Wilderness Trail Fishing Report – What a week. Can anyone remember the last time we saw temperatures in the 50’s? Well, it was May 12th and then again this last week when a front blew in and dropped two inches of rain, which changed the daytime temperatures into the 70’s and the night time temperatures into the upper 50’s.
We have been so dry through the summer that the two inches of rain soaked right into the ground and didn’t flow into the lake.
Lake level this week is 647.71, six feet below normal pool. The thermocline has been dropping a little each week with the pool draw down. This week the thermocline is at 35 feet and steady. Lake temperature is finally out of the 80’s and into the 70’s; as of Sunday morning the surface temperature was 77.5 degrees.
Crappie were spotty this week, one day they were on the brush piles and the next day they were suspended out in front of the brush piles. Crappie minnows still are the number one bait to use, but crappie grubs and Swimming Minnows are also triggering a few bites.
Largemouth bass made a little movement towards the banks with the cool down but we are going to be back in the 90’s again this week so that move will be short lived.
Work the banks in the middle of the pockets and creeks first thing in the morning with buzzbaits, Zara Spooks or Sammy’s. After the sun hits the surface move to secondary points with jigs, Carolina rigs or Mojo rigs.
Smallmouth bass are back to feeding on crawdads and are using chunk rock and pea rock points to feed on. The best bite is in the morning and again around 2 to 6 in the afternoon. Spider Jigs, tubes, Carolina rigging centipedes and football jigs are all producing some nice smallies.
Kentucky bass disappeared the latter part of the week due to movement of shad into shallower water. The Kentuckys will find them in a day or so, so continue looking for concentrations of shad in pockets off the main lake and cuts in the creek arms.
With the cooler surface temperature we should see some top water frenzy feeding in the next day or two. Use Pop R’s, Chug Bugs and Spit’N Image baits during the top water feeding. Spoons are still the best lure to use on Kentuckys this time of year, they react to them even if they are not feeding.
Walleye are out in the thermocline around points and over the flooded forest. A number of anglers have been spooning vertically and catching quite a few nice walleye this week.
Long liners have also been having some success pulling smaller baits with lead core line. A few baits that are working are Hot’N Tots, Wally Divers, Reef Runner Deep Little Rippers and number five Glass Shad. Stay in 34 to 38 feet of water even on sunny hot days. As long as the walleyes food source is in the thermocline the walleye will stay there.
LAKE RATING: Although the weather pattern cooled things down the game fish have not really reacted to it and it is going to warm up again this week — Rating is fair.
Fishing for trout on the White River has been good on Berkley Power Eggs in yellow, white and pink. With generation the Buoyant Spoons, Blue Fox and Little Cleos are the bait of choice. The fly fishermen did well on olive Woolly Bugger, Zebra Midge and olive scuds and sow bugs. The Brown trout are being caught on Countdowns, Flat Fish and Rogues.
Remember to keep only what you can eat and release the rest for another day.
Rick Culver of Wilderness Trail does the research and writing of this report. For more information call Rick or Sue Culver at Wilderness Trail at (870) 445-2703, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out our Web site at www.wildernesstrail.com.