CAPTAIN JIM’S LAKE CUMBERLAND FISHING REPORT
October 17, 2018
Jim Durham (42 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: October 17th, 2018

    • Latest water temperature: 72.8 ° F surface (Main Lake): October 17th, 2018
    • Latest water temperature: 73.1 ° F surface (Indian Creek): October 17th, 2018

    Currently, the lake level is right at 712.37 feet above sea level. The lake is now about 13 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 10,800 cubic feet per second as I write this report.

    THIS IS MY 218th EDITION OF MY CUMBERLAND LAKE 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
    Although we had a couple of slow days with a turnover, overall the Lake Cumberland fishing has really turned on with Stripers still out on the main Lake. 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 1 oz weighted lines at 40 to 60 feet deep and 2 oz weights on the boards at 65 to 80 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 60 and 80 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

    Bait is tougher now. Time for Captain Jim hair jigs trolled on slide divers and Captain Jim Special umbrella rigs!

    SLIDE DIVERS

    We catch Stripers all year on Captain Jim hair jigs trolled behind Slide Divers. Captain Jim Lures sells the “Slide Diver – Lite Bite” controlled depth trolling fishing device! Captain Jim and the StriperFun crew on many weeks catch limit after limit of Stripers (and some huge trophy monster Stripers as well) trolling my hair jigs on Slide Divers!

    Over the years, many Lake Cumberland fishermen have had great success “down rigging” Captain Jim Special “Dominator” hair jigs. When using a down rigger, you can control the depth at which your hair jig is running. If you see the fish continuing to hold at a certain depth, by using a down rigger you can keep your hair jig at this depth to keep your lure in front of the fish.

    However, down riggers (both manual and electric) can be very expensive! Many fishermen simply cannot afford to buy multiple down riggers for their boats. Also, smaller boats (or some boat designs) to not have sufficient space to be able to mount down riggers. Further, using down riggers can be intimidating for some fishermen, especially the need for “double stacking” to increase the number of lures being trolled.

    How can fishermen inexpensively and dramatically increase the number of lures they can troll while at the same time actually “controlling the depth” at which the lures are running?

    The answer is the “Slide Diver – Lite Bite”!

    The Slide Diver – Lite Bite is a disc shaped “in line” device that utilizes water pressure against the planing surface which forces the unit to “dive both out and down” when trolling. The difference is, that while older styled divers were permanently attached to the line (and the lure could only be back as far as the length of the rod from the diver), the new Slide Diver – Lite Bite actually “releases” and slides down the line to the lure once a fish hits. This allows you to run your lures back as far as you want (generally 100 to 150 feet) before you lock down the Slide Diver – Lite Bite to the line.

    This is very important.

    Stripers (different for example from Lake Trout or Salmon) have very keen eye sight. They spook very easily! Because older styled divers were permanently attached to the line and the lure was within just a rod’s length from the disc, they were no good for Striper fishing. The disc would spook the Stripers and scatter them and the lure would pass just a second after. The Stripers would not have the time to regroup and settle back in to their normal pattern before the lure arrived.

    However, the new Slide Diver – Lite Bite again allows the lure to be back 100 to 150 feet behind the disc. This is very similar to how you troll a hair jig and plastic trailer 100 to 150 feet behind a down rigger ball. This gives the needed time (once the disc passes) for the Stripers to regroup and settle back in to their normal pattern before the lure arrives. Just like a down rigged lure yanks the line off the down rigger clip when a fish hits, the new Slide Diver – Lite Bite “releases” when the fish hits and slides down the line to the lure.

    It is just so cool how these things work!

    The adjustable weight shifts the diver from the center to the far right or far left trolling positions from the boat. Based on the adjustable setting on each diver and the amount of line released, the Slide Diver will descend to a pre-selected angle and depth. I can “dial in” the degree I want the diver to run “away from the boat and down” just like a planer boat runs away from the boat. With a planer board, the more line you put out, the further the planer board runs out away from the boat.

    The same thing happens with the Slide Diver – Lite Bite!

    For example, I can put the Captain Jim Special “Dominator” hair jig and plastic trailer out 100 feet and then lock in the Slide Diver – Lite Bite. If I tune the diver in at a 6-degree setting and let the diver itself out another 100 feet, at this setting the diver will be running at an angle (like a planer board) about 15 feet “away” from the boat and at a depth of about 28 feet. Then I will put out a second Captain Jim Special “Dominator” hair jig 75 feet out lock in the Slide Diver – Lite Bite. If I tune in the second diver at a 3-degree setting and let the diver itself out another 75 feet, then the second diver will be running at an angle (like a planer board) about 7 feet “away” from the boat and at a depth of about 32 feet. The second diver at a 3-degree setting (less severe) is running at a more “downward” angle.

    You can tune the Slide Diver – Lite Bites either right or left –either way! As such, I generally run both a 6 degree “and” a 3-degree diver off each side of the boat (right and left) at the aforementioned settings. Once set, I then also double stack Captain Jim Special “Dominator” hair jig and plastic trailers on my Cannon down riggers.

    This allows me to easily troll 8 Captain Jim Special “Dominator” hair jig and plastic trailers at the same time. The fish catching results are simply phenomenal!

    Click this link to watch a Slide Diver demonstration:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezJKL….jXCrqVSX.dpuf

    You can buy the new Slide Diver – Lite Bites directly on the StriperFun website store! Just click the link below:

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

    IT IS ALSO UMBRELLA RIG FISHING TIME!!!

    The Captain Jim Special “Striper Dominator” umbrella rig will really deliver for you! JUST ASK ALL THE PROFESSIONAL GUIDES ACROSS THE COUNTRY WHO DEPEND ON THEM AND BUY FROM ME!

    Click here to watch the demo video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDa5q1k_PRI Click each photo to see the high quality!

    Captain Jim Special “Striper Dominator” umbrella rigs come with nine (9) super high-quality hair jigs, each with our “Striper Spinners” on a 12-inch umbrella frame, with each jig “strategically” hanging at various lengths for optimal “attraction” to draw aggressive strikes from big predators! We also make the Captain Jim Special “mini” umbrella rig with five (5) super high-quality hair jigs, each with our “Striper Spinners” on a 7-inch umbrella frame!

    Each jig is made with a long lasting super tough powder coat finish, prism red eyes, a sea guard hook and the added flash and vibration of a short arm spinner bait Colorado blade. THEY JUST “PULSE” WITH A “COME GET ME” ATTITUDE! It is a true “secret weapon” which can be fished at all times of the day!

    You can order online: http://www.striperfun.com/store/umbrellas-c-13.html Or call me for more information or to place an order! Captain Jim Durham 931-403-2501

    You can watch the videos of clients 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 Helix 12), 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)!

    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.

    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 fall. Winter is now just a few months away! Dawn rolls around a little later each morning and “Twilight” now rolls around just a little earlier 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 fishing regulations while on Lake Cumberland or any Kentucky 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!

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Jim Durham