Brought to you by: Fishtale Lodge
Kentucky Lake Fishing Report for:
March 23rd, 2007
CRAPPIE SPAWN DRAWING NEAR THANKS TO
WARMING TREND…BASS ON THE ROCKS
Great weather is in
the forecast this weekend and spring officially arrived earlier this
week. Temperatures are predicted to be in the mid to upper 70's for the
next several days which should see a significant warm up in surface
temps after last weekend's cool snap.
Anglers had to battle
high winds and cooler weather last weekend but after a brief hiatus it
appears spring weather will work in favor of fishermen for quite a
spell. Both crappie and bass anglers should see positive results as fish
respond to the warming trend and head shallow with an aggressive bite.
Crappie spawning time
is rapidly approaching. If the warm weather stays around as predicted
for another week, look for the fish to be somewhat ahead of schedule
Overall fishing is
good for both bass and crappie at Kentucky Lake right now and it appears
it will only get better this week, barring any high winds.
fell from a high of 57 last Friday to 52 by Monday morning but were
rebounding each day. Expect to see temps climb into the 57 to 59 degree
range by the upcoming weekend with a good possibility of some 60-degree
plus water in shallows.
Lake levels are
relatively stable. Elevation at Kentucky Dam is 355.6 and up slightly
form last week at this time. Upstream at New Johnsonville elevation was
expected to be 355.1 in the next few days. Those readings are a few
inches above the low ebb of winter pool but pretty much on track as to
TVA's curve for reservoir levels during late March.
normal rise toward summer pool begins on April 1. At that time a gradual
increase in lake elevation occurs, barring any drastic rains or floods
upstream. The reservoir is slated to reach summer pool of 359 on or
around May 1st each year.
Water color remains
clear in the main lake. Some stain is present in the upper ends of bays
due to wind stirring up sediments on points but overall the reservoir is
In the crappie
department it appears fish backed off the shallow venues over the
weekend in response to the cold snap as more were taken in deeper depths
earlier this week. However, earlier this week I found some fish moving
back toward the 6 to 9 foot zones so fish are really on the move.
There are still a lot
of crappie lingering out on the main lake along sandbars and deeper
flats. Depths of 18 to 20 feet produced fish the last few days.
Crappie will likely
move up toward the top sides of ledges and migrate over secondary flats
this week as they head out toward spawning territory. Expect to see the
7 to 12 foot zone pay dividends in the next few days.
Male crappie have
shown signs of darkening pigment in just the last few days so the early
phases of spawning are close at hand.
Last week I did not
see many male crappie showing hormonal changes and turning dark but the
last few days has seen more and more males showing up with that purple
tint, which is an indication the annual ritual is about to begin.
Females are showing
good egg sacs as bellies are bulging on many fish, although they're not
quite at the point of spawning as eggs are still somewhat firm in many
fish. Watch for rapid change this week as the fish will respond quickly
when an extended spell of warm weather descends and sends surface temps
rising into the low 60's.
Most of the crappie
are relating to structure such as brush, stumps, or manmade fish
attractors. Not many crappie were holding on clean gravel banks the last
few days but that too could change quickly as the males will often
cruise and stage in such areas for a few days prior to spawning.
Popular jig colors
have been white/chartreuse, black/yellow, red/chartreuse, yellow with
red metal flake, and some dull red/black combos with a touch of pearl
mixed in. And, chartreuse/purple with sparkle also worked well.
A few mornings I
found crappie very finicky and simply removed jig skirts from leadheads
and tipped with live shiner minnows to entice bites. It worked well when
waters were very calm.
Shiner minnows tipped
on jigs seemed to also entice bites now and then as did adding Berkley
Power bait and other scent attractants.
Most anglers are
vertical fishing deep ledges or manmade fish attractors to catch fish
but calmer winds will allow drifting and spider rigged style techniques
to produce this week as anglers can get back out on the open water and
With the clear water
at hand casting jigs such as twister tail grubs, sliders or tube jigs
under bobbers or just straight retrieves is another popular technique.
Bass continue to come
on strong as those gravel points, big chunk rock, roadbeds, and sloping
points are giving up some hefty stringers.
Baits of choice have
been Rapala's Shad Rap and other assorted crankbaits in the shad and
crawfish colors. And, several fish have been taken on suspending jerk
baits such as Smithwick's Suspending Rogue and Bomber's Model A.
It appears more
smallmouth are showing up this spring than last year too. Several
anglers are tossing hair jigs and other finesse baits around rock
One stringer taken
last Saturday weighed in five smallmouth that tipped the scales at 27.05
pounds! It was taken by Hunter Garrett and Marshall Russell of McKenzie
who won a Sportsman's Edge tournament and $6,000.
Watch for increased
activity around shallow structure this week as surface temps warm and
bring more bass shallow where submerged grass and wood may attract fish
Spring has sprung and
the fishing patterns of both bass and crappie are responding to warming
trends. Fish are on the move and hitting well.
For The Lake Barkley Report
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.