Brought to you by: Fishtale Lodge
Kentucky Lake Fishing Report for:
March 17th, 2006
SPRING CLOSING IN…ANGLERS DEALING WITH CHANGING WEATHER
Bradford Pear trees are screaming spring.
Fishermen’s favorite season officially arrives Monday but last
weekend it felt like the area had gone from winter to summer and skipped
Anglers have had a variety of weather patterns to deal with this
week, ranging from downright hot temperatures last weekend to a cold
front and brisk northwest winds earlier this week. And, another cool
spell is descending with some rain in the weekend forecast.
It’s typical March weather where a few nice days are mixed in there
with some nasty ones. Some days are windy and cold but there always
seems to be a day of warm sunshine and light winds to stir up the
fishing pox and accelerate cabin fever.
Presently, surface temperatures are fluctuating in response to the
roller-coaster ride of warm and cold weather. At midweek readings were
in the 53 to 56 degree range, down a few degrees from late last weekend
when some areas were showing 58 to 60 degrees already.
As normal temperatures ranges return, watch for surface temperatures
to hold in the low to mid 50’s this weekend and early next week.
Lake levels have been holding relatively stable this week. Observed
elevation at Kentucky Dam was staying in the 354.7 range. Upstream at
New Johnsonville readings were a bit lower in the 354.3 range.
Watercolor is stained throughout much of the Big Sandy and West
Sandy area as a result of recent rains and high winds stirring up
sediments. A good stain was also present in the Paris Landing area this
Crappie are hitting pretty good and anglers are reporting a variety
of depth ranges and techniques which are producing positive results. Up
Big Sandy some anglers were finding fish in 6 to 12 foot zones relating
to structure such as stakebeds and brush piles.
A few fish were caught as angles slow trolled spider rigs or pulled
long-line presentations of jigs in hopes of catching suspended fish.
Several success stories were also coming from anglers who vertical
fished manmade fish attractors in 7 to 13 feet. Dipping jigs around the
submerged structure continues to pay off with popular colors ranging
from the pink and pearl to orange and chartreuse. Other popular choices
were red and chartreuse and black and pearl.
In the mouth of Big Sandy a lot of fish are still lingering on the
main lake ledges in depths of 15 to 20 feet. The crappie are relating to
structure found on the edge of drop-offs in a typical staging pattern of
Deep water crappie were taking shiner minnows and a variety of jig
colors when worked slowly around stumps and brush. I experimented with a
host of tube jigs and had the most success on a florescent red leadhead
sporting a chartreuse body filled with red glitter.
The fish are waiting for surface temperatures to rebound and will
continue to move up toward midrange depths this next week. A few fish
already moved into creeks and flats late last week during the warm spell
but structure in the 6 to 13 foot zones in the Paris Landing area was
giving up only scattered success. It was a one-here and one-there type
fishery in manmade fish attractors the last several days but that will
continue to improve in the days ahead, barring drastic weather changes.
Bass anglers were also benefited from the warm spell last weekend
and found fish hitting spinnerbaits and shallow running crankbaits. Some
fish were taken around exposed stumps, logs, and exposed crappie beds.
A few hefty fish were taken, holding up to the reputation of March
as being one of the best months to take big bass here on Kentucky Lake.
Crankbaits were producing around gravel banks and big rock points.
Popular colors have been crawfish, firetiger, orange and Tennessee Shad,
along with chartreuse and black variations. Rattle-traps and suspending
jerk baits have produced too when worked around boathouses and piers.
Up Big Sandy and in West Sandy dingy water color has been favorable
to some loud colored crankbaits while over on the Tennessee River area
waters have cleared some.
Cooler weather is predicted for the weekend and while anglers
thrived in last week’s warm weather invasion, temperatures are returning
to their normal range this week which isn’t all bad for fishing in
general. Actually, things were getting ahead of schedule in terms of
fish movement and the biological clock was running a bit too fast.
While no one likes cold fronts this time of year, they tend to bring
surface temperatures back to normal ranges and slow down the migration
of fish from deep to shallow venues. Things work best when done on a
gradual basis in terms of spring spawning phases and last week’s hot
weather was a bit too much and too early, confusing the fish and the
fishermen to some degree.
For The Lake Barkley Report
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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.