Brought to you by: Fishtale Lodge
July 9, 2009
BASS ACTION HOLDING UP WELL...CRAPPIE ACTION GOOD...ANNUAL DRAWDOWN
BEGINS ON LAKE LEVELS
Kentucky Lakeís summer fishing scene has been kind to bass and crappie
anglers this week with some nice stringers coming in. Overall weather
conditions have been kind with some cooler conditions and light winds
working in favor of anglers.
It appears warmer weather is creeping back through the door, however as
temps are expected to be in the mid 90ís for the next few days. Earlier
in the week light north winds lowered both the temperature and humidity.
Currently surface temps are in the 87 to 89 degree range, up a few
degrees from earlier in the week. Water color remains clear over most of
Elevation at Kentucky Dam is showing the summer pool reading of 359.
Upstream at New Johnsonville lake levels are slightly lower at 358.7.
The reservoir is falling slowly and down a few inches from last week at
this time as TVAís drawdown curve has now begun.
Lakers can expect a gradual drawdown for the next several weeks as TVA
begins its curve toward winter pool in early July each year. By early
November the lake will reach its low ebb of winter pool for storage
capacity but the drawdown is done on a slow, gradual basis in the coming
Summer crappie are still biting and some nice stringers were taken this
week on both deep drop-offs and midrange structure where fish were
lingering around brushpiles and stakebeds.
Popular depth ranges have been 18 to 24 feet when anglers were working
the ledges while manmade fish attractors in the 13 to 15 feet are
holding on to some scattered fish as well.
Tipping a jig with a minnow or Berkley Power Bait has worked well for
anglers vertical jigging the deeper beds. Bites have been light but some
good size fish are there. You just have to play the cat and mouse game
as the fish are holding tight to cover and exhibiting a finicky mood.
Deeper ledges are producing some good fish and with the return of warmer
weather and falling lake levels activity there will likely improve. You
can catch a lot of fish by using bottom bumping double hook rigs but a
few anglers are tightlining jigs only and fooling a few.
Expect to tie into several small fish now and then, along with some
feisty yellow bass and some annoying largemouth but there are some slabs
sleeping in that deep cover. And, an occasional catfish will test your
knot and hook now and then too.
Summer crappie fishing has been good thus far and a few anglers are now
night fishing under lights as warmer temps take over.
Bass action has been good this week and shows no sign of letting up as
hefty stringers have come in on a consistent basis. Two recent
tournaments had 29 and 30 pound plus stringers taken and those weights
are rarely seen in spring, much less during the summer season.
Ledge fishing has been giving up most of the big fish but itís a trial
and error approach as not every drop-off is full of big fish. Shallow
grass and some visible treelaps continue to give up lots of fish too so
the shallow bite has produced good numbers while most of the bigger fish
are somewhat deeper.
Some of the bigger stringers are being caught on jig and pig combos, big
deep diving crankbaits, Carolina rigged worms or lizards and Texas
rigged worms in the 9 to 10-inch length. Those big worms will get some
big bites at times without nuisance bites from smaller bass.
Popular color choices in worms have been Tequila sunrise, red shad,
pumpkin pepper, black/blue, and even some neon green with metal flake.
Strike Kingís sexy shad and Normanís Deep N in blue/silver have been
popular choices for crankbaits.
Some anglers are mixing it up by tossing swim baits that mimic cruising
shad while others are jerking a spoon now and then.
For shallow water patterns blue/chartreuse spinnerbaits with willow leaf
blades have been working well as have Texas rigged worms and some
shallow running crankbaits. Some buzzbaits and floating worms are
producing strikes over shallow structure where schools of pin minnows
are holding around treelaps and boatdocks or piers.
Mayfly hatches have been inconsistent thus far this summer, which is
Also puzzling has been a decrease in milfoil grass across some eastern
bays on the Tennessee River where thick vegetation is normally seen this
time of year.
Catfish action has been slow but falling lake levels now underway should
stimulate some movement along the main river channel.
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.