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January 25, 2012

Kentucky Lake’s winter fishing scene continues to thrive thanks to the continuation of a mild winter that has delivered light winds and above average temperatures for the last two months. Overall it has been a good winter for bass, crappie and sauger fishermen.

Weather is always the active ingredient during the winter period and this year it has been kind to anglers that are reporting nice catches of crappie and bass. A few sauger have shown up the last month too, which has been a pleasant surprise for anglers who target them this time of year during their winter spawning run.

Lake levels have been rising slowly this week and may see a little surge as the weekend approaches in the aftermath of heavy rains that were in progress as this reported was posted.

Lake levels will rise for the next few days and TVA is projecting a reading of 357.1 by this weekend at New Johnsonville and 356.5 for Kentucky Dam. If heavy rains continue expect lake levels to exceed that projection.

Surface temperatures are above normal for this time of year and have been resting around the 45 to 48 degree range. Water color had been clear but is now showing some stain from the runoff and will likely be dingy in some bays and throughout the main lake as a lot of current is present.

Crappie anglers have taken advantage of this week’s mild weather and light winds to land some nice stringers of fish from midrange depths. A few fish have been taken in the 8 to 12 foot zones across the reservoir.

Most anglers are either spider rigging or using a slow, vertical presentation of jigs and minnows around structure. Popular colors have ranged from light yellow and orange combinations to red/chartreuse, blue/chatreuse, and variations of light green.

A few boats were stalking the deep ledges in the mouth of Big Sandy and finding enough fish to keep it interesting on the deep ledges. Depths of 15 to 18 feet were giving up a few fish.

Bass anglers have extended their fall fishing season as though winter didn’t even enter the picture. Several boats have been working main lake feeding creeks and ditches with Carolina rigged craws, jig and pig combos, and the popular Alabama rig with the multi-grub presentation.

Sauger had been hitting fair during the slow current periods in the main river channel but look for swift water to enter the picture now that heavy rain has fallen throughout the TVA valley.

A cold front this weekend may bring a short hiatus to the good winter fishing but mild temps are expected to return by next week.

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