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Kentucky Lake Fishing Report for:
April 8th, 2005
CRAPPIE SPAWN UNDERWAY AS LAKE LEVELS RISE
Spring fishing is alive
Crappie fishing is good here on Kentucky Lake. Anglers are landing
some hefty stringers every day and a variety of depths and patterns are
The reservoir is somewhat ahead of schedule as to lake levels on
TVAís curve. Normally, early April sees the lake begin a slow rise from
the low lake levels of winter pool. However, the lake is almost two feet
ahead of schedule as readings this weekend were expected to rise to
around 357.4 in the New Johnsonville area while Kentucky Dam is
Surface temperatures have changed this week and rebounded a few
degrees after a cold front last Saturday. Late last week surface
temperatures were in the 59 to 62 degree range but fell back to 56 to 58
over the weekend. By Tuesday the warm sun had surface temperatures
rebounding and climbing back into the 60 to 63 degree range.
Some crappie appear to be spawning already but the big thrust of
fish will likely occur this weekend and throughout next week. Their
desired spawning temperature range of 62 to 66 is almost here. Several
fish are on the threshold and waiting for a day or two of warm weather.
The upper Big Sandy and West Sandy areas are usually two to four
degrees warmer than other sectors of the lake due to the shallow basin
so spawning normally begins there first.
However, some good size fish are still lingering on the main lake
ledges in depths of 16 to 20 feet too.
This week Iíve taken several fish from my beds in the 7 to 12 foot
zone. The shallow beds were holding a few dark male crappie while the
deeper areas were producing mostly egg-laden females.
Watercolor was stained late last week but the rising lake levels
have pushed the dingy water back into the upper ends of bays and rapid
clearing has occurred the last few days.
Heavy rains Wednesday, accompanied by gale winds from the east,
could send some dingy water back to bays, as there was a lot of runoff.
With the return of clear water, many crappie will find their spawning
habitat in deeper structures such as 5 to 10 foot manmade fish
attractors and shallow stump beds.
I found fish moving into shallow structure this week and took some
good stringers while vertical fishing black and chartreuse combo colored
jigs. And, several fish were also taken while casting grubs on light
tackle, as backing off the shallow structure located in clear water
seemed to produce more strikes.
There are still some big fish relating to brush and stumps out on
the main lake. Some anglers were tightlining minnows on bottom bumping
rigs and landing some dandies while others were tightlining blue and
chartreuse combo colored tube jigs.
Other popular techniques producing have been trolling small Road
Runner jigs and spider rigged presentations where the multipole rigs
offer a buffet of baits to suspended crappie.
Anglers drifting and slow trolling jigs and minnows in the New Hope
and Country Junction area have had good fishing this week. Productive
depths there have been 7 to 10 feet.
Fish are a bit deeper down around the Sulphur Well Island area and
the TVA power lines at Mansard Island while some shallow fish were taken
throughout the Elkhorn and Swamp Creek sectors, especially during late
afternoon outings where the lowlight conditions saw fish move up
With the abundance of fish and scores of anglers testing the water,
itís not unusual to see several different depths and techniques working
at the same time.
While the bulk of the fish are now in the midrange depths in-between
deep and shallow areas, a lot of movement is underway as rising waters
and temperatures stimulate the first phases of spawning.
Barring any drastic rains and jump in lake levels, the fish will
likely complete their spawning long before the water reaches shoreline
habitat later this month.
Bass anglers are finding some big fish this week. Some 5-pound plus
smallmouth have been taken off rock bluffs and points. And, some big
largemouth have been taking crankbaits off rock banks, along with slow
rolled spinnerbaits around piers, boathouses, and shallow wooded
structure such as logs or stumps.
Some anglers are tossing Carolina rigged worms and lizards along
long points and finding a few bass staging out from shorelines. Other
patterns producing have been chrome colored Rattle Traps fished on mud
banks and in the backs of shallow pockets off the main lake.
Watch for suspended jerk baits and some topwater action to enter the
picture this week too.
Overall fishing continues to hold up well here for bass and crappie
anglers. High winds and rising lake levels have altered patterns
somewhat but fishing is good.
For The Lake Barkley Report
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.