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Kentucky Lake Fishing Report for:
May 16th, 2008
ACTION HOLDS UP FOR BASS/BLUEGILL
ANGLERS…CRAPPIE SCATTERED BUT IMPROVING
Kentucky Lake anglers have enjoyed a pretty good week of fishing
with a day or two of wind and thunderstorms sandwiched between pleasant
mornings with light winds.
Last Sunday saw gale winds send wind warnings to the lake area but
by Monday light breezes and warm sunshine returned and since then it has
been decent fishing conditions for a variety of anglers.
Presently, surface temperatures are in the 67 to 70 degree range,
which is slightly cooler compared to last week at this time. The cool
night this week have not allowed surface temps to warm much.
Lake elevation at Kentucky Dam was resting at the summer pool mark
of 359 after falling slowly earlier this week. Upstream at New
Johnsonville Steam Plant the lake elevation is 358.8 after falling
several inches earlier this week.
Water color remains clear across most of the reservoir.
Bluegill spawning continues and some hefty stringers have been taken
from shallow areas where the bait of choice continues to be crickets
cast under shallow bobber presentations.
On the warm days the fish have really turned on but a few cool
mornings with high skies saw a sluggish bite from finicky bluegill and
shellcracker that seemed to back off in response to cooler surface
temps. The afternoons have seen some improvement thanks to slight warm
Shellcracker were hitting good most all last week but the falling
lake levels and slightly cooler surface temps seemed to have a negative
impact on the shallow fish, although the bluegill have continued biting.
Several shallow bays and shorelines where weeds and buck bushes were
yielding some nice shellcracker last week have fallen off as the fish
have pulled out in response to the falling lake levels but could return
quickly with a slight rise in elevation. It’s likely the shellcracker
have moved to slightly deeper water and riding it out there for the
Bass are still relating to those buck bushes and weed bed combos
with large numbers of fish taken this week, especially on the cloudy
Most fishermen would like a few more inches of water to inundate
shoreline habitat as the bass were really relating to the stickups but
seemed to have pulled out slightly to outside grassbeds or some banks
with deeper water close by.
While Texas rigged worms in the black/blue, green pumpkin pepper,
and red shad have been producing around shallow structure, so too have
floating flukes and worms in the bubble gum and white colors.
Finesse worms and tubes in pumpkin-pepper have also worked well.
Spinnerbaits in the blue/chartreuse color have produced around grass
and bushes as have some floating jerk baits.
A lot of anglers are backing off the bank and tossing jigs or
Carolina rigged lizards and worms along gravel and rock points as some
of the larger fish have pulled out of shallow cover and residing near
deeper venues. Tossing a jig and pig in the brown/black color has also
been on the menu.
Crappie have been a bit scattered but showing signs of improvement
as the post spawn phases see fish slowly move toward midrange structure.
I found some decent fish in 11 to 13 foot stake beds at midweek.
Small jigs in the 1/32 to 1/16-ounce range tipped with minnows worked
well. Popular colors ranged from dull white and brown bodies to
pink/chartreuse and clear with sparkle. Hair jigs with dull colored lead
heads and brown to white bodies also produced when tipped with Berkley
power bait or live minnows.
Some fish are relating to main lake ledges or structure in the 16 to
18 foot zone but scattered there. Although an occasional crappie can be
taken in shallow shoreline areas or stake beds it appears most fish have
vacated extremely shallow zones compared to the previous week to ten
Crappie will continue to improve in the weeks ahead as more fish
back off the banks and congregate in midrange depths. Watch for some
hefty stringers to show up in the coming weeks as late May and June can
be very productive.
Catfish are still being caught in decent numbers by bank fishermen
who are really working the rocks in areas such as the east side of the
Ned McWherter Bridge, up along the Danville railroad levee, and the
little rock island adjacent to Sulphur Island up Big Sandy, just to name
a few hot spots.
Springville pump house is discharging water from behind the levee
into the main lake so both catfish and crappie have been taken there
this week as the pumping usually stirs up a lot of bait fish activity.
Pumping will likely continue there for another week or two as TWRA
attempts to dewater the West Sandy WMA.
Meanwhile, anglers fishing behind the levee are reporting decent
catches of crappie and bluegill this week. Water levels will continue to
fall behind the levee due to pumping but fishing should hold up there
for another week or two.
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.