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January 11, 2012

Kentucky Lake’s winter fishing scene has been a good one as some hefty catches of crappie and bass have been reported the last week to ten days.

It appears a cold front now in progress may bring a short hiatus to the warm weather and calm winds that have greeted winter anglers for the last several weeks. It has been an unusual winter thus far with above average temperatures and several days with light and variable winds that have worked in favor of fishermen.

Anglers have been out in force too as several boats have taken advantage of the good fishing and mild conditions. Most winter fishermen watch the weather quite closely and know those warm days and stagnant winds are not common but this year has been a bit different.

Nice stringers of crappie were taken this week by anglers who found fish moving up into the 9 to 12 foot depths in many places. While a few fish were lingering on the deeper ledges it seems the fish responded to mild conditions and follow their forage into midrange depths.

Shad have been moving up from the deeper winter hideouts and the crappie and bass have been hot on their trail. Good numbers of fish were reported this week by anglers vertical fishing jigs around stakebeds and brushpiles in the midrange depths.

A lot of anglers are reporting this has been their best winter fishing in many years. No doubt the weather has been a big factor in that. However, there appears to be a pretty good population of crappie showing up, although many fish are right on the threshold of the 10-inch minimum length limit.

A few 30-fish limits have been taken the last week or so. Cold temperatures and some high winds were approaching as this report was written but anglers cannot complain if this weekend’s visit from an Alberta Clipper brings temporary halt to the winter fishing scene.

Sauger were still showing up this week too as a few boats were catching enough to keep it interesting, although not many 10-fish limits were reported.

Bass anglers have been known to hibernate this time of year but the winter weather has seemed for like an extension of fall. Several bass fishermen have been testing the waters lately and scoring some decent catches on the increasingly popular Alabama rig.

Tossing Carolina rigs along ledges off the main channel has been popular too as have some jig and pig combos worked slowly on sloping sandbars.

While the next few days may keep anglers off the lake in favor of warmer places, watch for conditions to moderate by next week.

Lake levels late last week and the first part of this week had been falling slowly and TVA really pulled the reservoir back down to winter pool. Very low lake levels hung around for a few days but by midweek a slow rise was underway.

Observed lake stages at Kentucky Dam this weekend will be in the 355.5 range, which is up several inches from last week’s low ebb. Upstream at New Johnsonville the slow rise will see lake levels around the 355.6 range.

Surface temps were in the 47 to 49 degree range early in the week but will fall drastically this weekend as air temperatures are expected to fall into the upper teens and low 20’s a few nights.

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.

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