Percy Priest After Dark

Percy Priest Lake is one of the very best night lakes in our state. The ramp’s are everywhere around the lake with plenty of parking during the week. The week end is a whole other story. Do not go to Priest at night on Friday or Saturday night. To do so is to wish upon yourself a lot of stress. There are nuts out there on the week end. Jet skis, houseboats, speedboats, and low flying buck’s flying for their life. Sunday night isn’t too bad if you wait till right at dark to put in. During the week is a whole lot better. There is traffic, but it’s mostly fisherman and of course we always treat each other with the greatest respect.

Now before you put your boat in the water let’s get everything ready you’re going to need.

Start with small Flash light’s with extra batteries. Make sure your navigational lights work they have to be on at all times after dark. Get your bait’s tied on. I usually carry twice as many rods at night with all of them tied on with night baits. By the time I run out of rods with lures it’s time to go home. As you break off lures stow that rod in you rod locker and get another one out. Try two rod’s with stainless steel snaps and four with jigs or worm hooks. Let’s get out the life jacket out because it’s very important to wear it at night while running. When you start fishing keep it close by. Also, if your fishing alone let someone know where you’re going to be at. Let’s make sure all the Black light’s work and the cords to them are stowed out of the way. Food and cigars is the last thing and maybe the most important thing. The cigar smoke repels the mosquitoes and the food will keep you going after the sun goes down.

Now let’s get on the ramp and launch that boat. This time of the year with water temp’s in the low 70′s the first bait of choice at night is a salt craw. My favorite colors are black and blue at night for craw jig’s and worms. I usually use a 1/8 ounce worm weight for 0′ to 10′ and a 3/16 ounce down to 20′

Find you a good point with some rock’s and gravel put the boat in 20′ of water and work the bait slow from the bank to the boat. Pay attention to what depth you catch your fish at and concentrate on that depth on other spot’s thru-out the night.

Second bait of choice would be one ounce single Colorado blade spinner bait. Colors would also be black, blue, and red with a chrome blade. Pitch it to the bank let it fall and slow roll it back to the boat near the bottom. Watch your line most night strikes on spinner baits are hard, because sometimes you’ll just barely see the line twitch.

Watching your line is the whole secret to night fishing. If you see it twitch set the hook.

Fish don’t have hands. Always use scents at night on your baits. Rattles also seem to help too.

Hope you have a good summer fishing.

I’m off to Minnesota to catch smallmouth, don’t forget wear that life jacket, set the hook, and may the fish be with you.

Jim Duckworth

Ducktrail Guide Service