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Brought to you by: Fishtale Lodge
November 12, 2009


High water has come and gone…almost. Kentucky Lake is falling fast as TVA has been spilling water through Kentucky Dam this week, dropping lake levels several inches each day.

The high water has been the topic of conversation all week and rightfully so. It’s rare to see Kentucky Lake so high during late fall at a time when most anglers and boaters are concerned about low lake levels and shallow water obstacles.

TVA projects lake levels to be down to 357.2 at New Johnsonville going into the weekend. At Kentucky Dam levels will be in the 358.1. Those readings are still some three feet above normal but down some three feet from earlier in the week when the reservoir crested above 361 in the Paris Landing area.

Watch for falling lake levels to continue for the next several days as TVA attempts to pull the reservoir back down to winter pool.

Surface temps reflect the extended warm spell and continue to linger in the 58 to 61 degree range. Water color has been clear across most of the reservoir.

Anglers have been the beneficiary of nice weather for over a week now with above average temperatures and mostly calm winds. Both crappie and bass fishermen have reported nice stringers taken.

Bass have been on the move and almost in a spring pattern earlier this week when high water inundated shoreline habitat where weeds and bushes were attracting fish. A lot of baitfish blitzed toward shallow water structure during the peak of water levels that coincided with warm weather.

Tossing spinnerbaits, Texas rigged worms, shallow running crankbaits, and some topwater jerkbaits were appealing to the shallow bass too. It was somewhat uncanny to be fishing a spring pattern during late fall but that was the case for a few days.

With falling lake levels now underway bass are pulling back toward gravel points and deeper banks. Current is present around river islands and bridge piers. Look for the gravel bank and rocky point patterns to return soon.

Some smallmouth and Kentucky spotted bass were hitting around rip-rap and sloping points near deep water along the Tennessee River. Watch for largemouth to return to shallow flats and school on shallow shad in the days ahead.

Crappie have been hitting good for most anglers working the deep ledges during the high water saga. Depths of 18 to 25 feet were giving up some nice size fish. Seems a lot of crappie stayed deep during the changing lake levels this week.

A few fish were taken around stakebeds and brushpiles in 14 to 16 foot depths but scattered for most anglers who vertical fished jigs. Some anglers attempted casting grubs over stakebeds and brushpiles with moderate success in the clear water.

The most productive depths were deep in the Paris Landing area this week but that will likely change in the days ahead once TVA stabilizes the lake as fish may venture up on flats and move toward shallow structure.

In other areas of West Sandy and down around Lick Creek and Bass Bay crappie were caught in 7 to 12 foot depths. Seems the fish in those areas chose to move up on shallow structure.

It has been a week of dramatic fluctuation in lake levels that caused fish to deviate from their normal deep ranges and patterns. It appears normal fall lake levels are on the horizon for anglers who have their fingers crossed in hopes the nice weather will stay around.

Perhaps this nice November weather is paying us back for the nasty October.
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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