Weiss Fishing Reports – August 2007

GON Staff | August 1, 2007

Level: 3.5 feet below full. Temp: 85 degrees. Clarity: Some stain.

Bass: John Boggs said the low lake level in August is probably going to hurt the people fishing the banks, but for the ledge fishermen — like himself — it congregates the fish. “A lot of the fish have pulled out of the coves onto the ledges. I am having some of my best days ever,” said John. Try river-channel ledges with heavy spinnerbaits or jigs. “I am using mostly a 1/2-oz. spinnerbait in chartreuse and white. If you are new to this, you might want to try a 3/4-oz. or a 1-oz. spinnerbait. Throw it up on the flat in 3 to 8 feet of water and slow-roll it off the ledge. You really have to slow it down. You want it to be right in the roots and stumps on the bottom.” John said a jig ’n pig is also a good bet on the ledges to bump and jump through the stumps. “Green pumpkin is good, and I use black-and-blue jigs, but I have mostly caught fish on a white jig — it favors the shad.” John said to let the jig sink to the bottom then rip it up, and let it fall. Another bait John has been learning about, and having some success with, is a swimbait. “You throw it out into the river channel and let it sink, then swim it out over the ledges. That makes it look like something is trying to escape from the river channel. My best bass on a swimbait is a 7-pounder, but I have seen some awful big fish swirl at it.”

Crappie: Tough, said Lake Weiss crappie-fishing guide Matthew Kelly. “The lake is at 560 (down from 564). I have never seen it this low this time of year, and they are going to pull 2 more feet out. Some of the flats are already out of the water. They are pulling water from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. and running three turbines for a couple of hours. That has made fishing the ledges tough because there is too much current. The fishing has been slow. The best fish have been coming from shooting docks. If you can find a dock with 6 or 7 feet of water, you can catch some crappie.” Matthew said he has had the best success lately on an acid-rain colored Southern Pro stinger-tail jig on a 1/24-oz. jig head. Another good color is black/blue with a chartreuse tail on a red 1/24-oz. jig head. The brushpile bite has also been impacted by the lake level dropping. “The brushpiles I have that are usually 16 feet deep are now 12 feet deep,” he said. If the lake level stabilizes, even low, Matthew expects the fishing on the ledges will pick up.

Stripers: With low oxygen levels in the lake, the stripers have shut down, according to Weiss guide Mark Collins. There are plenty of small schooling stripers and white bass in the 1- to 2-lb. range being caught working the surface in the main lake from the causeway in Cedar Bluff to the powerhouse lake. You can catch these fish on a 3-inch white or pearl Sassy Shad or a curlytail grub on a 1/4-oz. jig head.

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