CAPTAIN JIM’S LAKE CUMBERLAND FISHING REPORT
May 11, 2018
Jim Durham (31 articles)
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CAPTAIN JIM’S LAKE CUMBERLAND FISHING REPORT

 

  • StriperFun Guide Service – Tennessee Walleye Charters

    (931) 403-2501 http://www.striperfun.com captainjim@striperfun.com Edit Fishing Reporter Information

  • Specializing in “Trophy” fishing as the owner of StriperFun Fishing Guide Service in KY and TN and TN Walleye Charters, Captain Jim Durham is a licensed guide who has fished the Cumberland Plateau and KY and TN year round for over 50 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.

  • CAPTAIN JIM’S LAKE CUMBERLAND FISHING REPORT

    Provided by Captain Jim Durham
    Owner StriperFun Guide Service, Tennessee Walleye Charters, Superbaittanks.com
    Captain Jim Marine Electronics & Captain Jim Lures

    Staff Writer for fishin.com

    DATE OF REPORT: May 11th, 2018

    • Latest water temperature: 68.2 ° F surface (Main Lake): May 11th, 2018
    • Latest water temperature: 68.9 ° F surface (Indian Creek): May 11th, 2018

    Currently, the lake level is right at 723.40 feet above sea level. The lake is now 2 feet below the tree line (normal summer pool) which is 725.00′ above sea level. Peak discharge of water through the power generation turbines is two generators running as I write this report.

    THIS IS MY 214th EDITION OF MY CUMBERLAND LAKE/RIVER STRIPER FISHING REPORT!

    Greetings to my readers! I hope that the world finds you and your family doing well!

    About StriperFun and Captain Jim

    I personally charter out of a 2015 new 24-foot center console Alweld Escort Bay boat. Powered by a 2015 Mercury 150 four (4) stroke outboard (I love my Mercury!). She is quiet to sneak up on big fish and fast to cover a lot of water!

    With 24-mile radar, full Humminbird electronics, Minn Kota trolling motor, this rig is the ultimate guide boat! She has “tons” of for moving around and fighting big fish and also has comfortable seating for the trip. The boat is covered to keep our clients dry during inclement and a heater is provided when it is cold. The boat is also outfitted with ultra-fast Cannon Digi Troll 5 down riggers. All StriperFun guides have similarly rigged boats!

    My crews and I are all licensed, insured and are well trained in CPR & First Aid, with no less than 20-years’ experience per man! We have worked to be one of the largest and best-known guide services in the region and we will work hard to deliver “big trophy fish”. You can count on the fact that your group will be treated with the utmost professional care and safety.

    SUPPORT THE VETERANS

    As a former United States Air Force Airman – military veteran and as a current U.S. Merchant Marine Captain and 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 freedom that you do!

    We also cannot forget the duty and service provided by our Policemen, Fish and Wildlife Officers and Firemen.

    STRIPERFUN OFFERS A 10% DISCOUNT on all charters to currently active Policemen, Fish and Wildlife Officers and Firemen as well as to all active military AND retired military veterans (with proper verification ID provided by the person booking the trip).

    This is our way of saying “THANKS” to these important men and women for your service.

    God is amazing in his creation! I am blessed to spend another day pursuing my passion of putting clients on big fish on our magnificent lakes of Cumberland and Dale Hollow and the Cumberland River! I give it all to God!

    LAKE CUMBERLAND

    The Lake Cumberland fishing has really turned on with Stripers moving now to the main Lake. This is the time of year to look for a “vortex” of swirling birds actually diving into the water to help you find fish. What this means is that the fish are eating the bait from below, driving the bait fish to the surface right into the feeding birds!

    Check out the photos of some recent catches!

    There is a lot of truth to the old adage; “Find the bait fish and you find the Stripers”!

    You can catch fish using multiple methods at this time:

    • We are pulling planer boards with live bait using weightless or1/2 oz weighted lines at 20 feet deep and also 1 oz weights on the boards at 30 to 45 feet, Carolina rigged.

    • We are occasionally catching surface feeding fish in the mid mornings, catching multiple nice keepers throwing Captain Jim Special “Little Friends” and “Dominator” hair jigs.

    • Down lines with live bait are also getting “viciously” ripped down as we move through these big aggressive schools of Stripers, use 4 oz weights on the down lines at 30 and 50 feet. We are also catching nice smallmouth, large mouth and the occasional Walleye or Bass that are congregating with the Striper schools to tear into the huge schools of bait fish!

    Seeing the big predator Stripers take the live bait on boards or balloons is like watching a prehistoric moment! It is “KABAM” and the rod gets “ripped” down in 1/10th of a second!! Sheer adrenaline and pure excitement! Yee Hii !!! Bam! Bam! Kapow! “Zing” – your rods will be bent with the reels singing!

    I demonstrate these techniques on my “STRIPER FISH LIKE A PRO” Trilogy series. Click the link below to go to the StriperFun website for more information on how to order this informative “how to” DVD Trilogy series:

    http://www.striperfun.com/store/stri…ilogy-p-3.html

    Winter time fishing on Lake Cumberland is fun and relaxing. We generally have the lake to ourselves. Our boats are covered and heated and the winter fishing is great! We fish all winter so don’t hesitate to come and have a great time with us.

    You can watch the videos of them catching their fish (as well as many other customers catching their big Stripers!) right on the StriperFun web page at: https://www.facebook.com/StriperFunFishingGuideService/

    While you are on our Facebook page, please “like” the page!

    You have got to come do this! Click here for more information: http://striperfun.com/pages/bookacharter.php

    HELPFUL TECHNIQUE

    One of my favorite tricks this time of year is to position the boat perfectly “still” (possible only with a Minn Kota I Pilot!) and then drop a Captain Jim Striper Dominator hair jig right into a big ball of bait. If your fish finder is of high quality (like my Humminbird 1199), you can actually see the jig going up and down. The secret then is to be sure to let the lure drop “below” the bait ball “bail open” to let it “flutter down” at least 6 to 10 feet (below the bait ball). Keep your thumb lightly on the line to feel for strikes, as many times the big predators will then eat the lure hard as it drops because the fluttering hair jig looks like a wounded minnow in a death spiral! If they do not hit it, then “rip” it back up into the bait ball and “bounce it” for a few seconds in place then repeat the process.

    This hot little technique can turn on the fish! Additionally, using the same technique to “drop shot” live bait also works (making a slow day into a frenzied bite)!

    http://www.striperfun.com/store/slid…l?%3CosCsid%3E

    CAPTAIN JIM ON THE RADIO!

    I recently did another fishing radio talk show on WHAS 840 out of Louisville on the “Jim Strader” Great Outdoors show. It is broadcast to 17 States. I had the pleasure of being on the air with Jim Strader for almost 2 hours, covering fishing on all seven (7) bodies of water my companies offer fishing charters on.

    You can listen to the radio show by clicking:

    For hour one: https://www.iheart.com/podcast/Great…ur-1-28467777/

    For hour two: https://www.iheart.com/podcast/Great…ur-2-28467798/

    I hope you enjoy it! I am generally on Sunday nights at 6:30 pm eastern.

    Grider Hill Resort Marina is StriperFun Guide Service “Headquarters” on Lake Cumberland!

    Grider Hill Resort Marina offers the most comprehensive recreation, entertainment, fishing and houseboat experience on Lake Cumberland. Grider Hill provides great dining at their “on the water” restaurant along with terrific lodging in their beautiful landmark lodge, luxury suites with balconies and lake views and beautiful secluded cabins in the woods! When you add in the cleanest and best priced houseboats on Lake Cumberland, as well as great prices on boat slips, day boat rentals and with new ownership dedicated to excellent customer service, it is no wonder that Grider Hill Resort Marina is the fastest growing resort on Lake Cumberland!

    Let Captain Jim help you organize your “vacation” of a life time” by booking you one of Grider Hill’s great houseboats for a family fun adventure. Or stay in Grider Hill lodging!

    Just call Captain Jim at 931-403-2501

    “SPECIAL NOTICE”

    When it’s time to go boating and fishing, you want to make sure your boat is ready to hit the water with all the equipment you need to have a great time!

    StriperFun and its related companies can help!

    With a full line up of the most modern marine electronics (fish finders, GPS, radar and more..) at “way below” national chain store prices, you need to let us get you the most modern marine electronics you have really been wanting! StriperFun also sells Captain Jim fishing lures, Striper Fish like a Pro “how to” DVDs, Super Bait Tanks, Hydro Glow Fish lights, Fitech bait nets and more. Captain Jim and StriperFun have everything you need to have a safe and fun year!

    As a new service, we are also providing a “bow to stern” approach of helping boaters and fishermen “update” the equipment on their boat. This includes outfitting brand both new boats as well as upgrading older boats (where the owners want to upgrade equipment). This also includes full installation of all electronic and mechanical equipment (installing marine electronics, trolling motors, down riggers, radar units, battery chargers and more!).

    StriperFun and Captain Jim is a “one stop shop” for your boating and fishing upgrade needs or to outfit your new boat! Give me a call at 931-403-2501 or email me at captainjim@striperfun.com

    CAPTAIN JIM LOVES HIS MERCURY 4 STROKE AND SO WILL YOU!

    I love my Mercury PRO XS 150 four stroke! It has unbeatable gas mileage, trolls slow for me when I need it to and gets me to the fish when I am in a hurry! It is dependable, virtually no maintenance and starts every time!

    For people who demand speed and acceleration from their outboards, the OptiMax Pro XS is the only choice!

    CLICK BELOW TO GO TO THE MERCURY SITE!

    https://www.mercurymarine.com/en/us/engines/outboard/

    CASTING

    We are casting Captain Jim lures to the occasional (this time of year) surfacing fish:

    STRIPERFUN’S FULL LINE UP OF LURES

    Captain Jim Lures, a Division of Striperfun.com, sells the top of the line hair jigs (captain Jim Specials) and blade baits (Little Friends), as well as the “Striper Mugger”, the “Tennessee Thumper” and the “Walleye Dazzler”! These lures have been heavily field tested, are super easy to cast (or troll) and besides being Striper magnets, they also absolutely wear out the Large Mouth, Spots, Walleye and Small Mouth!

    Click the link below to go to the StriperFun website and watch the new lures as their photos will appear (a new photo “pops in” every few seconds) in the middle of the top of the screen on the first page. Click any photo of any lure that to go in and read more about the newly designed lures and to see enhanced photos!

    You can also watch them demonstrated on YouTube by clicking the links below:

    “Tennessee Thumper”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ba8uN6NYhk8

    To buy this lure click: http://www.striperfun.com/store/tenn…l?%3CosCsid%3E

    “Walleye Dazzler”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfuizmHF9r0

    To buy this lure click: http://www.striperfun.com/store/wall…zler-p-43.html

    “Striper Mugger”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46aVV…e=results_main

    To buy this lure click: http://www.striperfun.com/store/stri…gger-p-46.html

    “Captain Jim Hair Jigs and Blade Baits”: http://www.striperfun.com/store/stri…b2964914829f7a

    You can also purchase Captain Jim lures at the Willow Grove Marina ship store on Dale Hollow and at Grider Hill Marina on Lake Cumberland!

    SUPER BAIT TANKS

    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.

    For “new” Super Bait Tank orders – call me or click:

    http://www.striperfun.com/store/supe…tanks-c-3.html

    “SPECIAL NOTICE”

    When it’s time to go boating and fishing, you want to make sure your boat is ready to hit the water with all the equipment you need to have a great time!

    StriperFun and its related companies can help!

    With a full line up of the most modern marine electronics (fish finders, GPS, radar and more..) at “way below” national chain store prices, you need to let us get you the most modern marine electronics you have really been wanting! StriperFun also sells Captain Jim fishing lures, Striper Fish like a Pro “how to” DVDs, Super Bait Tanks, Hydro Glow Fish lights, Fitech bait nets and more. Captain Jim and StriperFun have everything you need to have a safe and fun year!

    StriperFun and Captain Jim is a “one stop shop” for your boating and fishing upgrade needs or to outfit your new boat! Give me a call at 931-403-2501 or email me at captainjim@striperfun.com

    HUMMINBIRD COMBO GPS AND FISH FINDER UNITS

    Captain Jim is your low price on line leader to purchase all Humminbird Fishfinders! Call me at 931-403-2501 to order!

    All StriperFun Captains use Humminbird Side and Down Imaging units. Humminbird Fish Finder / GPS units are simply the best on the market! When you have to depend on your marine electronics to navigate safely at night and in the fog, as well as help you find fish, it is one of your most valuable tools!

    My Humminbird HD unit is simply great! When trolling artificial lures or live bait, I just don’t troll “hoping” to run in to a school of fish. I am scanning up to 240 feet per each side of the boat, looking for schools of bait and fish. When I see them (example: 3 o’clock to the starboard or 9 o’clock to port!), I can then “turn” my boat towards the schools of bait and fish to “get in to the strike zone”. My new Helix 12 Humminbird finder is really delivering for me! These huge Stripers act like Largemouth in the river, stacking up and hiding behind cover in the current to “swoop” out and hit the Trout! This new side scan technology can make the difference on a slow day, helping me spot the patterns!

    Once arriving on the schools of bait and fish, I can switch over to the “Down Imaging”, “Quadrabeam Plus” or “Switch Fire” sonar systems to let me see with great clarity (each technology providing a different yet important view!) exactly where the fish are and how they are orientating.

    Why troll “blind” when you can scan surrounding water to see where the “big ones” are!!

    It makes all the difference in the world, turning a slow fishing day into a great catching day!

    My Humminbird Fish Finder is a guide’s best friend. As a Field Staff member of Johnson Outdoors, I strongly recommend this product to any open water fishermen. To be successful, you need to learn to use your marine electronics. If you are looking for new marine electronics, feel free to call me and I can make some solid suggestions on HUMMINBIRD COMBO GPS AND FISH FINDER UNITS.

    MINN KOTA TROLLING MOTORS FROM JOHNSON OUTDOORS

    Captain Jim is your low price on line leader to purchase all Minn Kota model trolling motors! Call me at 931-403-2501 to order!

    I only use the Minn Kota “Rip Tide” trolling motors from Johnson Marine 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 to go a specific direction and turn my back to deploy lines and have full confidence it will stay on course no matter the weather conditions!

    For using a “drop shot” on the fish, once I locate a nice an active school I simply push a button on “I” Pilot functions control and it “electronically anchors me” directly over the fish. If the winds blows me off the spot, the “I” Pilot brings me right back and again “electronically anchors” me back over the fish.

    Man, is that cool or what? I would never consider using anything else but a Minn Kota trolling motor!

    GIVE THE BEST GIFT OF ALL, A FISHING TRIP WITH CAPTAIN JIM AND STRIPERFUN GUIDE SERVICE!

    The gift of a weekend package deal (or even a one-day fishing trip) with StriperFun Guide Service makes a great Christmas or birthday 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 giving the perfect gift to that special someone, order a fishing gift certificate today!

    Call me at 931-403-2501 or email me at: captainjim@striperfun.com

    Many of our customers do not initially realize that the Striper fishing is 365 days year-round. However, all of our boats are covered and we virtually fish almost every day.

    We live for this type of fishing and you can too! Come see us!

    Do not be afraid however to call last minute if you want a trip as we have numerous guides and can accommodate your schedule!

    LEAGUE OF KENTUCKY SPORTSMEN!

    Regulations that govern hunting, fishing, and habitat are formed by both the Kentucky Wildlife Commission and the legislative process. The League of Kentucky Sportsmen (League) helps keep the hunters and fishermen on top of today’s issues. The combined voices of sportsmen are a powerful tool used to more effectively influence the decision making so that sportsmen can actually have a say in how the resources are managed.

    The League works with individuals, Government Agencies, and Club Affiliates to constantly support the use of scientific wildlife management practices on public lands, private lands, and corporate lands. The League also supports the Kentucky heritage of hunting, trapping, fishing, and the right to keep and bear arms. The League also provides assistance with organizing events to bring kids and adults together in the great outdoors.

    No single individual or organization can do it alone. The League needs your help. Become a member today. Contact the LKS office and order your membership over the phone at (859) 858-0135. Or click on to their website: http://www.kentuckysportsmen.com/

    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 moving quickly through spring. Dawn rolls around a little earlier each morning and “Twilight” now rolls around just a little later each night. It is great to be alive and be a “free” American! 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!

    Remember also to always obey all Kentucky and TN fishing regulations while on Lake Cumberland or any Kentucky (or Tennessee) waterway. Following the rules is a must! It is important that we all be good stewards of our fishing resources. If you have any questions about fishing regulations or to report poachers, call Kentucky Fish and Wildlife at 800-858-1549.

    Until next time, blue skies and tight lines!

 

Jim Durham