Jordyn Riddick on spring break March 2014 with grandad
Crappie Action Guide Service
CRAPPIE SPAWN BEGINSÖWARM DAYS TRIGGER ANNUAL RITUAL
Warm days have descended, triggering sluggish crappie to begin spawning
phases here on Kentucky Lake. By this weekend surface temperatures will
climb into the mid 60ís courtesy of several back to back sunny days that
have really heated things up.
Since last week a lot of male crappie have shown the transition toward
that beautiful dark purple appearance, a clear sign hormonal changes are
taking place and the spawn is ready to begin. After a nasty spring the
biological clock is now ticking but not before another cool start to a
The overall fishing scene has improved for both bass and crappie anglers
but especially for slab stalkers who thought warm spring days would
never get here and stay. Overcoats were still standard attire earlier
this week as gale winds and rain had quite a chill in the air before a
midweek warm-up began.
Surface temperatures began the week in the 58 degree range, which
reflected a cool down from the week before. By midweek the water edged
across the 60-degree threshold and will continue to rise throughout the
Lake levels are rising too and some 18-inches above normal on TVAís
scale for mid-April. Elevation projected for the weekend at both
Kentucky Dam and upstream at New Johnsonville will be in the 358 range.
Thatís only one foot below the summer pool level which isnít supposed to
be reached until May 1 each year.
Many are watching the mighty Mississippi River elevation where snow melt
and run-off from northern states has entered the picture. Higher river
stages there will ultimately have an influence on lake levels here.
Water color is good throughout the Paris Landing area and up into most
of the Big Sandy and West Sandy area. Some dingy water is present in the
upper Big Sandy.
Rising lake levels continue to scatter crappie somewhat. A lot of fish
have moved up Big Sandy into the New Hope and Country Junction sector
this week in response to higher lake levels and rising surface
temperatures. West Sandy anglers reported increased catches as well.
Some dandy stringers were taken by anglers vertical fishing jigs over
manmade fish attractors in shallow depths of 4 to 7 feet. Boats pulling
lines armed with curly tail jigs and Roadrunners were doing well as were
drift fishermen and those spider rigging.
Down around the power lines and Sulphur Well Island area crappie were
still suspended in places but moving up on flats in depths of 10 to 12
feet. A few fish were caught in 4 to 8 foot stakebeds this week in the
Paris Landing sector but shallow structure in the upper end of Big Sandy
was more productive than in the Paris Landing region.
Fish will continue to be on the move the next few days as they blitz
toward spawning structure. After several warm days a cool front is on
the horizon for early next week, a scenario that might bring a short
hiatus to the aggressive spawning activity.
Bass action backed off earlier this week in the aftermath of some cold
nights that seemed to chill shallow water and diminish activity. Brisk
northwest winds had an adverse effect earlier in the week but watch for
the shallow bite to bounce back quickly as rising water and warmer days
will team up for a positive change.
Spinnerbaits will have increased appeal in some dingy water areas as
will loud colored crankbaits on gravel and rock banks, points, roadbeds,
and sloping mud flats. Some anglers continue to toss Alabama rigs on
deeper points and steep bluffs.
High winds will whip up sediments for a few days and anglers might work
the windy sides of bays with a variety of loud colored bait
presentations to find results.
Surface temperatures in the mid to upper 60ís are fast approaching and
high lake levels may also send bass very shallow in the days ahead where
some topwater lures will also be on the menu.
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.