Brought to you by: Fishtale Lodge
April 22, 2010
BASS ON BED AS BLUEGILL HEAD SHALLOW
Bass on Kentucky Lake appear to be on the bed and the shellcracker and
bluegill are on the threshold. Crappie are on the back side of peak
spawn but the bite is still on in midrange depths.
Thatís the fishing scene this week as things are about on schedule at
Kentucky Lake. Itís pretty much tradition for shellcracker and bluegill
to approach shallow areas in late April and begin the early phases of
Last weekís warm weather really stimulated movement and heated up
shallow water, bringing big female bass to shorelines and bluegill and
shellcracker to shallow gravel bars and pockets.
Bluegill have been seen in big numbers this week staging around docks
and piers. Watch for significant movement toward shallow bedding areas
next week and it appears some shellcracker are already up shallow and
about ready to begin spawning.
Crappie action picked up this week, despite a cool front and north winds
that made it feel more like fall than spring. Several days required a
heavy jacket on the lake as both the fish and the wind had a bite to it.
A few fish appear to be in the late phases of spawning but this springís
clear water has influenced the depth range and location as many shallow
areas that attracted fish in times past have been void of activity.
Seems more crappie have spawned in 10 to 14 foot depths this spring as
the clear water allowed sunlight to penetrate to deeper structure and
their needs were met far away from shorelines and shallow cover.
In my 37 years as a guide here on Kentucky Lake I canít recall seeing
crappie spawn this deep. I have taken very few fish in depths less than
10 feet deep during the month of April, a scenario that is most unusual.
There was a time when dingy water was the norm here and most fish came
to shallow shorelines filled with buck bushes, shallow stumps, and trees
to broadcast their eggs. Fishing visible structure was a bit easier for
most anglers but times have changed.
Several decent stringers were taken this week from submerged structure
such as stakebeds and brushpiles in 11 to 14 foot depths. A few
scattered fish occupied cover in 7 to 10 foot depths but most fish chose
deeper areas in the Paris Landing area and throughout most of Big Sandy
and West Sandy.
A few fish were still lingering on main lake ledges too as anglers found
fish in 15 to 19 foot depths but somewhat scattered.
Up Big Sandy the shallow bite seemed to fall off this week for most
anglers who were able to find shallow fish taking jigs cast under slip
bobbers or around shallow stakebeds last week in 2 to 5 foot depths.
Techniques such as long-lining curly tail grubs and Road Runners
continued to produce good stringers this week in depths of 12 to 15 feet
in the mid section of Big Sandy. A few good stringers were taken south
of the power lines around Mansard Island at midweek and also up around
Spider rig styles have worked too as have casting jigs around some
deeper stakebeds and stumps. That clear water seems to make the fish
more finicky and a slow moving bait has been appealing for both
suspended fish in deeper water and around shallow cover but back away
from the boat.
While there have been some good catches taken this week, scores of
crappie fishermen have had tough luck overall. Numbers have been off
this spring compared to previous years and while limits have been hard
to come by for most, there have been enough good fish taken to keep
interest levels high.
Surface temps have been on a roller coaster this week as a cool spell
made its presence known. Temps have rebounded dramatically the last few
days but fell from 72 down to 65 earlier this week. At midweek, however,
the warm up was underway and temps will likely climb to the 73 to 75
degree range in the days ahead.
Lake levels are up a few inches from last week at this time. Elevation
at Kentucky Dam is expected to be at 358.6 this weekend. Upstream at New
Johnsonville readings are forecast to be in the 358.4 range.
TVAís curve projects the summer pool reading of 359 by May 1 each year
and the reservoir appears to be headed that way and on schedule barring
any heavy rains within the next week.
Bass fishermen are reporting lots of small fish around shallow pockets
and bays, a likely result of male buck bass on the prowl while the
larger females turn a blind eye to most lures.
With rising lake levels slowly creeping up on shorelines watch for that
dead grass and yellow flower pattern to emerge by next week. Tossing
spinnerbaits, Texas rigged worms and lizards, along with imitation
crawfish will produce strikes.
Itís topwater time too so the floating worms and jerk baits, along with
some buzzbait choices will begin producing as well. That clear water is
nice for topwater techniques this time of year!
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.