August 20, 2012 Share

Captain Jim August 8, 2012 Fishing Report


By Captain Jim Durham – StriperFun Guide Service
Staff Writer for

DATE OF REPORT: August 8, 2012


• Latest water temperature: 78.8 ° F surface (Fishing Creek) August 8th, 2012
• Latest water temperature: 79.2° F surface (Wolf Creek) August 6th, 2012
• Latest water temperature: 78.9° F surface (Main Lake) August 8th, 2012
• Current lake level is Lake Level: 684.35 feet.

Currently, the lake level is right at 684.35 feet above sea level. This is about 4 feet ABOVE the normal (working on the dam) elevation of 680.00 feet above sea level. The lake is now about 41 feet below the tree line, which is 725' above sea level. I will keep you posted.

Greetings to my readers! I hope the world finds you and your family doing well!
As a former United States Air Force Airman – military veteran and as a current U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Patrol Coxswain (Captain), I understand the great importance that our brave service men and women play in our society. Their service is why you speak English, can vote and can enjoy the freedoms you do! 
We also cannot forget the duty and service provided by our policemen and firemen.
STRIPERFUN OFFERS A 10% DISCOUNT on all charters to currently active Policemen and Firemen as well as to active military AND retired military veterans (with proper verification ID provided by the person booking the trip).
This is our way of saying “THANKS” for your service to these important groups.
Captain Jim Durham and StriperFun Guide Service will be teaching a Striper fishing seminar and will have a booth at the SOUTH CENTRAL KENTUCKY OUTDOOR EXPO at the Adair County High School on Saturday August 18th.  Come learn about Striper fishing techniques and equipment from Captain Jim!  You can also buy Captain Jim Special lures and sign up for StriperFun Guide Service fishing charters!
There will be over 50 exhibitors in the Outdoor industry at the EXPO showcasing their products and outdoor services, there are games for kids, there are hunting seminars and the Kentucky NWTF (National Wild Turkey Federation) Chapter is hosting the 2012 Kentucky State Turkey Calling and Still Target Shoot Championships.  Brenda Valentine, The First Lady of Hunting, will be the keynote speaker at the end of the day! Brenda is a national spokesperson for the National Wild Turkey Federation. There is also really nice door prizes (last year they gave a way a John Deere Gator!).
The SOUTH CENTRAL KENTUCKY OUTDOOR EXPO is from 9:00 am central to 4:00 pm central at the Adair County High School located at 526 Indian Drive in Columbia, KY. 
We hope to see you there!
You can now purchase all of the StriperFun – Captain Jim Lures and products (hair jigs, blade baits, umbrella rigs and multi lure casting rigs, DVDS and more!!) at Grider Hill Marina on the western end of Lake Cumberland (ask for Lucas or Gwen!) or for the eastern end of the lake directly at StriperFun headquarters at Lee’s Ford Resort Marina on Fishing Creek in Somerset Kentucky (ask to speak with Bobby Maynard at the marina ship store down on the water)!
It has been 2 weeks since my last report.   
Kabam – Kabam – Kabam – Kabam!
We are in the “dog days” of August!  It is really hot!  Fortunately, he fishing continues to be extremely strong for all StriperFun guides with rods getting yank down hard and nice numbers of heavy fish coming in!
See above the photo of the Drury group nailed a nice limit of 8 fat Stripers (on a nasty weather day!) pulling planer boards with live bait!  The action was hot, fast and heavy! 
The Umbrella rig bite has also simply jumped off the chart with great numbers of nice keeper fish being caught!
This is the best Umbrella rig fishing in years!  See the above photo of our client Tony Shepherd showing off a Chartreuse Captain Jim Special Umbrella rig with a number of really nice keeper Stripers (some nice 15 to 17 pound fish in there!) his large group caught! 
I am trolling, looking for schools of fish and the Stripers will be absolutely “slamming” my Captain Jim Special Dominator umbrella rigs (in Chartreuse color and “Tiger” pattern).  I run 4 nine jig full rigs out the back and 2 Captain Jim Special “mini” rigs with five jigs out the side.  This presents 46 jigs at a time in the water. 
Many times at day break or at dusk in June, the Stripers will gather to feed (strength in numbers!) as they drive the bait fish in to tight pods and then attack them.  However, naturally like most big game marine predators, they will prefer the more “moderate” temperature zone for most of the day.  Once the morning “blitz” bite is over, you will need to hunt to find them many days.
This is where fishing the umbrella rig can pay major dividends!
As always, find the bait and you find the predators!  But pulling live bait around you can only travel at most about 1.0 MPH on your GPS without stressing and killing your bait.  You cannot “hunt around” much at that speed.  You also do not want to just be “cruising” around searching with nothing in the water (and “0” chance of catching anything!). 
So what is the compromise?  It is the umbrella rig! 
By fishing an umbrella rig, you can cover a lot of water quickly as you hunt for schools of bait and fish, but can also be fishing at the same time!  I equate it to a “search and destroy” mission.  Being, that once I begin to hammer the fish on the umbrella rigs (I have found the fish!), I can then go back and drop live bait on them!  Many days, I will just stay with the umbrella rigs if they are producing well. 
Fishing an umbrella rig also gives you the added advantage of not having to get up at 2:00 am to catch bait.  Additionally, some of the best Striper fishing with umbrella rigs is in the heat of the middle of the day!  The big Stripers, once the morning bite has subsided and the sun is up and hot, many times will simply lie on the bottom on the edge of the temperature variance zone and will wait for a nice meal to come to them.  When you run a set of umbrella rigs right over their head they get “excited” and it is “kabam” and “kapow” as the rigs get nailed!
So what exactly “is” an umbrella rig? 
Basically, it looks like an infant’s mobile turned sideways coming thru the water. It has a weight in the center (generally at least a couple of ounces) and 4 to 6 metal arms that stick out various lengths depending on the type of rig. Off of various places on the arms of the umbrella rig and from the center of the rig will hang lines of various lengths on to which you tie or clip lures (see the photo). 
I run a minimum of 40 pound test line on my umbrella rigs with 12 inch arms and 9 one ounce jigs and a minimum of 25 pound test line on my umbrella rigs with 7 inch arms and 5 one half ounce jigs.  All reels must have line counters as well, as the distant back you run the rig in conjunction with the speed of the troll will control the precise “depth” at which the rig is running. 
You can go to the StriperFun website to click and watch my most recent TV show to see umbrella rigs demonstrated.  I also demonstrate these techniques on my “STRIPER FISH LIKE A PRO” instructional DVDs.  You can buy the DVDs and umbrella rig lures on line off of the StriperFun website, or at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Lexington and at Grider Hill Marina or at Lee’s Ford Marina (StriperFun Headquarters!) in the ship store. 
I am also catching a ton of fish down rigging (Captain Jim Special Hair Jigs) on long shallow mud flats.  I am moving the boat really fast 3.5 MPH fishing 35 feet of water 20 feet deep.  The fish are about yanking the rods out of their rod holders!
See last week’s report to learn valuable down rigging information.
We continue to catch good numbers of Stripers with some occasional 20 pound plus fish (even a few 30 pound fish this season)!   I am so very pleased to see the “big fish” bite maintaining!  We have been catching lots of numbers this summer and some huge trophy fish too!  On almost every day it is Kapow!  Kapow and “Wham” with many times limits for all StriperFun guides, lots of fish overall and several huge monster Stripers to boot!  
As always, every now and then the weather will shut the bite down for a day or so. But generally, we continue to be “tearing them up” with rod tips getting “yanked hard” into the water with fish after fish! 
Check the StriperFun website under “recent catches” for “photo after photo after photo” of nice limits StriperFun is delivering for other clients as well.  The fishing this time of year can be absolutely spectacular!  You can find massive schools of Stripers and big Smallmouth (that have trapped huge herds of bait fish1) suddenly show up on the graph and “Kabom” down the rods go!  
Yee Hiii !!!!!!  You live for this type of fishing!!
As a formal notice, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife has lowered the size limit on Stripers from 24 to 22 inches.  The creel count of two keepers a day remains the same.
Many times our customers do not initially realize that the Striper fishing is 365 days year round.  However, as the largest guide service in Kentucky, all of our boats are covered and heated and we virtually fish almost every day.  Do not worry about the weather or let it keep you away!
You should also be casting lures while you are fishing the above pattern (early mornings or late evenings).  You can read more on surface techniques below. We throw the Captain Jim Lures line of Little Friend vibrating blade baits, Dominator hair jigs and the new multi lure in one casting rig series of Kentucky & Tennessee “Thumper” baits and the new Striper Mugger and Walleye Dazzler lures. 
You can buy these on line at, at Grider Hill Marina, Lee’s Ford resort or at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Lexington. 
When surface fishing, the above described Captain Jim lures will deliver for you!
If you see a school of Stripers on the surface feeding, be sure to not run your boat directly into the school.  Come down off of plane at least 150 feet away then approach by trolling motor on high speed.  Be patient as well, do not throw until your lure can reach the edges of the school (that is mentally “hard” to do).
Be respective of other boaters as well.  Unfortunately, you will rarely get the same treatment.
The reality is that the fish usually will not stay up long.  However, check the time on your watch and stay in the general area.  My experience this time of year is that they re-surface every 6 to 8 minutes as they “herd” the large schools of shad to the surface (like any predators herd their pray).   Many times, I find that if I “run” over towards them when I see them come up, by the time I get there they are “back down”!  Then, when I look over, they are coming up “right where I just came from”!  This is a technique you just have to learn (to be at the right place at the right time). 
Truthfully, sometimes it is just “luck”.
As I reported in the last few months, Captain Jim Lures, a Division of, has recently released new Striper lures!  They are the “Striper Mugger”, the "Kentucky Thumper" the “Tennessee Thumper” and the “Walleye Dazzler”!  These lures have been heavily field tested, are super easy to cast (or troll) and absolutely wear out the Large Mouth, Spots, Walleye and Small Mouth!  Email me and I can email you the last few reports that explain these new lures in depth.
I am mentioning these lures again as I have just made “several improvements” to these new lures simplify casting that that I am sure you will enjoy!
The stripers are simply “inhaling” them!!!
The “Striper Mugger”, the "Kentucky Thumper", the “Tennessee Thumper” and the “Walleye Dazzler lures are all “higher quality” products that sells for much less than the competition AND THEY COME FULLY RIGGED where the competition’s rigs do not!
Go to the StriperFun website and watch the new lures as their photos will appear in the middle of the top of the screen on the first page.  Click any photo to go in and read more about the newly designed lures and to see enhanced photos! 
You can also watch them in action on YouTube!
Captain Jim Lures are always in stock and ready for delivery! 
I (and ALL StriperFun guides!) only use the Minn Kota “Rip Tide” trolling motors from Johnson Outdoors and so should you! As a professional fishing charter Captain, my livelihood depends on my trolling motor working every time – every day!  For 15 years I have used Minn Kota trolling motors and my “Rip Tide” trolling motor never lets me down!
With “cool” features like the hands free “Auto Pilot and “I” Pilot functions, I can set my motor and turn my back to deploy lines and have full confidence it will stay on course no matter the weather conditions!  My new trolling motor also allows me to automatically “hover” over top of feeding fish automatically without having to touch the trolling motor.  This makes “down line” fishing a lot easier!
I would never consider using anything else but a Minn Kota trolling motor!
The gift of a weekend package trip (or even a one day Striper fishing trip) with StriperFun makes a great Father’s day present for Dad, a brother or for the family and kids, or can make a great bonus for an employee or a promotion for a customer! We fish year round and our trips are very popular and our booking dates fill up fast!
Fishing is family friendly and wholesome. So if you are interested in catching “trophy Stripers” or giving the perfect gift to that special someone, order a StriperFun Guide Service gift certificate today! 
StriperFun also offers an extensive variety of products that make great gifts, including numerous types of fishing lures, Super bait tanks, Hydro Glow bait lights and much more!
We take VISA and MASTERCARD credit cards!
Call me for details toll free at 866-575-3770 or click my photo above to go to the StriperFun website to send me an email! 
I get lots of calls about catching bait.  For years I have been using the “Hydro Glow Bait Light” to catch bait and so should you!  It allows me to be “mobile” and catch bait on the main lake as well as at the dock!
The "NEW" Hydro Glow Fish Light (JUST RELEASED!) is actually an "LED".  IT IS TWICE AS BRIGHT BUT IS HALF THE SIZE (and is less expensive than the older models!). It is designed to use 12 vdc low amperage fluorescents to produce a green glow similar to that emitted by chemical light sticks in widespread use by divers to lure fish. It will work all night on one battery! 
The patented design utilizes the green light technology for improving your fishing activities during the night time hours. The light is designed to vertically submerge with only the top 3 to 5 inches of the light above the water level. This insures the entire illumination of the light is in the water where to fish are, not the bugs!
Boy, does it ever draw in the bait fish!
You will need to put your live bait you catch in a bait tank. To really hit the “monster” Stripers, you need to use the freshest live shad. Not only can catching fresh shad be tough, keeping them alive used to be virtually impossible!  Not any longer!
The SUPER BAIT TANK has a triple filtration system, a built in oxygen infuser, a built in light for night use and is insulated.  This system has been tested to hold gizzard shad & blue black herring for up to one week.
I use only the SUPER BAIT TANK.  Every guide I know uses it and so should you! StriperFun is the exclusive NATIONAL "on line" dealer of the SUPER BAIT TANK
All StriperFun fishing products are carried by Sportsman’s Warehouse!  Sportsman’s Warehouse is America’s fastest growing “Premier Outfitter” national chain of sporting goods stores! They carry everything you need for your hunting and fishing needs!

The closest Sportsman’s Warehouse to Lake Cumberland is in Lexington KY off of Interstate 75 – exit # 10.  Their address is:


You will not find better Striper lures than the Captain Jim Special brand! Captain Jim gets his equipment at Sportsman’s Warehouse and so should you!  Ask for Duke or Dean in fishing!
StriperFun Guide Service now has four (4) guides to serve your charter needs. We can handle large group and corporate outings!

My Captains and I are all Federal Coast Guard Certified and State licensed, insured and are well trained with well over 100 years of combined experience! If you want to catch Monster Stripers this summer, then you better book soon! The prime late spring and summer dates are already booking up, so do not wait too long to lock in your weekend trip! All of StriperFun’s guide boats are covered as well, so come see us at beautiful Lee’s Ford Resort!

Lee’s Ford Resort Marina is StriperFun Guide Service “Headquarters”!
As one of the most comprehensive recreation, entertainment and dining experiences on Lake Cumberland, Lee’s Ford Resort Marina offers fantastic dining at the Harbor Restaurant, great lodging in beautiful cottages, condos and rentals on boat slips, personal watercraft and boats of various sizes.  It is also the closest marina to visitors from Lexington and Ohio!


Be sure to listen in to the "Outdoors with Jim Strader" show that airs weekly on Sunday Evenings from 6-8 pm on 84 WHAS-AM, a 50,000 watt Clear Channel radio station in Louisville Kentucky (you can listen in on line!). Tune in and catch Captain Jim’s Lake Cumberland Striper Fishing Report on Sunday night to see how the prior week’s fishing went!

If you have any other ideas, techniques or subjects you want me to write about, drop me a line!

I am many times asked “What are the advantages to hiring a guide”? In essence, you hire a guide to utilize the guide’s many years of experience and lake knowledge, to learn new tactics and techniques to increase your chance of “landing the big one”. Guides use top of the line equipment and the freshest live bait. Also, if you cannot afford your own boat, it is a very cost effective way for you or your group to fish (cost per fisherman). Even professional fishermen hire guides to learn a lake and new techniques!

We are now into the full blown summer season.  We are at summer solstice. “Twilight” now rolls around just a little earlier each night.  I look forward to seeing all of you this year on the water. 
Count your blessings each day and live “in the moment”, not in the future and always remember to stop and shake the hand of a person in uniform or wearing garb that shows they are a veteran!  Their service is why you speak English, can vote and can enjoy the freedoms you do! 
Please also remember to thank the policemen and firemen who also protect us. 
Until next time, blue skies and tight lines!
Captain Jim Durham
Toll Free 866-575-3770
United States Coast Guard
Merchant Marine Officer license No. 1037731
Kentucky State License # 007

Specializing in "Trophy" Striper fishing as the owner of StriperFun Fishing Guide Service and Captain Jim Marine Electronics, Captain Jim Durham is a Kentucky State licensed guide who has fished Lake Cumberland year round for over 45 years. Captain Jim is a U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Marine Captain and is the creator of the “Striper Fish like a Pro” instructional DVD series as well as his own line of fishing lures.  Licensed and insured, Captain Jim and Striperfun Guide Service can take you on a safe, fun and unforgettable fishing trip to catch a "Trophy Striper" of a lifetime!  Check out the StriperFun Guide Service website at:, or call Captain Jim toll free 1-866-575-3770 or email Captain Jim at: