Brought to you by: Fishtale Lodge
April 9th 2009
STUBBORN SPRING KEEPS ANGLERS OFF BALANCE…BETTER DAYS IN THE FORECAST
Kentucky Lake anglers have battled above average water
levels and below average temperatures this week. Both the fish and
fishermen have been confused.
Warm and sunny or cold and windy? Take your pick as everything from snow
flurries to sunburns have been part of this week’s fishing scene.
Crappie have been thrown off as have the bass. Both have been scattered
this week. Some flirted with shallow areas while others were taken here,
there and everywhere. It’s fair to say fish have been roaming.
After a few days of brutal winds and below average temperatures it
appears moderate weather will return as the crappie spawn returns to
more active phases. Last week the fish were beginning to move up fast
but the uninvited cold front really put the brakes on the spawn,
delaying it by at least a week.
Presently surface temperatures are rebounding and gaining lost ground.
At midweek surface temps had fallen to 55 degrees, down some seven
degrees from a 62 temp reading last Saturday in some spots.
Going into the weekend look for a slow climb back into the low 60’s.
That should stimulate the spawn for crappie as the fish were on the
threshold last weekend as the drastic weather changed kicked in the
Water levels continue to change as the reservoir has been some 3 ˝ feet
above normal this week. That alone can be a hurdle. Add high winds and a
cold front and it’s downright tough.
Late Wednesday water levels began to fall slowly and TVA is projecting
falling lake levels going into the weekend. At midweek elevation in the
New Johnsonville area was 359.2 and projected levels for Saturday are
358.8. At Kentucky Dam the reservoir was 358.9 and will also fall slowly
in the days ahead.
Some dingy water was present in Big Sandy and in the upper basin south
of Country Junction while water is beginning to clear in the Paris
Landing area and in West Sandy. Look for a lot of the dingy water to
disappear as lake levels fall in the days ahead.
Crappie are ready to get back to the active spawning phases and action
should improve in the days ahead. This week fish have been moving and
difficult to pattern, although some decent stringers were taken on main
lake ledges in 17 to 20 foot depths in the Paris Landing area.
At the same time decent catches were reported from the upper Big Sandy
area where boats were drifting and trolling in 7 to 10 foot depths and
finding fish taking jigs. A lot of the fish were suspended and not
relating to structure, which worked in favor of those anglers dragging
spider rigs and various multi pole presentations.
The bite backed off for those anglers vertical fishing jigs and minnows
over stakebeds and brushpiles as the fish were quite scattered. That
technique should bounce back quickly as fish migrate toward spawning
areas and structure.
Popular jig colors this week have ranged from orange/chartreuse combos
to florescent green leadheads and a wide variety of loud colored skirts
in the dingy water. In clear water areas unpainted leadheads and
chartreuse skirts have worked well on both tube jigs and Roadrunner
Some anglers are casting curly tail jigs with moderate results. Not many
male crappie were on shallow gravel banks this week due to the falling
surface temps but watch for that to change quickly as waters warm.
Male crappie are staging out away from the shoreline at the present time
and females have really put on a bulky egg sac in the last week to ten
days. The dogwoods say its time too.
Bass anglers have also suffered a decline this week due to high skies
and rising lake levels that turned off the bite somewhat. While a few
decent stringers have been taken most fishermen struggled to find fish
in places where they were catching them a few days earlier.
This week’s lake levels were above summer pool and that inundated a lot
of bushes, trees, and grassbeds along the shoreline. While some fish
moved up quickly they were scattered and others rode out the cold
weather in deeper water.
Right now bass fishermen are tossing everything in the tackle box---from
spinnerbaits to deep diving crankbaits and Carolina rigs---in an attempt
to locate bass. Practically all techniques are producing some small fish
Just how much the reservoir will fall next week remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, most fishermen are welcoming the return of warm weather and
falling lake levels as things attempt to get back to a near normal
spring conditions, whatever that is.
For The Lake Barkley Report
Also check out our past:
Kentucky Lake Fishing Reports
Steve McCadams is one of the nation's best known Crappie Fishermen
and a full time resident of Paris, Tennessee. Steve is also a
professional hunting and fishing guide here in the Paris Landing area.