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Brought to you by: Fishtale Lodge

Steve McCadams'
Kentucky Lake Fishing Report for:
 March 26th, 2004


Spring roared in like a lion last Saturday. High winds and thunderstorms sent most anglers running for shelter as lightning entered the picture over the skies of Kentucky Lake.

Then on Sunday, a brutal cold front whipped the lake to a froth and sent temperatures down near the freezing mark. Anglers were wondering what hit them as dramatic weather changes really threw a curve to the fishing earlier this week.

Yet spring weather is always unpredictable and this week has been a prime example. The weatherman appears to be on the side of anglers for the next few days as warm temperatures are in the forecast. That should improve conditions for both bass and crappie anglers.

Lake levels have been changing this week too as the reservoir rose a few inches early in the week but began falling slowly on Wednesday. TVA indicates Kentucky Dam will have an elevation of 355.2 going into the weekend while upstream at New Johnsonville the reading is expected to be around 355.

Surface temperatures were in the 53 to 56 degree range at midweek but have begun climbing that last couple of days thanks to warm sunshine. Look for surface temperatures to reach the 58-60 degree range early next week.

Watercolor is still good with a little stain in both the Tennessee River and Big Sandy area. Many of the larger creeks have been clearing lately.

Crappie continue to play hide and seek with most anglers. The fish have been finicky, as not many big stringers have been taken this week. A lot has to do with the drastic weather changes and wind that has had a negative impact.

Still, many anglers are having a tough time finding concentrations of fish. Overall numbers of fish have been down for most anglers throughout the West Sandy, Big Sandy, and Paris Landing area.

A few big crappie have been taken this week, however, as some slabs are coming from the deeper main lake ledges. Depths of 21 to 23 feet have produced some big fish but itís a one here, one there scenario.

I found some big crappie this week along the deep sides of drop-offs but it was difficult to catch more than two or three at a spot.

Then, a day or so later I checked some midrange brush piles and stake beds in the 7 to 12 foot zones but most of the fish were in the 9 to 11 foot areas with hardly a fish in the shallow stuff.

Surface temperatures and stained water up near the Sulphur Well Island area was reported to have yielded a few shallow fish at midweek, however. So watch for that Swamp Creek and upper Big Sandy basin near Country Junction and New Hope to turn on this next week.

Anglers who are trolling or drifting are finding fish. It seems the fish are scattered and suspended in many areas so those covering a lot of water seem to be having the most success. Live minnows are producing as are jigs tipped with minnows.

Popular colors have been purple and chartreuse, orange and chartreuse, yellow with red metal flake and some blue and white. Many fish are hitting jigs with painted leadheads too as the dingy water seems to require some loud color combinations to entice the crappie bites.

Action should improve this weekend and into next week as surface temperatures will rise and stimulate more movement to shallow areas as the fish enter a prespawn pattern. Watch for more action along shallow rock and gravel banks, as well as manmade stakebeds and brushpiles in depths of 6 to 10 feet.

The male crappie have yet to turn dark so the hormonal changes have not taken place, a further indication that spawning is still another week or more away.

Bass action continues to hold up as some hefty stringers are coming in each week. The bass fishing has been good for a lot of anglers who have braved the winds and inclimate weather lately.

Crankbaits are still working best. Those rock bluffs, levees, roadbeds, and sloping gravel points have been producing some good fish, especially when the wind is blowing in and churning up the baitfish activity.

Popular colors have ranged from crawfish to Tennessee Shad and firetiger. Some fish are taking jig and pig combos, along with suspended jerk baits. Watch for spinnerbait and topwater action to improve this week, especially around wood structure in the backs of bays and pockets where warmer water will be a factor.

Some good smallmouth are still showing up too. Some hefty fish have been taken along the east side of the lake as anglers work those steep rock banks.

A few rockfish have also been taking crankbaits and giving anglers a tackle test as have those ever present big drum.

Although fishing has been a bit slow in getting started this spring, look for overall fishing conditions to improve this next week.

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Also check out our past:
Kentucky Lake Fishing Reports

Steve McCadams
 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