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Brought to you by: Fishtale Lodge
May 10th 2009

Updated May 10th, 2009


Lake levels continue to roller coaster as heavy rains in the region late last week have influenced TVA's ability to draw down the reservoir that was falling for a few days. Elevation is now predicted to be 365 by Monday at New Johnsonville and Kentucky Dam (normal summer pool level is 359).

The reservoir should crest Monday night and begin falling on Tuesday unless heavy rains return to the forecast, which is what happened late last week.

Bluegill and shellcracker are still spawning and hitting good. For the average angler that's the best thing going as stringers of 100-plus are being caught daily.

Crappie action seemed to back off this past weekend, a likely response to the rising lake levels that scattered fish more. Bass have continued to bite well with a lot of small fish being caught but in good numbers to please most bass fishermen.

Catfish have moved up to shallow areas and rock banks/bluffs as they begin spawning.

High water has been a nuisance but some species---namely bluegill/bass---have held up well for anglers in the unusual conditions. Hopefully lake levels will recede beginning Tuesday.

May 7th

High water has worn out its welcome on Kentucky Lake. After an extended stay lake levels are finally falling and thatís good news for anglers, resort owners, campers, and all lake front property owners who havenít been able to access docks and piers.

Itís another chapter in what has been a most unusual spring. Lake levels have been on a roller coaster ride for several weeks.

There is a lot of current in the main river and along islands and points. Water color is dingy in the Tennessee River portion and in the upper Big Sandy but showing only a slight stain at the mouth of Big Sandy.

Surface temperatures are in the 67 to 71 degree range but could warm more by early next week.

Despite high water levels there have been some good stringers of crappie taken this week. And, bluegill and shellcracker are spawning with coolers full of the powerful panfish coming it.

Bass fishermen are finding fish in a variety of depths and areas---ranging from bucks bushes and submerged grasslines to points and ledges where current is a factor---and altering their techniques. Catfish are entering shallow water too and some dandies have been caught this week around bushes and rocks.

Falling lake levels will change the whereabouts of a lot of fish but often times anglers can take advantage of the scenario. A prime example will be finding bass on outside bushes next to feeder creeks or steep banks.

Floating worms, jerk baits, spinnerbaits, and Texas rigged lizards and worms have worked well this week. On points and ledges anglers are tossing Carolina rigged lizards.

Crappie were showing interest in stakebeds and brushpiles around the 13 to 19 foot depth range at midweek. Look for main lake ledges to produce fish as well this weekend and early next week due to falling lake stages.

Tipping jigs with minnows has worked well. Chartreuse color variations have worked well as have white leadheads and some neutral colors.

Peak spawning is now underway for bluegill and shellcracker as the larger fish have stayed on some deeper beds even when the water was rising. Several scattered fish were occupying buck bushes and grass but the larger ones appeared to stay near the original shorelines even during high water periods.

There should be some great bedding time ahead as these rusty rascals will bite with a vengeance for quite some time. Crickets are working best but some are taking small jigs tipped with a wax worm.

Catfish have gone on the prowl this week and entered shallow areas searching for spawning territory. Some egg-laden females have been taken around the bluegill beds and thatís quite a surprise to hook one on light spinning tackle.

High water has also been a factor for West Sandy WMA as anglers there have not reported consistent catches of crappie or bluegill lately. Fish there have been scattered but the return of warm weather could see the bluegill there improve soon.

Kentucky Lake anglers have had to deal with a lot of changes this week and itís been a different lake every day with the rising water. It appears things are headed back in the right direction as to elevation but seems the fishing has been good for a lot of anglers who hung in there and adjusted their approach to score hefty catches.

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Also check out our past:
Kentucky Lake Fishing Reports

Steve McCadams
 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.
Gone Fishing