Steve & Lisa Spencer give tips and conditions for local fishing holes in Saline County in this column. See more info about Steve and Lisa at the end.
Saline River – As I write this report the river level is at 16.1 feet. That’s about 11 feet higher than I like it. But until the rains came the fishing was good. Bass were biting minnows, crawfish, Zoom lizards and baby brush hogs, Zing tail spinners and crawfish crankbaits. Catfish were biting good on black saltys, gold fish, crawfish, chicken livers and night crawlers. Crappie fishing was fair with #6 and pink minnows in deeper holes and back waters. Walleye fishing has been slow for a couple of weeks now and customers seem to be shifting towards other fish now. Bream fishing can always be fun and entertaining on the river when it’s at a safe fishable level. Light line and tackle with crickets, red worms or even a small, fly type jig will catch red bellies and other sunfish until you lose count or just get tired of catching them. It’s a great way to get a kid into fishing. If you want a fairly easy bite with a lot more fight and a challenging fish to land, cast a live minnow close to a surfacing gar. They’re plentiful in the Saline and are fun to catch.
Sunset Lake – Customers are still catching catfish on various types of bait. Chicken liver seems to be the favorite but minnows, black saltys, worms, crawfish and stink baits are working too. Crappie fishing has been slow. #6 and pink minnows have caught a few this week but they have been scattered and hard to find. Bass have been biting pretty good on minnows and soft platics like trick worms, lizards and brush hogs. Bream have been really eating red worms and crickets. Fish around the lake in shallow water with grass and/or moss. Set a bobber so your bait is just off the bottom or above the moss and cast into any open spots. Keep your bait clean of moss or grass and be sure the point of your hook is covered with whatever bait you’re using.
Lake Norrell – Bass fishing has been good early in the mornings. Whacky rigged Zoom Zlinkys, trick worms and Carolina rigged lizards in pumpkin, green pumpkin and watermelon/red are hot baits for Norrell bass right now. Fish around and under docks or close to any shallow water cover. Catfish are biting at dusk and after dark. Jugs and trotlines baited with black saltys, goldfish and crawfish have been working well. If you want to catch em on rod and reel try chicken livers or night crawlers and fish on the bottom. Crappie seem to have gone deep again and the bite has slowed. Minnows and Kalins grubs have been catching a few good ones still but no big numbers. Bream are about to be the target fish for a few weeks. Norrell has some good bream fishing when the bream fishing is good. Crickets and red worms are the perfect big bream baits. Fish around docks and in shallow water where you find beds but don’t dismiss the deeper water just because it’s time for the spawn. Drop a cricket or worm on a tight line around any cover in deep water and you’ll find some big red ear here and there.
Bishop Park Ponds – Crappie fishing has been slow this week and all reports have been of small fish hitting small minnows. Bream have been biting crickets and red worms fished around the grass and close to the banks. Bass have been biting minnows, black saltys, watermelon/red plastic worms and Kalins grubs. Catfish have been biting fair on chicken livers, worms bait shrimp and stink bait.
Lake Winona – Catfish are biting at dusk around the banks where the bream are beginning to move up. Minnows, black saltys, chicken liver or a big wad of night crawler will get their attention and get the bites. Bream are getting ready to get on beds and the bite is slowly getting good. Crickets and red worms will catch a mess now with a little moving around. Soon you’ll be able to sit tight in the right spot and get a stringer or live well full. Crappie are still biting fair for some but are moved back out to deep water. Minnows, Bobby Garland Slab Slaayer jigs and Beaver Bottom jigs in black and chartreuse are doing a pretty good job right now. Bass have been biting whacky rigged worms, Carolina rigged worms, lizards and brush hogs, Watermelon/red and green pumpkin are hot colors right now. Black or black and blue buzz baits and top water baits are working well in low light hours.