Fish report: Fluctuating temperatures impacting the bite – The Tennessean

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Some of the most unusual Catch-of-the-Week submissions from Tennessean readers.
Wochit

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: Lately the daily temperatures have fluctuated from the 30s to 70s. The water can change overnight. On Saturday, the water temperature was 50 degrees. Bass will move to warmer water, so find the warmer water. I found four keeper bass very close to shallow spawning areas and still near a deep creek channel. I caught two on a spinner bait and two on swim jigs. This weekend will be a good time to get out and fish. Visit melsfishingtales.com.

• Brian Carper guide service on Percy Priest: Last week fishing on Percy Priest was inconsistent. I know many guys who struggled to catch fish (including myself) and several who caught many quality fish. With the temperatures going up and down, it has been hard to find a consistent pattern. What I do know is there have been several shallow areas up lake near boulder rocks that have produced quality bass in shallow water with red rattle traps, square bill crank baits and plastic finesse worms in watermelon candy. There are also quality bass being caught mid- and down lake near points and ledges. Alabama Rigs have been one of the best producers, but the bites are few and far between. The crappie have been biting up and mid-lake on white/pepper Crappie Magnets fished on 1/8 ounce jigs. Brush piles in 6-12 feet have been the most productive. For more information, check out www.briancarper.com.

• Paul Neighbours Jr. on Old Hickory: The action has slowed a bit the past week mainly due to the wind keeping the fishermen off the lake. On Monday I got a report that bluegill are hitting and the male crappie are starting to show up in the shallows. Still, if you can find the birds flying and dipping into the water, fish a slip float and minnow and there’s usually a good variety of fish about 4 feet down.

• Tim Tighe on the lower half of Cheatham Lake: As of Monday afternoon, Sam’s Creek and Marrowbone Creek are 54 degrees and the main lake is 49 degrees. Both are slightly stained in the main channel, but not muddy. Visibility is 1.5 feet near the shoreline. The Harpeth River, which was much better last week, is very stained again. It also gets cooler especially as you go further up into it. This continues to drive the point home that with the numerous variables in relation to this body of water the only way to consistently be successful is to fish the moment. Stated a different way, we have to become proficient at understanding how the bait and fish adjust to these variables and use that to find them. This may seem simple, but the numerous variables such as water temperature, current strength, quickly rising and falling water levels, clarity and even what happens upstream in Old Hickory Lake, the Harpeth River and in some cases the numerous creeks can have a significant effect on bait and fish behavior. The water level was lowered 1.5 feet Monday, which tends to make the shallow bite very tough. The only way I could catch fish consistently was to find them in the deeper channels and vertical fish for them with a Hopkins spoon or a drop shot. The weather and rainfall this time of year will surely keep us guessing but that is why they call it fishing and not just catching.

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