Update 7/23/14 Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 by Ron

Lake level is at 608.8. They are busy drawing water so this level will change daily for a while I’m sure. The water looks pretty good until you get pretty far up into the arms. Water temp is low 80′s.

CRAPPIE: The bite seems to be in 15 to 20 FOW over submerged brush piles. If you don’t have good electronics just slow troll from tree to tree until you find some. Seems we are back to the any color and chartreuse jigs tipped with a Nibble, or anything and a minnow. If you are slip bobber fishing start at about 10 feet down and adjust as needed. Once you find that right depth you can pretty much leave it right there. Bridge piers seem to be coming on as well if you like to fish them.

BASS: Haven’t heard anything on black bass but there are still some whites being caught on rocky points and around the islands. Something shiny works and so does a minnow.

CATFISH: The bite is pretty quiet for all species right now, though you can always find some channel’s to tangle with. Nitecrawlers or your favorite stinkbait should get their attention. It shouldn’t be to long before the blues and flat heads start eating again.

NOTES: The crappie tournament at Chigger Hill this past weekend took 9.88# to win. This weekend is the Shack tournament. I would expect there to be 90 to 100 boats in that one.

Update 7/16/14 Wednesday, Jul 16, 2014 by Ron

Lake level is at 609.5 and holding steady. I believe it will be pretty steady until the Mississippi River goes down some. The water on this end is still a bit murky. I am sure it is more clear up towards the dam.

CRAPPIE: Persistence is key right now. You will likely have to work for a limit, but there are definately limits being caught. Fish the timber on channel edges, along bluffs, and also submerged brush in 15 to 20 FOW. Either use your electronics to find fish or keep moving until you find some active ones. Black/chartreuse, orange/chartreuse, and blue/white are the colors I am hearing. Naturally, minnows are working as well. Don’t forget to add a nibble to any of the above baits to increase your odds. Bridge piers seem to be just starting to pick up some.

CATFISH: Catching has been pretty quiet for all species. There are a scattering of each being caught, but not like normal. I expect that to improve in the next couple of weeks.

BASS: Whites seem to be the best bite right now. Either a minnow on a jig or something shiny and/or white will get a bite from them. Try late evening for your best chance to score on these on points and islands.

NOTES: There are still a lot of drum getting caught. These are good fun to catch and will at least fill some time while waiting for something else to show up.

Update 7/2/14 Wednesday, Jul 02, 2014 by Ron

Lake level is 608.7. I don’t assume we will see much change over the next week as the Mississippi river is quite high which should make the corp hold back from adding anything additional to it.

CRAPPIE: The bite is certainly transitioning to a summer pattern with the warm temps we have had recently. Trolling crankbaits is one good method to try. Stay on the edges of main lake channels to score on them. Another is dipping trees with a jig and nibble or a minnow under a slip bobber. Watch your electronics to find the right spots or just keep moving until you find them. Often times they will concentrate on just certain trees in an area. Pay attention to details here….what species of tree? which side of the tree? how deep is the water? 10 to 12 feet down is a good place to start, but adjust up and down until you find the exact depth where the active fish are hanging. usually that is the same depth you will find them when you move. The spawn is over, you will have to actually work for your fish now but they are certainly out there and biting when you put the right pattern together. Good luck!

CATFISH: We are starting to see more blues come in recently. They are mostly in the 20 to 30 pound range. we are also starting to see a few flat heads as well up to 30 pounds. There are plenty of channels to catch all over the lake.

BASS: Not much to report on largemouth but the whites are doing quite well out around the islands and flats. We caught them on jigs and minnows but as usual, you can catch them on anything white or flashy as well. We caught the most right around 8 feet down in 14 FOW. We also caught quite a few drum, which were a total blast.

NOTES: This weekend is the Rodeo down below the dam. It runs Thursday through Saturday with the fireworks being Friday evening. We have advance tickets here at the resort for $12 or you can buy them at the gate for $15. Last I heard there were over 500 cowboys registered already.

The lake obviously will be crowded with boats this weekend. Please be both considerate AND careful out there. Realize that not everyone on the ramp is as practiced at landing their boat as a fisherman that is out several times a month. Help them rather than getting hot under the collar and you will almost certainly have a better day.

Update 6/19/14 Friday, Jun 20, 2014 by Ron

Lake level is at 609.4. They are doing some generating so it goes down some each night. Water temp is mid 70′s.

CRAPPIE: Seems like a tough bite right now for a lot of people, though there are still some reporting good success. With the heat we are having now the fish will be in deeper water. Think summer pattern and start fishing the tree’s just off the channels. I would start at the 8 foot down level unless your electronics shows the fish at a different level. Bridge piers and riprap should also start producing. Trolling Bandits or other crankbaits can be a good method to try now.

CATFISH:The bite seems to have slowed on the flat heads and blues. There are still plenty of channels biting. We caught them on a jig and minnow even while fishing for white bass.

BASS: The white bass bite is good around the islands. We caught them about 8 feet down in 12-16 FOW. If you want to give a youngster a good time there is a great opportunity fishing for whites. The action is steady and they fight and eat great. Not much word on largemouth this week as it was very windy all week.

Update 6/12/14 Thursday, Jun 12, 2014 by Ron

Lake level is 611.8 and starting to drop some as the Corp starts to pull some water. Should make for great fishing below the dam. I am sure the lake is muddied up some from the last rains. I would say North Fork is the worst as a lot of the inflow came from there.

CRAPPIE: Up until today the crappie were biting pretty good yet. We still hear of some nice catches near the banks, but I think the chances are now better out deeper. There should still be some males protecting the nests at the bank though. Work the outer edges of tree lines as well as the tree’s themselves. Move in and out until you find the depth they are at at the moment and keep moving until you hit them. Action and scent are pretty important in the dirty water. Nibbles will provide good scent for you.

BASS: White bass are picking up at the islands especially near dark. White or chrome will work as will dropping a minnow in front of them. It looks like the largemouth spawn is about over so you will have to locate them in deeper water directly out from spawning area’s.

CATFISH: There are still a reasonable amount of flat heads and blues being caught. Channels can be found near any water running into the lake on crawlers or stinkbait.

Update 6/6/14 Friday, Jun 06, 2014 by Ron

Lake level this morning is 610.5. We expect it to rise a little more, but nothing crazy like years past. Naturally this means the water will be more stained than it has been.

CRAPPIE: There are still plenty of them being caught with limits coming from both deep water (20′) and also still some on the banks. We are still hearing of females with eggs near the banks. This should result in one heck a year class going forward. We are also hearing about schools of fry near the banks. The result of the extended spawn we have been privileged to enjoy this year. With the warmer weather showing up there will be some fish on the trees and I assume they will start to show up on the bridge piers as well. Likely about 10 feet down for now.

BASS: We are hearing of a lot of bass caught by crappie fishermen so concentrate on the same area’s listed above. I am sure they are snacking on some of those fry that are starting to show up. I have also talked to some that are enjoying good success on whites around the islands. Something white or shiny will attract a bite from them.

CATFISH: The influx of water should really turn on the channel cat bite. Find any place where there is water flowing into the lake. Nitecrawlers will work as will your favorite stinkbait. We are still seeing some decent blues and flatheads as well.

Sorry I am late with this. I was in Alabama all week. I did manage a fishing trip to Lewis Smith Lake where we caught some dandy bass and also some real good stripers. My companion on the trip caught a 14# striper on a topwater lure. What a blast.