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Wet week could affect fishing strategies

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By Shelton Young

This 4th of July can be summed up in one word, wet!
Sorta ruined everyone’s long weekend. Course I’m talking about some cookins’, some parties and some lake time.
What it didn’t ruin was the reason July 4th isn’t just another date on the calendar. If ya don’t know what I’m talkin’ about, shame on you!

With a solid week of rain we’re likely to see our lake levels on the rise. What does this mean to anglers?
Well it means you can sorta forget what I said about fishin’ deep. At least forget about it till the lakes go back down. That’s right, it’s pretty much back to the shallows. But not your ‘usual’ shallows! ‘Usual shallows’ are just that, areas of shallow water, when the water levels are normal. Now those ‘usual’ shallow areas are now mid-level.
The shallows you need to concentrate on are the flooded trees and bushes. Now you can fish your topwaters and spinnerbaits. And when you’re in stuff too thick for that, then it’s pitchin’ and flippin’ time.
Of course there’s always the soft plastic worm! Texas rigged, with a pegged weight, so it doesn’t slide up and down your line. You can fish this rig shallow or deep and catch bass with either approach.
My friend Charlie Mattingly actually won the first tournament he fished with the Mid-KY Bass Anglers. Since we didn’t know him well enough to poke fun at him, yet, we didn’t say anything (out loud) about his bass fishing rig.
Our attitudes changed when he brought in the winning weight!
All his bass were caught on the only bait he had with him. He fished with his Zebco reels and a bag of purple worms!
See, nobody had told Charlie he couldn’t catch bass with just one lure, his purple worms!
My point is that we spent too much time trying to figure out what the fish will hit and not enough time fishing!
Anyway, with the water in the bushes try fishing a purple worm. And if ya see Charlie back there in the weeds, tell him I said hi!

With the water coming up it’ll be nasty for boaters, all boaters.
What we’ll have is a bunch of ‘floaters’ to contend with. O.K., a ‘floater’ is anything, usually trees, floating out in open water.
Ya see, the water comes up into trees, bushes and blow-downs on the bank. When the water gets high enough, some of this stuff floats. When the water starts to return to normal levels this stuff floats out into the lake.
So ya go flying down the lake and hit a tree floating. If you’re lucky you go airborne and then thud back down with nothing damaged but your nerves.
Not so lucky and you’ve lost a lower unit or even worse, you’ve busted a hull.
In either case there’s an excellent chance you’ll be thrown from the boat! So, No. 1, be sure you have on a life jacket (that fits) and No. 2, always have a kill switch and attach the kill switch lanyard to your lifejacket.
And finally, GO SLOW!

Well the weather forecast for Sunday called for rain, but not till the evening. With a mild case of cabin fever sitting in due to the rain, I decided to go fishing.
So I got my puddle jumper ready, charged the batteries and put new stickers on, and headed out to Sportsman Lake.
By noon I had a limit, including two that went 18 inches. The bass were up in the high water weeds and hitting 10-inch worms. The ‘no-names’ were green pumpkin with red flakes and a curly tail.
Didn’t even try any other baits. Figured ‘why change.’

Our 4H Fishing Club will meet again on Thursday, July 25, at Sportsman Lake. We’ll start at 6:30 and go till we get tired.
Bring your kids and come on out. I have eight outfits to loan out so there’s really no excuse not to bring the kids.
Until they’re 16 they don’t even need a license!

Coming up on August 3 is the Hunter Education Class so you can get your orange card.
It’s a one day class that starts at 8 a.m. and finishes around 5 p.m.

So, you can get out of the Hunter Education Class and then head to this year’s Elk Banquet at Centre Square.
That’s right, two events that’ll make for a full day and evening.
I’ll have times and cost for the Elk Banquet next week.

The Marion County Bass Anglers Tournament that was scheduled for next Saturday on Green River has been canceled.

That’s it for this week. So get out, enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer, stay safe and I’ll see ya next week!