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December 16, 2011
Fishing conditions improved earlier this week for Kentucky Lake anglers
and folks were anxious to get out and about after last week’s messy
weather kept most fishermen off the lake.
Despite high water and changing lake levels some decent reports have
come in from crappie anglers working the main lake ledges this week. A
few decent catches were taken by anglers fishing the deep ledges and
finding crappie in the 20 to 22 foot depth range.
There have been a few days when winds cooperated and allowed boats to
venture out on the main lake and stalk the drop-offs. Those deep ledges
where submerged structure in the form of stumps and brushpiles are
located will often hold some nice crappie during the winter months but
you have to play the weather, especially the wind.
Crappie were taking jigs and live minnows as well. Using bottom bumping
rigs or fishing suspended jig presentations will often pay dividends
this time of year.
Meanwhile, Kentucky Lake’s elevation has really been on a roller coaster
ride this past week. Heavy rains last week influenced lake levels and
the reservoir went on a tear, rising some five feet in four days.
Lake levels crested earlier this week after exceeding the summer pool
level by more than a foot. Readings surged to 360. 3 at Kentucky Dam and
were slightly higher at New Johnsonville before cresting Monday.
In summary, the reservoir was more than five feet above normal for this
time of year.
Forecasts for the weekend indicate the lake will continue a rapid
drawdown as TVA attempts to pull the reservoir back to normal curve and
create more storage capacity. Elevation will be in the 356 range at
Kentucky Dam while up river at New Johnsonville forecasts are predicted
to be slightly higher with readings in the 357 range but falling each
Rain is expected to enter the picture again as this report was written
and additional rain may return again early next week as well. That may
offset some of the drastically declining lake levels but it depends on
how much runoff enters the picture.
Water color has actually been pretty good in the Paris Landing area and
up in Big Sandy. Surface temperatures were hanging around the 47 to 49
Current is present in the main river system and some boats have been
attempting to fish for sauger but not many success stories are coming
in. A few stripers and white bass, along with some largemouth were
relating to areas where current was present.
Some decent bass were taken this week as anglers played the current and
fished rip-rap around bridges as well as bridge piers.
If you are fortunate to pick your days this winter fishing can be quite
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.