Stumps and Getting Stumped - Major League Fishing

Stumps and Getting Stumped

November 3, 2008 • Curt Niedermier • Angler Columns

I wish I could tell you being an editor for FLWOutdoors Magazine meant I got to fish whenever I wanted with whomever I wanted. But I wouldn’t be an honest journalist if Idid. No, like most people, my time on the water is limited to far less than I would prefer. Yesterday, I finally made it to Kentucky Lake for some autumn bass fishing. It was the first time since the lake has been drawn down that I’ve fished because I’ve spent most of my season in the woods (where I’ve had all too little success thus far).

I’m not sure what I missed while I’ve been gone from the lake, but I’m flat out stumped. Mixed reports from other anglers said the same thing. Apparently a few guys are smoking them, but others are struggling. My day was beyond struggling. Two anglers producedtwo short fish.

The only things I caught worth mentioning are a rock, which I somehow hooked on a single barb on a crankbait treble hook, and a rope tied to a rock that weighed in at around 15 pounds. I also broke a crankbait that was on its way to becoming one of my favorites. That’s right, I ripped the bill clean out, and I’m not going into the details.

But despite the poor performance, the day will prove to have been productive come spring — at least, I hope it will.Editor Jason Sealock and Imarked about a dozen great stumps that are now visible thanks to the winter drawdown. When spring rolls around and they aresubmerged beneath5 or 6 more feet of water, my hope is I’ll plow into one with a crankbait or toss a jig alongside one where a bass will be waiting.

Winter drawdowns show anglers a lot of good things for spring. Look for laydowns, stumps, rock piles and ditches. I now know of two creeks on Kentuckly Lake with large ditches in their far back reaches that are wide enough to drive down with one or two boats. When the water comes back up, they may be avenues bass travel to get to spawning areas. They may offer that bit of deep water bass look for when a front drives them out of the skinny shallows. They may produce nothing. Iwon’t know until I try. But I’ll definitely check them out.

Find a day or two this fall to hit the lake and get stumped. It could lead you to more bass next spring.