Humphreys Co. Outdoor Report for June 5th

Published Jun 6, 10:19am

Water levels in the New Johnsonville area are holding just over 358ft and are predicted to remain stable over the upcoming week. Both the Duck and Buffalo rivers are normal, with the Buffalo river around 4ft, and the Duck river falling back to normal at just over 3 ft.  Water temps are in the upper 70’s averaging around 79 degrees in most areas, with a mostly clear water color.

              Fishing has continued to improve, with the bass fishermen finding some fish on a summer pattern, using search baits on offshore ledges where bait fish is present. Also, the shallow water bite is picking up, mostly early and late as the sun isn’t so intense. The shad minnows are being found along shallow vegetation and often the bass are close by looking for an opportunity for an easy meal. Crappie are an often overlooked fishing opportunity this time of year, as the fish tend to move out to deeper water around drops and cover in water ranging from 12-20ft or more.  But often crappie will begin to school-up, and limits can be taken once these schools are located. Crappie will often migrate back out into open water along the old river channel drops and along the deeper ditches with old stumps and man made crappie beds,  and the fish do tend to be more active when current is present. Catfish are being found along rip-rap banks and wood cover, as most of the catfish are in ‘spawn’ mode this month. Some have already come off of bed and have returned to the deeper areas of the lake. Most catfish are being taken on nightcrawlers and liver presentations, but some good catches are coming off commercial ‘stink’ baits. An often overlooked bait for catfish is chicken breast; both small and large cats can be taken on cut chicken this time of year. The bluegill bite is slowing up, as most have now come off of the spawning areas and began to scatter again, although bluegill will spawn throughout the summer months. With the mayfly hatches we are seeing in the area, I do expect many sunfish to head to the rivers edge looking for an easy meal.

Free fishing day is approaching, with this years event being on Saturday June 12th.  There will be many fishing events that day across the state. In our area, Mason’s boat dock usually has a fishing rodeo for the kids, as well as many surrounding Counties as well. TWRA’s website has a listing of known events for all that are interested.

The Kentucky Lake Open (the old Strike King Tournament) is coming up on June 12th, but there are a few other events before then. A great local weekly event is the Tuesday night tournaments held out of the New Johnsonville boat ramp each Tuesday starting at 4pm. Last weeks event was tough, but a some anglers came up with a few; 1st place weight was 8lbs 2.5oz, big fish weighed in at 4lbs 4ozs.

Snakes are out in force now that the summer has arrived, and many pic’s are showing  up on social media. As a reminder, snakes are protected and should be left alone. Even poisonous snakes, if left alone will usually leave, as they don’t like to be around human activity. Most people and pets are bitten due to trying to handle or mess with them, or by reaching under places they are hiding looking for mice and other things they eat.

TWRA reported that there were two boating related fatal incidents during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, both occurred in the evening on Monday May 30th.  one incident involved a collision between a pontoon boat and a personal water craft on South Holston lake in Sullivan Co. The other occurred in Rhea Co, where a woman entered the water from a boat and did not resurface. There have been 12 boating related fatalities so far this year in Tennessee. The TWRA commission met this past week to set the upcoming hunting seasons and to address some of the hunting season recommendations. There were no proposed changes to the deer seasons, but were some proposals to change the requirements of the type 94 permits, and to change the definition of muzzleloaders and to prohibit fanning for turkeys on WMA’s.