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Jane and Tom from TN 2017
Kentucky Lake Crappie Fishing
WARM WEATHER COOLS BITE FOR JUNE CRAPPIE
Although summer doesnít officially begin until Wednesday of next week,
most anglers testing the water of Kentucky Lake this week thought it
arrived early! There have been some hot days on the lake lately as temps
have been running some 6 to 8 degrees above normal.
Most days temps have reached the 92 to 93 degree range. A lot of boats
hit the lake in the early morning hours, tossing in the towel at midday
when the sun beamed and the bite slowed.
Surface temps this week climbed to the 83 degree mark, their highest
reading of the year. Water color is in pretty good shape across the
reservoir with a slight stain in places where high winds whipped up
shallow shorelines. Overall itís clear out there.
Lake levels have been falling slowly the last few days. TVA projects an
elevation of 358.9 at Kentucky Dam this weekend. Upstream at New
Johnsonville projections show a lower level of 358.3.
June is normally a good month for crappie but anglers have struggled
lately putting together a pattern as keeper size fish have been hard to
come by. While there have been a few nice ones taken that crossed the
1/14-pound range and made it to the 14-inch plus length range, scoring
big numbers of hefty fish have been quite a challenge.
Midrange depths traditionally produce decent numbers of keeper size
crappie as late spring loses its grip and summer enter the picture.
However, this year the bite has been sluggish. Anglers are still finding
several small fish but most have voiced disappointment in the lack of
medium to large size fish in their daily creel.
No clear answer to the present dilemma but in times past the crappie
bite would take on a sluggish mood during the early phases of mayfly
hatches. In that scenario Mother Nature suddenly sends an abundant food
source to the forage buffet for crappie and several other species.
The monthís first hatch occurred last Thursday in the Paris Landing
area. Although not massive, there were several flies seen clinging to
piers and overhanging trees.
Not only are the adult mayflies a tasty delight for just about every
species but prior to the adults taking flight comes an emerging larva
stage from the lake bottom. When that happens fish often gorge
themselves and that could be whatís happening to the crappie scene.
Usually the fish bounce back after a week or two once the new wears off.
Yet crappie anglers these last few weeks have been struggling to box
decent numbers. Maybe that 12 to 14 foot depth range will produce better
in the next week or two.
Deep ledges have not given up big fish either as sometimes anglers can
fall back to main lake ledges, keying in on the deep sides of drop-offs
when the midrange bite diminishes. Seems those testing the deeper depths
have also found an uphill battle. The 17 to 22 foot depth range has not
given up many fish either.
Bass anglers continue to target the ledge bite as higher surface
temperatures and lower lake levels enter the picture. A little current
has been present at times and that has stimulated more fish to pull off
the banks and occupy their summer venues.
Casting big deep diving crankbaits in the blue/chartreuse, pearl,
Tennessee shad and chrome/blue are but a few of the popular colors. The
deeper series of baits diving to the 12-foot plus range are popular
choices these days.
Big Texas rigged worms in the 9 to 10-inch range are working too.
Popular color choices have been green pumpkin-pepper, Tequila sunrise,
black/blue and blue with metal flake have been producing. Also in the
arsenal have been swim baits and Carolina rigs as ledge fishermen are
known to have several rods rigged out with a variety of baits for the
deep water attack.
Some shallow fish are still running the shallow grassbeds but most of
the winning tournament stringers are coming from main lake drop-offs, a
pattern thatís unlikely to change as summer kicks in.
Bluegill bedding is now in the rearview mirror but some decent ones can
still be caught. Tossing crickets and worms around mayfly hatches will
produce and some good ones are hanging around boat docks and bridge
piers where shade appeals.
Catfish have continues to transition from their shallow rocky bank areas
to midrange depths far out from shorelines this week. Look for most of
the catfish to linger in midrange depths for a few more week and then
head to main river channel areas.
Anglers should see more cloud cover enter the picture these next few
days as rain chances increase, a scenario that should help the overall
bite. Slightly lower temps and humidity are in the forecast for early
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.