From Captain Mack Farr
July has been hot, especially in the afternoon. Fishing has been hot too, especially in the
afternoon! Of course when the rods are bending it’s a whole lot easier to tolerate the heat and
If you need to cool off, you can always take a dip in the lake, which fell slightly this
past week, .21 feet over full pool to 1071.21. The surface temp is at 88 degrees. Based on the
extended forecast we have plenty of heat and humidity in store as the ‘Dog Days” of summer
Looking at the extended forecast indicates we will have a greater chance of afternoon
thunderstorms as we enter into next week.
Striper fishing has been good, and you’ll have several choices of productive patterns to choose
The fish are using the typical July deep water patterns, although we still have some fish
pushing back into the pockets over a 40 to 50 foot bottom. The overall trend is Stripers moving
towards deeper water, creek channels, over the river channel. Fyi, you may find fish at any point
out over the river or major creek channels, but that pattern seems to be best from mid day on.
You may also see fish anywhere from 30 down to 80, so place the baits where the greatest
activity is. Monitor the live baits closely, keeping the bait alive on the hook is difficult in some
areas of the lake, check and change frequently if needed. Supplement the down lines with some
power reeling, Spoons, Chipmunks and Herring are all good choices and power reeling is a
good compliment to the live bait spread. FYI, Power reeling tip number 4 will post on Sunday
Live bait fishing has been producing well, down lines are the dominant producer, with
a few fish still being taken on weighted flat lines.
The trolling bite has also been very good, with fish responding to Minis and Jigs on the Lead
core, full size umbrellas, and spoons. Pull the Minis on lead core, about 275 feet back on the
counter, 30 foot leader included, about eight colors if you are counting off of the line. You can
use the same depth parameters on either a 2 oz Chipmunk jig or the big spoons, there will not
be much variation in depth between those three baits.
Which one is the best option? That
answer varies from day to day, but the 2oz Chipmunk tipped with a Herring or 6” trailer has been
very consistent. As far as spoons go, the Parker spoons are a good choice as are the Hawg
Series Fat Spoons.
Any of the aforementioned baits can be trolled on lead core or with a
downrigger, so keep that in mind when you deploy the spread. If you opt for the full size
umbrella, and they have also been very effective, pull the rig from 120 to150 feet behind the
boat. You can also use the rigs on the lead core or behind a downrigger as well. You may want
to go with a lighter umbrella on the down riggers, just because it is hard to hold the bigger rigs in
the release clips.
The Capt Macks 3 arm rigs create much less drag so they are a good option,
as are the Mini Mack’s. To help determine the depth of the big umbrellas when using with the down riggers, use the amount of line from the downriver ball to the rig and find the depth value
for that amount of line deployed on the chart. Add that number to the depth of the downrigger
ball and you should be spot on!
The Bass Fishing is also typical for July, main lake brush in 20 to 35 feet is holding plenty of
fish. If you want the numbers, the drop shot will be awfully hard to beat, it may catch the bigger
fish, but it will run up the numbers! Don’t forget about casting the drop shot as well. especially
on the windless days when the water really slicks off. This can be a very good technique when
fishing the brush.
Shakey heads and your favorite finesse worms will also be effective in the
brush. You can still entice a few of the bigger fish out of the brush to take a walking bait, and a
sub surface bait like a Steelshad, Spybait or weighted Fluke over the brush are also good