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Brought to you by: Fishtale Lodge
April 15, 2010


Above average temperatures have really warmed things up for crappie and bass anglers this week on Kentucky Lake. Temps have been 12 to 14 degrees above normal and may have tied an all time high at midweek.

A high pressure has dominated the weather picture this week and the high skies, stagnant winds, and hot weather have delivered somewhat of a challenge to crappie and bass fishermen. No cloud cover and clear water, coupled with no wind, have made fish behave rather finicky as bites have been downright reluctant at times and extremely light.

Although crappie are spawning in a large portion of the reservoir, many fish are choosing deeper depths as the clear water is a factor in their choice for spawning habitat. Depths of 8 to 12 feet are the choice for many crappie right now and the high sun at midday has made it tough to catch fish at times.

Late last week and into the weekend the bite was much better as some hefty stringers were taken by a variety of methods. Some of the same areas that produced late last week were not giving up as many fish once the high pressure and stagnant wind scenario arrived.

There were some exceptions the last few days as anglers long line trolling such lures as Road Runners and curly tail grubs are catching some fish in the 12 to 14 foot depth range. Seems the fish are responding better to the slow moving presentations whereas anglers still fishing in a vertical style over submerged stakebeds and brushpiles have not fared as well.

Once a little wind and cloud cover return things should improve overall. Some of the better catches are coming during early morning and late afternoon hours the last few days, a likely scenario influenced by the high skies and clear water facing fishermen.

Other techniques such as laying back from midrange beds---in depths of 7 to 12 feet---and casting jigs or using slip-bobbers to slowly drag jigs and live minnows over structure has also helped the finicky fish to respond.

Not many fish have been taken from shallow shorelines this week in the Paris Landing area as the fish stay back off the banks. Traditionally, casting jigs along gravel banks in the spawning phase will produce a lot of male crappie but that has yet to materialize, another likely result of clear water keeping light sensitive crappie off the banks.

The mood swing now underway from crappie has confused many veteran anglers as the fish have not blitzed toward structure as is normally the case. Late last week some fish were spawning and really relating to cover but fish have been scattered and downright illusive the last few days for most fishermen.

Still, a few nice slabs are coming in with some dandies in the 2 1/2 pound range landed lately. Spider rig style anglers are still slow stalking shallow stump fields in Swamp Creek and around Sulphur Well Island and up Big Sandy toward New Hope and Country Junction.

Other techniques producing have been slow trolling crankbaits over shallow flats. Covering a lot of water seems to be the best bet right now and the trolling and drifting styles seem to have the edge.

Expect the spawn to continue for a few more days and a cool spell is in forecast for the weekend, which will drop temps dramatically on Saturday. Watch for the crappie bite to improve as the weather change and low pressure approach with some cloud cover.

No doubt the weather has been nice and warm and while wind is always a factor for Kentucky Lake anglers, the last few days have fishermen wishing for a light breeze.

Surface temps have heated up fast the last few days. Much of the reservoir is in the 68 to 72 degree range, up several degrees from last week at this time.

Water color is clear across most of the lake. Lake levels were stable for a few days and actually came up a few inches at midweek but are expected to fall slowly and stay around the 357.7 range at New Johnsonville. At Kentucky Dam lake levels are expected to be around 358 the next few days.

Bass are already moving up into shallow weedbeds and pockets as some large females have been observed in the last few days. Already preparing to fan their beds, some big sows are residing right on the shoreline and reluctant to strike any lure tossed their way.

Although this week seemed to see lighter stringers caught compared to last week, there were still plenty of success stories from anglers tossing assorted crankbaits, spinnerbaits, Carolina rigged lizards, and suspended jerk baits.

Topwater and floating worms will be popular in the days ahead as buck bass become more aggressive around larger females that become territorial.

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.
Gone Fishing