Well, folks, I have to start this article off with an apology.
I had planned on letting you know how “great” the fishing was on Lake Barkley, Ky., in this article. My wife and I were going on vacation and we were headed to Nebraska first to help my elderly aunt and uncle get settled in the assisted living center they had to move into. We camped in our RV there in the city RV park and were only three days away from the trip to Lake Barkley to visit some friends and get in a few days on the lake when we had a run-in with one of the city’s parks workers and his big commercial riding lawn mower.
Guess he liked my RV as much as I do, because he hit it with the mower and damaged the slide-out significantly.
I was not sure that it would operate correctly after the collision so we decided to come home and get the coach fixed.
So again I apologize that I can’t tell you how wonderful the fishing was on Lake Barkley and make you drool over the pictures of the Hogs I was planning on catching. LOL.
So I guess we will just have to talk about fishing on Lake Limestone and what to use in the pepper grass and flooded timber.
Like most lakes here in Central Texas, Limestone is also high and slightly stained, but not muddy. Limestone’s dam allows the excess water to go over the dam’s spillway as well as having several gates they can open. The gates were not open there but the water was going over the spillway.
That meant that the water was active and moving which should always enhance the bite. Well, as you are well aware, the “DOG DAYS OF SUMMER” have arrived with a vengeance. Think I sweated a gallon or two during the day. Like most of you, I started the summer morning off with a top water and it did produce “a fish. Yes I said “a,” meaning one.
As the sun got higher, I switched to a plastic bait, baby brush hog in watermelon red and was consistently getting “tapped,” but I personally believe it was the bream tapping on the tail of the brush hog.
There are several things that you want to look for on Limestone. Flooded timber, which there is plenty of on Limestone. Boat houses with brush and grass around them, again which there are plenty of on Limestone. Coves are filled with pepper grass, as some call it, and there are also plenty of those on Limestone. So where to start?
As you all know, the bass move up to feed in the early morning hours, so start there go to those coves with the pepper grass and work them over with top water baits and creature baits. As the temperature climbs leave it and move to the boat house with brush around them and again work them over with the creature baits and spinner baits. As the temp continues to climb, move to the timber in deeper water or on humps in the lake and work those over with jigs and heavier spinner baits and maybe try your luck with a dark colored chatter bait right up next to the timber and who knows you may get the surprise of a lifetime.
This time of year, the water temperature also helps to dictate where we should be fishing. If the surface temp is 85 degrees, how deep do you need to go to find the bass’s optimal temperature of 72 degrees?
There used to be a hand-held temperature probe that you could drop over the side and lower a few feet at a time and it gave you a read-out. I had one many years ago but can’t remember what happened to it. What do they say about getting old?
Now with all the technology out there, whoever was making it has stopped and it virtually impossible to find one. The drop temperature probe is the only sure way of finding that optimal 72 degrees.
Another way might be to use your depth finder and look at the depth the majority of the fish are holding at and find the structure you are looking for at that depth. That is what I am having to do now with no probe.
Oops, sorry for the tangent!
Back to Limestone. This time of year, what I really look for is a boathouse or peer that is close to deep water. These consistently hold fish and give them the freedom to move up and down the drop off to a comfortable temperature range. Fish will hold shallow longer on these types of structure than anything else. That type of structure is what I caught the majority of my fish off of the last time I went to Limestone on an extremely hot day. The boat houses provide the bass with shade and that shade also keeps the water temperature down a few degrees lower than the water exposed to the direct sun light. This supple difference helps to keep them there longer and gives you a better opportunity to catch them.
Well, even though the dog days are here, there is still some good fishing out there. Please send your pics and questions to Hook_up66@yahoo.com and I’ll get you an answer to your question or post your pic in one of my future articles. Now get out there and catch a big ‘un!