough food. But as the water cools down, they don't feed as much. When they do, they want smaller bites of food, and generally they won't take lures unless they're moving pretty slow.
With that in mind, maybe I'll try a float 'n fly rig in late fall and early winter to see if it will work as well on Kentucky Lake as it does on other lakes.
Basically, a float 'n fly rig is a small 1/16 to 1/8-ounce hair jig or nylon jig that's tied directly to 8- or 10-pound-test fluorocarbon line and then suspended about 10 to 12 feet below a small plastic bobber. You can see where this is going. The rig is intended for bass that are suspended in cold water along ledges, points or rocky bluffs and not really wanting to eat much of anything. You cast the rig with a long crappie pole, and i mean at least 8 feet, or a fly rod that's holding a spinning reel. The crappie pole or fly rod has to be long to keep the jig out of the water so you can hold it and the small bobber up enough to cast. Once the bobber hits the water, you don't really do anything. Wave action causes the float to bob up and down and impart action to the jig. It might be a very subtle movement, but really that's more likely to draw a strike than moving it around a lot. When the bobber goes under, or starts moving off, you set the hook. And sometimes, I'm told, it's not a bass but a crappie that grabs the lure
The float 'n fly is a killer technique on some lakes, and I've been telling myself for a long time that I'm going to try it on Kentucky Lake some winter. Maybe this year I really will.
One last reminder; the Everstart National Championship will take place on the lower end of the lake out of Paris Landing beginning Thursday morning. Daily weigh-ins at Paris Landing Marina are at 3 p.m. On Thursday and Friday only. Then, on Saturday and Sunday at 4 o'clock each day, the finalists will weigh in at the Paris Walmart store on Mineral Wells Avenue. Be there if you can; you'll enjoy it, and so will your family.
That's all til next week. This is Scott Ellison, signing off for FLW Outdoors.
Scott Ellison is a lifelong fisherman and FLW Outdoors College Fishing Promotions Manager.