Bartletts Ferry Fishing Report – July 2009
Bartletts Ferry: Level: 0.2 feet below full pool. Temp: Mid 80s. Clarity: Very light stain in some areas; clear on the main lake.
Bass: Good. The grass bite has come on strong over the last few weeks, and the bite should last until about the middle of July, maybe later, before it’s time to move up river to beat the blowdowns. “Everybody’s fishing the grass right now,” said Dennis Hudson, whose Tuesday evening tournament out of Halawaka is taking about 11 pounds to win with an average big fish of 4 to 5 pounds. “It’s been producing quite a few fish, and some pretty decent ones.” Dennis said a 3/8-oz. swim jig in black with a Swim Chunk has been a good bait, but people have also been doing well with dark-colored, Texas-rigged worms in junebug or black, flukes and Senkos. Dennis said he likes to find an area of grass with a little bit of stain on the water. After dark, there’s also been a pretty decent bite. Dennis said he’s had some luck fishing a jig, a Texas rig or hopping a spinnerbait down the banks. Also, it’s time to start watching for the mayfly hatches on bushes overhanging the water. A few have been reported already, and they should start coming on strong over the next few weeks. Fish a Pop-R, a Trick Worm or a small crankbait around bream feeding on the mayflies. With the summer patterns setting up, there are thousands of spotted bass and small largemouths schooling up under the bridges around the pilings to ambush shad fry. “They can be real frustrating,” Dennis said. “You can look down and see a thousand fish, but they won’t touch nothing. They get so keyed in on those little bitty shad.” Dennis said you can sometimes get them to bite a shaky-head Trick Worm, a small crankbait or a small topwater lure, though. Once the grass bite starts to peter out, Dennis said he’ll move up river to find some current. There’s tons of laydown cover where the lake narrows into a river run, and he’ll beat the cover with crankbaits, jigs, Texas rigs or topwater. “They’re in the brush. You just got to figure out how to get them out,” he said. “Seems like you need something to get their attention to get them to come out.” In addition to Dennis’ Tuesday tournament out of Halawaka, there are now also Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning tournaments launching out of Idlehour. Mike Kiser said he enjoys fishing Harding after dark during the summer. He said the daytime is absolutely miserable due to all the jet skis. He focuses on brushpiles 15 to 16 feet deep and drags a worm through them. “We’ll fish a (night) tournament from six to 12 and fish the brushpile before dark and not get a bite,” said Mike. “We’ll come back around 10 or 11 and hammer them. These fish feed at night.” Mike uses three Zoom worms to fish these brushpiles: a U-tail, a Mag II and an Ol Monster. His top colors are cherry seed, redbug and junebug.
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