Travel plans will dictate another early post this week, I should be back on a regular schedule next Friday. Thanks to all who came out to fish the Capt. Macks Customer Appreciation Tournament, it was an awesome day! Thanks as well to corporate partners and our volunteers, we are grateful for all you do! July has been warm, no, make that hot, and is forecast to stay so right up until the end of the month! Forecast highs are in the mid 90’s through the end of the week. The beginning of next week will bring a Full Moon, one of two in August! The first will occur on the August 1st, the second on August 30. Watch for a good mid day bite around either of those dates. The lake continues to fall, down to 1069.16 on the 27th, that is 1.84 feet below full pool. The surface temp is around 87 degrees.
The Striper bite is excellent! Plenty of nice size fish along with great numbers! Typical summer patterns, live baits with a mix of trolling techniques and power reeling! Use all of these techniques to compliment each other, which will enable you to maximize the bite! We can basically ditto last weeks report, just maybe add in some fish getting really deep, typical for this time of year. There is no limit on what is “too deep” except the bottom of the lake. Deep fish are often very catchable, if you see ‘em down there drop a bait! Also, remember to take good care of the Herring, in the tank and on the line. These high air temps and warming water will compromise the bait if you are not properly maintaining them. Monitor the temp of the bait tank and keeping that water cool is a good way to keep the Herring happy!
The fish are being taken in a variety of areas, with fish over open water areas or up in the drains and coves. I do think the trend is moving towards open water, but the drains and coves are worth checking out, especially early. Live Herring on the down rod, trolling Chipmunk Jigs, Capt Mack’s Underspins and Super Shad Spins have been very good. Any of these baits will be effective on the lead core line or behind the down riggers. The Full Size rigs are also effective, especially for the fish lurking around the points. You will probably need to drop the rigs back to 120 to 150 feet to get the necessary depth. FYI, adding weight on the form of sinkers or larger jigs is also very effective. This gains depth and decrease the amount of line out, which in turn increases maneuverability. On our 9 bait rigs, adding an ounce of lead will add about 2 feet of depth to the number on the chart.
Watch for fish orienting to points adjacent to the creek and river channels. This pattern is still prominent, and still a little underutilized. The fish may be over the crest of the point or more likely around the point. They can be caught trolling, or setting up the bait spread and calling up them under your boat. The full size umbrellas are effective on this pattern, drop the rig down to 25 feet and you should get the bite!! Fishing has been good all day, and if you can tolerate a little heat the afternoon evening bite has been very good!
I am still giving Bass Fishing a good rating, especially considering it is late July. More of the big Spotted Bass are suspending on the deep water structures, or relating to the deep bait schools. These suspended or roaming fish are catchable, but it is a tough pattern. Brush piles are probably still the most dominant structure to target, with fish also being taken on humps, and points. The topwater bite remains pretty strong over the brush. The rain we experienced on the 20 and 21st dropped the surface temps a little, maybe energizing and extending our top water fishing. Of course the drop shot on the brush remains strong.
We also still have some fish on the marinas seawalls and the adjoining cables that tether them down. Watch for schoolers around the marinas, especially early. Top waters and Magic Swimmers will catch surfacing fish or some fish that are higher up in the water, Soft plastic swim baits on the lead head will get the bite if the fish are deeper. Whether it’s over the brush, around the marinas, or chains the schoolers, big noisy baits that move a lot of water seem to be the preference!
Don’t neglect the crank baits on the high spots and points. This pattern is effective in the afternoons and after hours, and the water releases are a definite plus. The Strike King 8XD, Little John DD 70, and DT 20 have been some favorite choices on the crank baits. Chartreuse and Natural patterns have been preferred colors, switching to darker patterns after dark.