Brought to you by: Fishtale Lodge
Kentucky Lake Fishing Report for:
March 25th, 2005
CRAPPIE ACTION IMPROVES…SPAWNING PHASE STILL WEEK OR TWO AWAY
Crappie action has
improved this week on Kentucky Lake, despite the persistent winds and
low temperatures. March continues to live up to its cold and windy
reputation. It’s a month where winter and spring often collide.
Spawning phases are still
a week or two away in this area. The fish will begin going through the
motions once surface temperatures reach the 62 to 66 degree range.
The weatherman indicates
some warmer weather is on the way and that’s a welcome change for bass
and crappie anglers who have endured winter conditions again this past
week. The wind has been a factor in every angler’s attempt to get on the
We’re still not out of
the woods yet as to cold fronts so keep the overcoat handy. The week
ahead may have another spell of mixed weather with some warm days
trading places with brief visits from cold fronts.
struggled to get out of the 40’s but earlier this week several bays and
creeks finally made it to the 50 to 53 degree range. Cold nights and
somewhat below average temperatures during the days have not allowed the
lake to warm much this week.
Water levels continue to
stay near the winter pool stage. TVA predicts a reading of 354.3 in the
New Johnsonville area this weekend. Kentucky Dam will have a slightly
higher reading of 354.5.
The lake has been
relatively stable this past week and barring any heavy rains, should
remain near the winter pool levels for another week to ten days at which
time rising stages will occur. TVA begins its curve toward the higher
summer pool levels on April 1 each year.
Watercolor is sporting a
good stain throughout most of Big Sandy and West Sandy. Several bays
along the Tennessee River are clear while the main river has a little
dingy water due to high winds.
Some good stringers of
crappie were taken this week throughout the Paris Landing area. Although
high wind dictated where anglers could fish on most days, several nice
catches were taken in a variety of depths.
TWRA creel clerk Bill
Heathcott of Big Sandy reported checking some nice crappie earlier this
week throughout Big Sandy and West Sandy. He indicated several fish
exceeding the two-pound range were seen and one that tipped his scales
at three pounds!
I dropped back to deeper
water this week and found some nice size crappie lingering on the main
lake ledges in depths of 20 to 25 feet. While using bottom-bumping rigs
with both live minnows and chartreuse jigs, my clients boated some hefty
The fish have been
relating to the deeper sides of ledges where stumps and brush were
found. We found several crappie in the one and a half-pound range with a
few exceeding the two-pound mark.
Cold weather has kept a
lot of crappie from venturing into shallow venues lately but that’s
about to change. A couple days of warm sunshine will see surface
temperatures rise so watch for significant movement toward shallow
structure as a result.
A few fish have been
taken in midrange structure but the best is yet to come for those 5 to
10 foot zones. This next week should see male crappie begin their annual
migration toward rock banks and pea gravel points. The shorelines will
attract male crappie for a few days and techniques such as casting jigs
can be productive.
Meanwhile, not many male
crappie have shown signs of hormonal changes. I’ve seen a few males
taken in deep water that were barely shading toward their dark
appearance that hits a peak during prime spawning conditions.
Although deep water will
continue to produce fish this next week, watch for crappie to make a big
move toward large bays and flats where structure such as stakebeds and
brushpiles in-between shallow spawning venues and deep water will serve
as staging areas.
Bass action has slowed
some since last week but a few hefty largemouth continue to show up.
Several largemouth in the 5-pound plus range were taken lately but it
appears the recent rash of cold fronts and bone chilling winds pushed
some fish back off the banks and into deeper water.
Watch for action to
improve this week, however, as bass return to rock banks and shallow
pockets where stumps, logs, roadbeds, boathouses, and feeder creeks are
Warmer waters will
stimulate action for some topwater but look for spinnerbaits, crankbaits,
and some suspending jerk baits to produce this next week.
Jig and pig combos are
also working well as are rattletraps worked around rock and gravel.
Not many smallmouth have
shown up in the creel of area bass anglers lately but some spotted bass
and nice largemouth are picking up the slack.
And, several stripers are
still hitting along the main river channel. Look for a good week of
fishing ahead as a significant transition takes place as fish move from
winter hideouts to spring spawning areas.
We’re still well over a
week before any spawning takes place but the popular phase is fast
approaching here in the Paris Landing area. It appears the first two
weeks of April are going to coincide with the crappie spawn here on
remember last year’s snowstorm that descended on April 13 so chances are
we’ve got some Dogwood Winter ahead of us.
Still, fishing has been
pretty good so grab the overcoat, raingear, sunscreen, and sunglasses
and head toward the lake. You never know what the weather will be so
hope for the best and prepare for the worst.
Otherwise, you might just
miss a good fishing day as every day is different out there right now!
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.