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January 4, 2012

Kentucky Lake anglers bounced back strong at midweek after a day or two of high winds and a brief cold front interrupted their unusually mild winter fishing scene. Gale winds whipped up the lake on Monday and temps fell fast but last weekís mild conditions returned quickly and temps are expected to be in the upper 50ís and low 60ís as the weekend approaches.

The weatherman indicates next week will be mild as well, a forecast that is now welcomed by waterfowlers but sure is pleasing to winter fishermen.

Lake levels this week were falling on a slow but steady basis as TVA pulled the reservoir back down near its normal winter pool elevation. Observed elevation at Kentucky Dam will be in the 354.5 range this weekend. Upstream at New Johnsonville the elevation is projected to be 354.8.

Surface temperatures continue to linger around the 45 to 48 degree range as the recent cold front lost its grip pretty quickly. Water color is pretty clear across most of the reservoir.

Crappie anglers are catching good numbers of fish but most report having to measure and release a lot of short fish that are just shy of the 10-inch minimum length limit. Some boats were landing 60 to 70 fish per day but only keeping 12 to 15 fish.

It appears the year class that is most abundant is a little shy of keeping size but indicates a positive picture for this spring and summer as those fish will likely grow and prosper in the months ahead. Anglers could see a better spring, summer and fall ahead if the numbers of short fish showing up are any indication of what lies ahead.

A few fish were taken from deeper stakebeds and brushpiles lately where anglers were tightling jigs. Some fish had moved up into the 12 to 14 foot range in a few places. And, the deep ledges around the Paris Landing area were still producing well with the popular depth range of 18 to 22 feet giving up fish.

Sauger fishing has improved the last two weeks compared to earlier this winter. Although anglers are not loading the boat there are a few more success stories coming in from the Paris Landing bridge area and points further south along the Tennessee River.

There were a few 10-fish limits taken recently and that didnít happen much last year or during outings taken last month.

Most are using the popular sauger jigs and a stinger hook tipped with a minnow. There has been good current lately in the main channel and that works in favor of the overall sauger fishery.

A few bass anglers are tossing the popular Alabama rig and scoring some catches. Others are working jig and pig combos and some slow retrieved crankbaits at times.

The weather has been good to winter anglers the last couple of months as temps have been above average and several days have delivered calm winds.

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