From the deck of the Kick’n Bass pontoon
Since my last report, crappie fishing has picked back up with some very big and fat fish! The crappies we have caught have all been great size and post spawn. Any eggs left are negligible and will be reabsorbed by the fish. The males still have their dark spawning colors so we know the spawn is just now complete. Redear/ bluegills are firing up as I write this report. Going to hit them hard after I finish writing. Dig out your light tackle and hit a shoreline. The weather has been cool for a bit, but turning into fantastic sunny days with the air temp just right to be pleasant all morning. I mention quite a few sponsors in this report because in May the fishing changes so fast we may fish multiple ways each trip. Please go to my sponsors page and check out their products.
The water level is on the way up. We are at 360.08 and rising some more but not much. Water temp is hovering near 66 degrees overnight and heating up to about 70 by afternoon. This is a great sign of very good fishing left for this spring. You can check the link below for more info. TVA has a phone app also.
We have been pulling crankbaits exclusively for two weeks now. The fish had been scattered so in theory covering a lot of water will give us an advantage to catch these crappies. My last trip was great and we caught most of our fish over deep brushpiles. With the water being above summer pool (359 feet) the crappies seem to be schooling up to feed in the brushpiles.
|Pulling Jenko crankbaits has been key to our success and earlier in the spring we were pulling at about 1.6 mph but 1.8 mph is best right now. They are aggressively feeding up in the deep bays to move out to their summer haunts. All the midnight colors in the Jenko cranks have been hot! I think the mainly-black cranks have been best because of more abundant light on these nice sunny days. Look for fish in 14+ feet of water about 12 feet down in the water column and it’s FISH ON!! Here is a video we shot with Ky Afield TV a couple years ago that explains most of what we do while Crankin for Crappies.|
Whitebass and Yellowbass
We have been catching a bunch on crankbaits and the size has picked up considerably as of late. Can’t wait to chase those on the ledges in the near future with Steel Shad Bladebaits. My go-to colors were taught to me by Kick’n Bass himself, Randy Kuhens. Silver for sunny days and gold for cloudy days…or is it the other way around. I may need to go fishing with him to remind me of which is which!!!
We have been catching some very nice blues and channels in the eater type sizes. Nothing better than a 4-pound blue cat fillet!! And the fight on a 14-foot Jenko slab city trolling rod is a blast. Jug fishing has done very well lately also, very shallow.
We have been catching quite a few Largemouth mostly in the 12-inch range but we did get a couple keeper-sized fish in the 3-pound range. Theresa Martin also caught this 6-pounder. Spawn was on in the flooded backs of the bays and flipping those bushes produced some huge bags for the tournament guys and gals.
Bluegills and Redears
Redear/bluegills are coming on strong right now. Using an ESB Slip Bobber coupled with a Crappie Hut Jigs Crazy Cricket and a live cricket together is the best way to catch these fish. Yes it seems like a lot of bait but we think that presentation stops us from catching smaller fish and catching the bigger eater-sized fish. The Redears we caught were post-spawn but the gills are just getting started.
Helped a grandpa with some fishing gear and he sent me this nice thank you.
Thank you sooo much Captain Rich you truly are a saint sir! You are the only person who agreed to help me with my grandson and I want to commend you on your compassion and generosity Captain Rich. I just hope he shares his rod with me haha. Again, thank you so much sir and God bless you! Good luck this fishing season!
Best Regards, Scott Parry