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Kentucky Lake’s fishing scene has yielded to the weather change this week. Most anglers are staying indoors or dodging the high winds, rain and falling temperatures somewhere other than out on the lake.

Last weekend and earlier this week conditions were pretty good for fall fishing but that all changed Tuesday when gale force winds preceded heavy rains that night and throughout the day on Wednesday. Cooler temperatures are in the forecast for the weekend and well into next week before moderate temps return but it appears rain is not part of the picture for a spell.

Lake levels have been staying just below the normal winter pool mark for several consecutive weeks but watch for some increase in elevation in the aftermath of heavy rains across the region at midweek. Some areas received two or more inches of rain Monday night and got another drenching Tuesday night and Wednesday morning so a lot of water is entering the watershed.

TVA had been keeping the reservoir around the 354.6 range at Kentucky Dam and a few inches lower than that upstream at New Johnsonville. Watch for a slow rise to occur throughout the weekend however. Projections for the weekend see a slight rise back to the 355 range for a few days before a slight decline begins.

Surface temperatures have been in the 60 to 62 degree range but will fall back into the upper 50’s by this weekend as cooler nights influence things. Temps are expected to drop at night below the freezing mark this weekend so no doubt cooler surface temps are ahead.

Prior to the weather change earlier in the week some crappie anglers scored decent catches. Several fish were taken in midrange depths of 8 to14 feet out on the main lake areas and back in some bays as well.

Most of the better catches were coming from anglers tightlining jigs over manmade structure.

Bass activity diminished this week as anglers were also victims of the disgruntled weather patterns. Some fishermen are tossing shad colored crankbaits around gravel points and shorelines and picking up a few while others continue to stalk grassbeds with topwater and suspending jerkbaits.

The fishing scene may cool off a bit this weekend but look for moderate conditions to return by the middle of next week before turkey day arrives.


Vanice Parker of Springville had some good fishing reports last weekend and again on Monday when she landed the largest crappie of her 21-year fishing career.

While fishing Kentucky Lake with her husband Larry she boated a hefty slab crappie that tipped the scales at 2 ¾ pounds. The big black crappie fell prey to a jig fished over a stakebed in the 12-14 foot depth range.

“We are originally from Dyersburg and have been fishing Kentucky Lake for about 21 years. We built a place here in 2001 and made it our home in 2013 after Larry's retirement from the Tennessee Division of Forestry.”

“Even though it was raining Monday morning, we knew the forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday was even worse (rain and wind),” said Parker of her recent outing. “So we put on our rain suits and headed for the lake.”

“We love to single pole jig fish. That's the way we fish 99% of the time and that's the way we were fishing Monday. We were using black and chartreuse jigs--no tipping with minnow or nibble,” continued Parker when asked about details of her fishing.

“When that crappie hit my jig, I knew I had a big fish and told Larry to get the net. When I got it close to the top of the water, I could see how big it was,” said Parker. “I felt my heart rate go up dramatically to say the least”!

We have told others since our retirement that our first priority in life was to serve our Lord....then to see how big of a crappie we could catch! The Lord blessed me on Monday for sure!

The Parkers have logged stringers of 17 last Friday and 30 on Saturday during their 4 to 6 hour outings.

 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.

Gone Fishing