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Brought to you by: Fishtale Lodge
April 29, 2010


Itís hard to beat a bluegill bed for fast fishing action. Right now Kentucky Lakeís rusty panfish are preparing to spawn and gathering in big numbers so if you want to have some fun seeing the bobber disappear now is the time!

After yet another cool spell anglers on Kentucky Lake this week rebounded to warmer weather but not before sporting heavy coats earlier in the week as brisk winds chilled things. Surface temps fell back to 65 degrees on Monday night after reaching the 73 degree mark a week ago.

After last weekendís storms and heavy rains lake levels rose significantly, cresting a foot or more above summer pool at one point. Lake levels are now falling slowly and TVA predicts elevation to be in the 359.7 range going into the weekend at New Johnsonville. At Kentucky Dam the projection is for 359.8.

Current elevation is a foot or more higher than last week at this time. More rain is in the forecast as TVA attempts to pull the reservoir back down to summer pool level, which is supposed to be 359 on May 1.

Surface temps bottomed out at 65 earlier this week and were slowly climbing back to the 67 to 69 degree range. Water color remains clear in the main lake but a few coves and bays have some stain since last weekendís runoff from heavy thunderstorms.

Warmer weather is now in the forecast and anglers should see the bite improve for several species now that cold fronts are in the rearview mirror.

Meanwhile, the best thing going is the bluegill and red ear shellcracker fishing. Once surface temps reach the 70 to 74 degree range each year these rascals get in the mood. For the last week or more some hefty catches have been taken around shallow shorelines.

Shellcracker usually get going a week or so before the bluegill but right now both are awaiting your arrival should you dare to toss a cricket, redworm, or meal worm their direction.

Expect excellent fishing to continue for the next few weeks as these feisty fish will stay on bed through mid to late May. You owe it to yourself to partake of the action and itís a perfect time to introduce a youngster to the sport of fishing.

Crappie have backed off and scattered for most fishermen. Once the fish enter the post spawn phase seems they scatter and suspend for a week or two before getting back to a structure oriented mode.

Although a few good size fish are being taken in a variety of depths, numbers have been down this week. Some main lake ledges in the 18 to 20 foot zone are holding a few fish as are deep stakebeds and brushpiles in the 12 to 15 foot zone.

Tipping jigs with minnows has enticed some stubborn crappie to bite lately but it has been difficult to find a concentration. That will likely change for the better in a week or two as the fish slowly recover from the stress of spawning and get back to biting instead of roaming and suspending in open water.

Bass appear to be on the bed as a lot of small fish are roaming the buck bushes and shallow grassbeds this week due to the high lake levels that inundated shoreline habitat. You can get lots of bites from buck bass right now if you toss a lizard, crawfish imitation, Texas rigged worm, spinnerbait, or various topwater lures around structure.

Judging by the light weights being brought in from local tournaments the big sows are reluctant to bite and appear to be dodging baits thrown their way. However, you can have a lot of fun catching big numbers right now around shallow shorelines on the lure of your choice.

Some anglers are still tossing Carolina rigged lizards on deep gravel points and sloping ledges in hopes of finding bigger fish but the pattern is producing lots of small fish. With the surge in lake levels bushes, trees, and grassbeds have appealed to anglers who love to pitch and flip jigs, lizards, and crawfish.

Catfish have been turning up in pretty good numbers around those shallow bluegill beds too. Once the bluegill start spawning the catfish often move in and partake of the eggs and small fry hatching so be prepared to encounter a hefty catfish while fishing for bream or crappie these days.

Soon catfish will be heading to rock banks and bluffs as their spawning time is fast approaching.

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