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Steve McCadams'
Kentucky Lake Fishing Report for:
May 2nd
, 2008


    Both bluegill and bass are on the bed as Kentucky Lake surface temps rebound after a few days of Dogwood Winter or was it Blackberry Winter? Whatever label you choose it was downright cool.

   Anglers had another week of strange spring weather that once again altered fishing conditions but it appears warm days have returned and remain in the forecast.

    A cold front slipped in the door earlier this week and according to the National Weather Service set a record low Monday night in some areas with the mercury dipping to 32 degrees. By Wednesday temps rebounded to 70 degrees courtesy of gale south winds that whipped the lake with whitecaps.

    Surface temps dropped a few degrees early this week but jump backed to the 67 to 71 degree range by midweek, which sent bluegill, redear, and bass back to the bedding phase.

    However, anglers had tough going for a couple of days during the cold front as it had a negative impact on the shallow bite for bass, bluegill, and crappie. It seemed the high pressure system and cold snap sent the fish, which had been hitting pretty good going into the weekend, into an inactive mood by Monday.

    After a day of sunshine on Wednesday surface temps rebounded and since then both bass and bluegill have improved and gone back to active spawning phases.

    Several nice stringers of bluegill with a few shellcracker mixed in are showing up this week. Crickets continue to be the bait of choice with a few fish taking redworms and wax worms. Look for action to improve in the days ahead as the fish resume fanning those craters in shallow gravel areas.

    Bass have been fanning their beds too and several anglers are having trouble catching fish in shallow areas. Most say they’re seeing fish on the bed in dead grass and shallow buck bushes but the fish won’t hit.

    A few larger fish have been taken by anglers backing off the banks and casting Carolina rigs and tossing jigs around gravel points near deep water where some fish are staging in a prespawn pattern. No doubt the cold front earlier this week backed a few fish off the banks but watch for that to change quickly in the days ahead.

    Most anglers were tossing crawfish and lizards imitations around buck bushes and dead grass around small pockets and bays off the main lake. Spinnerbaits were working too as were Chatterbaits, floating worms, and some suspending jerk baits.

    Several anglers resumed topwater presentations this week with the warm up and some fish were responding on cloudy mornings to buzz baits, floating worms, and assorted jerk baits.

    Catfish were hitting pretty good along rocky bluffs and inside feeder creeks. Some bank fishermen were still finding fish around rock levees.

    Crappie appear to be in a post-spawn phase and have been somewhat scattered this week with a combination of depths producing fish from anglers searching everything from shoreline to main lake ledges.

    A few good catches were taken in stakebeds and brushpiles where depths of 5 to 10 feet were giving up fish. Most anglers were tightlining jigs tipped with minnows with popular colors ranging from pink/pearl to brown/chartreuse.

    Some crappie continue to linger on the main lake ledges and depths of 14 to 16 feet were giving up some decent size ones but not much quantity.

    It’s not unusual for crappie to scatter during post-spawn and take on a finicky mood for a week or two.

    Meanwhile, some nice stringers of crappie were coming from behind the levee at Springville pumphouse. The West Sandy WMA area has been flooded most of the spring and restocked during the high water periods when Kentucky Lake was on a tear.

    Watch for some good bluegill and crappie fishing there in the weeks ahead.

    Water color remains clear in the main lake with some stain in secondary bays but clearing fast.

    Lake levels going into the weekend at New Johnsonville will be 358.5. Downstream at Kentucky Dam the elevation will be in the 358.8 range.

    TVA’s curve says the reservoir is supposed to be at summer pool by May 1 but that has not happened this week and not explanation from TVA as to why lake levels are slightly below normal as peak spawning arrives for many species.

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Also check out our past:
Kentucky Lake Fishing Reports

Steve McCadams
 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