Brought to you by: Fishtale Lodge
Kentucky Lake Fishing Report for:
May 16th, 2003
water levels continue to dominate the fishing picture all over Kentucky
and Barkley Lakes. Things are out of proportion as the lake is some
9-feet above normal.
hard to image where the normal shoreline was in terms of buck bushes,
grass beds, and overall fishing habitat.
giving a Friday crest of 368.1 feet above sea level for the New
Johnsonville area. At Kentucky Dam the projection is a crest at 367.5.
All readings are subject to change.
a lot of current in the main river and all along river islands. While
the lake was still rising on Wednesday, watch for a significant change
in the week ahead as falling lake levels will be part of the picture.
the crazy lake stages there are still some fish being taken by crappie,
bass, bluegill, and catfish anglers.
Techniques have changed and presentations by anglers fishing bluegill
beds with light spinning tackle have mostly dropped the bobbers and gone
to a tight lining.
bluegill are still bedding and hitting pretty good. Casting a light
leadhead or hook with split shots on will work fine if you slowly drag
it through the bedding area. The fish are attempting to stay on the bed,
which means they haven’t moved too much.
some fish have ventured into shallow trees and bushes around the
abundant structure, the bulk of the big male bluegill population has
stayed put. That means anglers can still catch them in good numbers but
just have to adapt somewhat to the deeper water.
Crickets, meal worms, and red worms are working well.
anglers are still finding fish. They just have to let a little more line
out to get down to them.
lake ledges were producing some fish this week as live minnows seemed to
work well. Depths of 20 to 30 feet seems to be the range as even
midrange stakebeds and brushpiles now have so much more water on them
that it seems uncanny to fish 20-feet deep this week when not long ago
the same spot was only 12-feet deep!
Tightlining jigs and live minnows down in the cover along the topsides
of ledges and near the break of a shelf are still working pretty well.
The crappie have also stayed put and not moved much during the rising
anglers are catching some good fish around clumps of willow trees and
buck bushes where the abundance of submerged structure is providing a
Mecca for roaming largemouth.
smaller fish moved up into shallow grass beds where there’s an abundance
of “fry”. The schools of small minnows are really working around the
backs of bays.
variety of lures are working but some of the larger fish are being
caught on black and blue jigs with a trailer. Spinnerbaits are working
too, along with a worm or lizard pitched around the outside structure.
fish are still relating to the outside structure or original shoreline
Watercolor in the main river is quite muddy. Debris is floating
everywhere so boaters need to be very careful. There are a lot of logs
just waiting to tear up your boat or outboard’s lower unit.
Watercolor in the backs of large bays is in pretty good shape. There’
some stain there but it’s just about right for fishing.
bridges and piers are underwater too, adding to the boating misery. And,
several buoy markers on secondary channels are just barely underwater,
making for yet another boating hazard out there. The U.S. Coast Guard is
responsible for main river channel markers but the cables appear to be
too short in many cases.
secondary channel markers are supposed to be under the umbrella of TVA.
These are the buoys in the worst shape and present the most danger to
Meanwhile, catfishermen are catching fish from shoreline as the fish
continue to move up feeder creeks roam in the fresh water.
fish are still biting along the rock levees at Danville Bridge and in
the Paris Landing area.
Nightcrawlers and beef liver are producing best.
for a dramatic change in lake levels this next week as the reservoir
drops and fish patterns change. In most cases, things will improve as
the lake gets back to normal but it’s going to take several days before
TVA draws the mammoth lake back to summer pool.
For The Lake Barkley Report
For Other Kentucky Lake Fishing Reports
is a professional hunting and fishing guide
here in the
Paris Landing area and host of The Outdoor Channel's television series IN-PURSUIT.