Ranging from pretty good to ‘red hot,’ winter fishing has been ‘surprisingly impressive’
In Mar. 13-19 issue By Derek Aaron Times Journal Sports Editor
With spring right around the corner, anglers in Russell County are gearing up for what could be another strong season on the waters of Lake Cumberland and the Cumberland River.
"We're fishing right now," said guide Rick Holt of Striper Madness in Russell Springs. "Of course, the lake jumping up hurt us a little bit but its shaping up to be a typical spring."
Holt said everything was a "go" for some lucky days on the water and the lake's lower water level due to rehabilitation on leaky Wolf Creek Dam wasn't going to hurt fishing in the least.
Holt said the late winter fishing on Lake Cumberland has been surprisingly impressive.
"We've been catching middle-range stripers," he said. "The usual 10-, 12-, 14-pound stuff and we've caught a few fish in the 20-pound range already."
Holt, who focuses more on striper fishing, said he has been to the river below Wolf Creek Dam a lot lately and has found a niche there as well.
"The trout fishing has been pretty good and the sauger has been red hot," he said. "Of course, its slowed down now but it will come back with the next (full) moon."
Holt said he had heard the smallmouth bass fishing had been down the past few weeks in the lake, but noted the "float-n-fly" technique was garnering some results off lake points.
He said that the recent weather events with rain and snow had caused the lake to rise a bit.
"When the lake moves like this it upsets everything and it just takes a day or two to settle back down and we'll go back to catching them," he said. "They don't quit eating, they eat everyday, you just have to figure it out."
Jerry Morgan, operator of Morgan's Guide Service, also said his luck with stripers (striped bass, the big game fish of the lake) had increased thus far this winter.
"The fish are up in the heads of the creeks right now," he said. "That's were the water is warmer." He said the fish would gradually move toward the main lake as the water warms up.
Morgan said he had been using live shad, a natural baitfish prey of many fish, to catch stripers the past month or so by down rod and planer board methods in the major creeks that pass fresh water into Lake Cumberland. Right now stripers are being caught 15 to 45 feet down.
"We had a good year (last year) all the way around," he said. "I feel like its going to be another good one this year."
Fishing forecasts say that below the Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery and in the Cumberland River, rainbow and brown trout are being caught on spinners, salmon eggs, nightcrawlers and corn.
The current water surface temperature at the lake is in the 45 degree range.
Whatever water one chooses to fish, be it the lake for its bluegill, crappie, bream, walleye, catfish, largemouth, smallmouth, white, Kentucky and rock bass or stripers or the river for its trout selection, walleye and sauger, springtime fishing on Russell County's water is a good bet for success.
The Times Journal is a weekly newspaper issued on Thursdays. It was first published on October 13, 1949, by Andrew J. and Terry Norfleet.
P.O. Box 190
120 Wilson St.
Russell Springs KY 42642
Russell County News is a weekly newspaper issued on Saturdays, and is mailed free to every address in Russell County, Ky. It was first published on February 1, 1913.
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Jamestown KY 42629