Fish report: Bass are hitting crank and spinner baits – The Tennessean

To report the most up-to-date information on fishing in the Midstate, The Tennessean has asked for contributions from several avid anglers. They will report on their latest trips as well as offer tips. To add a report, contact Mike Organ at 615-259-8021 or morgan@tennessean.com.
• Melvin Stewart on the Cumberland River: Saturday was a record-breaking 76 degrees. I took a short trip to Cheatham County. The heavy rains caused the river to be dingy and a couple of feet above summer pool. I enjoy fishing the flooded areas because the bait fish are flushed out and I can get to places I normally can’t. I found some clear water at the back of a creek channel. The water was 52 degrees. I spotted bait fish and bass busting them. I caught a nice 5-pound bass and three others on a lipless crank bait. Not a bad fishing trip for this time of the year. Visit Mel’s FishingTales.com.
• Brian Carper guide service on Percy Priest: How a week can change fishing conditions on the lake. Last week the water was in the 40s, and now the lake is in the 60s. After the warm weekend rain, the lake has risen 2.5 feet. The upper end is very muddy. Bass can be caught on bluff wall transitions with chartreuse crank baits, spinner baits and black/blue jigs. However, most of the bass are being caught mid- and down-lake on shad pattern jerk baits, Alabama Rigs, jigs, and shad raps in 4-12 feet of water. Hopefully the lake is able to lower to winter pool and stabilize. For more information check out www.briancarper.com.
• Joey Monteleone on the headwaters of Percy Priest and a TWRA managed lake: Recent weather patterns, warm temperatures, high winds and rain have caused surface water temperatures to bounce. Bass, crappie, catfish and other fish are feeding heavily for winter. Crappie are tight to cover buried in wood, large submerged trees and schooled up tightly. Secondary cover, downed trees, large rock, and other stationary objects are holding bigger fish. Find deeper bottom contours, structure, points, creek channels and ledges for numbers of fish. Winter bass lure choices match shad in color. The white skirted half-ounce single willowleaf spinner baits, heavier jigs especially in current (half-ounce or more) for in crawfish patterns, trailed by a soft plastic Rage Craw color No. 140 watermelon meat, the Caffeine Shad in ghost minnow on a half-ounce lead head and also suspending jerk baits in light color patterns (clown or sexy shad) are catching bass. Try using a stop and go retrieve. Slow, steady retrieves work best under difficult conditions. Crappie are hitting tubes and curly tail grubs, chartreuse and other bright color combinations on light line and 1/8-ounce lead heads. Catfish have been hitting extremely well on night crawlers, live shad, skip jack, chicken livers or commercial baits. Try a 3/8-ounce bell sinker on the bottom with a large circle hook (No. 3-5) tied about 8 inches up on a leader line, fished around heavy cover in lakes and river systems for channel, blue and flathead cats. Water color is murky with higher levels from recent rains. Surface waters are in 40s. The moon phase was new on Wednesday. The full moon in January will be on the 13th.

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