CRUISING KENTUCKY – DAY 3   Leave a comment

Wind and drizzle threaten our first day on the water fishing for crappie. Cruising out of the marina at Eddy Creek Marina Resort guide Steve Freeman assures us that we will catch fish despite the conditions.

Accompanying us are Brian and Heather Brosdahl from Frabill, the manufacturer of a number of fishing related products. Their rain gear got a good test this morning and passed with flying colors. The Brosdahls are from northern Minnesota and the weather does not seem to faze them. We are all staying at Eddy Creek Marina as part of the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers annual Spring Cast & Blast Event.

Once outside the marina we move into a bay that Steve knows well. Weather conditions have forced the crappie deep just as they do during the summer post-spawn.

Steve soon locates the stake bed he is seeking. We break out 12-foot crappie rods and tie on some one-inch tube jigs in bright colors. The water is stained due to the Ohio River backing up into the Cumberland River which forms Lake Barkley upstream from us.

Steve explains that locals have placed these deep water stake beds in 12 to 15 foot of water for just such an occasion as this. A local axe handle manufacturer donated the rejects from his factory for the purpose. Using a home made specially designed driver, the handles are driven into the bottom of the lake where they stick up like a forest beneath the water. They stick up about 3 feet off the bottom.

Crappies have difficulty finding structure when they move off shoreline structure and into deeper water. The result is they are attracted to the stake beds.

Using a fish locator anglers find the beds, mark them, and back off. We dropped our lines over the side down about 12 feet. Once on the bottom we raise them about 6 inches and jig the lures to give them action.

It is not long before the action begins. Heather and Steve have the best luck with Brian in third place and me far behind. We spend a few hours on the various stake beds with different results on each. All the beds are in 12 feet of water but they are in scattered locations.

The end result is a good morning with friends and a great crappie lunch at the restaurant in the resort.

Guide Steve Freeman can be reached at the resort or at 270-601-3353. The website for the resort/marina is


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