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June 17, 2011
KENTUCKY LAKE’S JUNE CRAPPIE/BASS FISHING IS GOOD
Kentucky Lake’s June fishing is holding well for both bass and
crappie anglers. Summer will officially arrive on Tuesday but the fish
and fishermen have been scoring some hefty catches of fish that have
been in summer patterns for a few weeks.
Crappie fishing has been consistent for anglers who have chalked up some
very nice stringers for an extended period of time. Although most
crappie anglers fall under the “spring only” label, the month of June
has produced the best fishing thus far this year.
Fish have occupied midrange depths for several weeks and despite some
hot weather earlier this month action has held up well. Cooler
conditions returned this week as daily temps are back in the normal
range and a few cloudy days with light winds have produced nice fishing
Good numbers of fish have been caught this week in the 11 to 15 foot
depth range. A few fish were still residing in some shallow stakebeds
but the bulk of good size fish have backed off the banks and out of
Anglers are scoring using a variety of techniques ranging from vertical
presentations of jigs around stakebeds and brushpiles to slow trolling
spider rigs and long lining crankbaits. Crappie have shown a preference
for cover around drop-offs this week and although they haven’t been too
deep they like the idea of having deeper water escape routes close by.
Jigs tipped with minnows and Berkley power bait have produced well.
Popular color choices have been white/orange, black/chartreuse,
pink/chartreuse and some relatively clear type tube skirts and minnow
style bodies sporting metal flake.
Shad colored crankbaits are appealing to a lot of crappie that are
either suspended or schooling near main lake ledges. Some loud colored
crankbaits such as chartreuse variations and pink shades have also
worked well but there are times when the fish are finicky as to their
Bottom line is that this June crappie gig is a good one and most anglers
continue to overlook it. If you think spring is the only time to catch
good stringers of crappie on Kentucky Lake you are depriving yourself of
some good fishing opportunities.
Meanwhile, lake levels have fluctuated a few inches this week and the
reservoir is resting slightly above summer pool, which is somewhat
surprising given the fact that rainfall has been quite light. TVA is
projecting a reading of 359.5 at Kentucky Dam and 359.2 at New
Johnsonville as the weekend approaches.
Lake levels are likely to fall once TVA begins pulling water. Surface
temps responded favorably to the cooler weather and dropped into the 82
to 84 degree range this week, which is down four or five degrees from
last week’s hot spell.
Water color remains clear across most of the reservoir due to light
rainfall and no runoff.
Bass have been hitting good for anglers working main lake ledges using
Carolina rigged lizards and worms. Crankbaits and Texas rigged worms are
also producing as are a few jig and craw combos.
Some bass are schooling at times on ledges and taking on an aggressive
attitude when current is present. However, most anglers are catching
good numbers but still having trouble finding big bites from fish in the
4-pound plus range.
Not all bass are deep as some island rims, outside buck bushes and
treelaps are holding a fish. Anglers pitching jigs and Texas rigged
craws and worms are still finding enough fish in shallow venues to keep
Popular color choices have been Zoom’s Brush Hog in the green gourd,
pumpkin pepper, June bug, and cotton candy just to name a few. Culprit
and Berkley Power Bait worms in the nine and ten inch lengths have been
working too when fished on ledges.
Some fish were showing interest in buzzbaits and assorted jerk baits
around shallow grassbeds in the early morning and late afternoon hours.
Spinnerbaits are working around shallow shoreline and river islands and
should hold up well for another week or two, especially if pin minnows
enter the picture.
It’s time the abundant schools of fry or pin minnows were showing up in
the shallow structure but that shallow forage base has been a bit slow
arriving this year. Watch for schools of fry to relate to boat docks and
shallow grassbeds and shoreline habitat soon.
Seems Kentucky Lake bass can be taken in both shallow and deep water
zones even during hot weather and this year that scenario is holding up
to its reputation. Although a lot of bass fishermen are searching for
milfoil and various aquatic vegetation patches this year’s extended
spell of high water likely curtailed the growth as no milfoil, spiny
leaf or coontail moss is showing up thus far.
Catfish action has been slow this week and some anglers reported an
abundance of dead mussels floating in the main river channel. The
abundance of dead mussel meat floating may have diminished the bite from
catfish as sport fishermen had tough competition. The reason for the
mussel die-off was unknown.
Bluegill are on the move and while a few are lingering around shallow
shorelines, piers, and boat docks there are increased numbers now
residing in deeper crappie beds far from shoreline. Mayfly hatches will
likely show up again soon and that should improve bluegill fishing
opportunities in shallow areas where steep banks and overhanging trees
provide a canopy.
Kentucky Lake’s June fishery is worthy of pursuit and it sure beats the
changing lake levels and cold winds of spring.
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.