Kentucky Lake Guide Andy
CATFISH/BLUEGILL/BASS BITE HOLDING UP WELL
Despite a cool snap and several rainy days, Kentucky Lake’s fishing
scene has held up well this week.
Last weekend the rainy season returned and drenched fishermen for a few
days. In the aftermath of those heavy rains lake levels on the big pond
swelled a bit and were a foot above normal summer pool at midweek before
the crest occurred.
As the weekend approaches lake levels will begin to fall slowly as TVA
pulls the reservoir back down to the normal summer pool elevation of
359. Readings this week topped out at 360 at Kentucky Dam at midweek.
Projections for Kentucky Dam this weekend show an elevation of 359.8 and
359.7 upstream at New Johnsonville. Anglers can expect a slow fall to
continue for the next few days.
Surface temperatures have been a bit below average this week due to some
cool, north winds. Readings were in the 72 to 74 degrees at midweek.
Weather is predicted to moderate in the next few days with a return to
the 80 degree range. Water temps will warm slightly throughout the
Water color has been clear across most of the reservoir with a slight
stain found in the upper ends of some bays where feeder creeks have
delivered recent runoff.
Bass have been hitting pretty good as the rising lake levels earlier in
the week inundated shallow shoreline habitat and increased activity
around buck bushes and visible weedbeds. From Texas rigged worms to
spinnerbaits, buzzbaits and floating fluke style worms, the shallow bite
has held up well for a variety of lure presentations.
Fish have been aggressive and several fish have also been taken around
gravel banks near pockets or feeder creeks too. There are a lot of bait
fish in the shallow areas as bluegill are abundant and shad are feasting
on schools of tiny fry that have been hatching out the last week to ten
That has pulled a lot of bass to shallow areas and that should continue
to be productive for quite some time. Islands are holding fish too as
pondweed and other aquatics are holding schools of pin minnows around
At the same time several boats are still targeting main lake ledges and
that bite will likely improve even more as current enters the picture. A
slow drawdown now underway will see more fish relate to drop-offs in the
Big swim baits, jig and craw combos, deep diving crankbaits, Texas and
Carolina rigs will be popular choices for ledge fishermen.
Crappie have improved and more fish are now relating to structure in the
10 to 14 foot depth zone. Live minnows have been working well or jigs
tipped with minnows have been appealing.
Vertical presentations over stakebeds have produced this week but a few
boats are trolling crankbaits and finding some suspended fish in depth
of 15 to 16 feet out over 20 to 25 foot depths at times.
Watch for crappie action to continue to improve as the fish now have
spawning in their rearview mirror. That, coupled with stable weather and
lake conditions, will see more fish relate to cover. The late May period
and most all of June should be good for crappie.
Hefty stringers of catfish continue to come in this week. Bank fishermen
have done well as have boats working the rocky banks, levees and bluffs
where fish are moving up to spawn in the crevices.
Good stringers of catfish have also been taken by bluegill fishermen
this week as they roam the shallows.
Bluegill and shellcracker continue their spawning phases, although
activity diminished at midweek when some cool days and north winds
curtailed the bite. By this weekend activity should rebound as fish
respond favorably to the warmer surface temperatures.
Good numbers of bluegill were taken in 5 to 7 foot depths earlier this
week but both bluegill and shellcracker moved up shallow once rising
lake levels put more water around grass and bushes. Anglers can expect
action to hold up well next week and another full moon will arrive on
June 2, which should see a late wave of spawning activity resume.
Some of the better bluegill beds may well be back off the banks as
normal lake levels return.
The overall fishing scene has been good this week with a short hiatus
when fall like weather slipped in the door. Time to shed the long
sleeves and get the sunscreen back out!
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.