Brought to you by: Fishtale Lodge
Kentucky Lake Fishing Report for:
May 9th, 2008
REDEAR REDHOT AS BULL BLUEGILL STAMPEDE
ON KENTUCKY LAKE
From the shallow bays and pockets off the main lake come fast action
and good times every year about this time.
Thanks to this weekís warm spell the bluegill and redear are tearing
it up as peak spawning time arrives for these rusty rascals that sport
an attitude. Coolers full of these popular panfish have been taken this
week all across the reservoir as surface temps jumped into the 71 to 74
degree range and stimulated active spawning phases.
Action this week really improved over the previous week when cool
conditions had a negative impact on the shallow bite.
Right now both the bull bluegill and the redear sunfish, commonly
known as shellcracker, are really fanning their submerged craters around
shallow grass, buck bushes, and open water flats where a sandy or mud
bottom has small pea gravel mixed in.
The males are really showing their dark colors as pigment changes
from hormonal influences indicate peak spawning is underway. The females
display a lighter color and are really bloated with eggs.
Crickets have been the bait of choice lately with some shellcracker
being caught on artificial larva or grub imitations along with wax worms
and red worms. Most anglers are lying off the beds and casting ultra
light tackle with slip bobbers or simple Carlisle style pencil floats
that help indicate light strikes while regulating depth.
Casting a small leadhead with a cricket or grub attached is deadly
too as dragging it along the bottom is often irresistible once you
locate a bedding area. Still, the instant replay action of seeing that
bobber disappear is pretty hard to beat for fun and excitement as it
never seems to go out of style.
The next two to three weeks should be prime time barring any more
uninvited visits from cold fronts that often bring a short hiatus to the
hot action. Arm your tackle box with a few bobbers, split shots, long
shank number six hooks and a pair of long nose pliers and youíre ready
to do battle.
Itís a great time to introduce a young angler to sport, not to
mention recultivating the passion of some old timers too. In addition to
being fun to catch these rascals are great eating so donít let this fine
fishing phase pass you by.
Meanwhile, lake levels on Kentucky Lake have settled down some after
a quick rise and slow fall throughout the week in the aftermath of last
Fridayís heavy rains and thunderstorms that drenched the area.
Elevation is expected to be at the summer pool level of 359 going
into the weekend at New Johnsonville and only slightly higher at
Kentucky Dam. The reservoir has been falling slowly all week after
jumping almost a foot overnight after the runoff last weekend.
Surface temperatures are in the 71 to 74 degree range. Water color
is clear in the main lake with some dingy color in the shallow bays but
good overall as to fishing conditions.
Crappie are still scattered and in their typical post-spawn phase
but some anglers have managed to score decent catches while stalking a
variety of depths. Some main lake ledges in the 16 to 18 foot depth
range gave up fish this week as did flats in the 10 to 13 foot range.
Slow trolling spider rigs and pulling some long lines with jigs has
paid off as of late.
However, a few days Iíve seen some anglers casting gravel shorelines
and shallow stickups where a few crappie continue to hang out. Not a
large number of fish have been taken shallow but a few are still there,
Look for more crappie to back off the banks in the weeks ahead and
return to slightly deeper areas where manmade stakebeds and brushpiles
in the 10 to 14 foot range should begin producing more numbers.
Bass action has held up well this week although the falling lake
levels have pulled some of the larger fish out of shallow weeds and
bushes where a few days earlier some hefty stringers were being caught.
A lot of smaller fish were hitting topwater with floating flukes and
bubble gum colored worms fooling small fish into hitting. Pitching
pumpkinseed colored crawfish and lizards has also been popular along
Some of the larger fish may have pulled out to gravel or rock points
where Carolina rigs may produce, along with suspending jerkbaits or
crankbaits and jig and pig combos. A few smallmouth were taking hair
jigs cast on rocky banks.
Spinnerbaits and rattle traps worked in the back of bays were
submerged milfoil grass is located continue to produce too. Several of
the bays on the east side of the lake are harboring grass beds and bass.
Catfish continue to prowl around structure and rock banks as anglers
fishing nighrcrawlers and shad guts were catching some dandies this
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.