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June 22, 2012
VARIETY OF BASS PATTERNS PRODUCINGÖSUMMER CRAPPIE ACTION GOOD
Summer bass and crappie action has been holding up well for Kentucky
Lake anglers despite some warm days and high winds this week. Overall
the fishing scene continues to hold up as nice catches are coming in.
Itís a bit unusual for anglers to have to battle high winds this time of
year but for some strange reason white caps have influenced the fishing
scene several days lately and dictated the location for both bass and
crappie anglers attempting to fish open water areas.
While practically all of us want a light breeze this time of year, the
wind seems to have been a bit much at times. Still, anglers have managed
to overcome the hurdle and landed pretty good stringers of summer
crappie and hefty bass.
Kentucky Lakeís elevation had another week of below average readings but
thatís been the case for a lot of TVA reservoirs this spring. The lack
of rainfall will make history this year as the big pond will not achieve
summer pool readings and the annual drawdown normally begins in early
Lake levels are projected to be 357.6 this weekend at Kentucky Dam.
Upstream at New Johnsonville the elevation will be in the 357.4 range.
Normal summer pool is 359.
Lake levels remain quite clear across the entire reservoir and very
little current has been present in the main river channel lately.
Surface temperatures this week were in the 81 to 84 degree range, which
is up a few degrees from last week at this time.
Crappie have been hitting pretty good since midweek after a slight
slowdown last weekend and earlier this week, a mood swing that might
have been influenced by mayfly larva that sometimes brings an abundant
buffet benefitting the fish but challenging the fishermen.
Some good size crappie were hanging out in the 12 to 14 foot depth range
as stakebeds and brushpiles were producing but fish were sluggish to
bite at times. Strikes have been light and even some of the larger fish
have been finicky at times.
Fish are holding pretty tight to structure and it has required a
methodical approach. Watching the line and rod tip have been necessary
to detect illusive bites and at times it has been a feeling contest with
the jig and snags.
Tipping 1/16 to 1/8-ounce jigs with minnows or Berkley crappie nibbles
has paid dividends, however, and numbers of fish improved at midweek.
Some deeper ledges also producing fish as the deep sides of the
drop-offs with 16 to 18 feet of water are holding fish where structure
Bass anglers continue to focus on deep water venues for the larger
stringers but the grassbeds are producing lots of fish too.
While some of the larger stringers are coming from 18 to 25 foot depths
at times, the clear water has really stimulated the advancement of
aquatic vegetation such as pondweek and Eurasian watermilfoil. Most of
the island rims and flats south of Paris Landing are seeing grassbeds
increase in size on a weekly basis.
Anglers are finding good numbers of bass relating to the mats of grass
which is loaded with baitfish. Tossing spinnerbaits, assorted surface
lures, and Texas rigged worms have worked well. Ripping a Rattle Trap in
a chrome color variation has worked too.
While a lot of fish are relating to the abundance of grassbeds the
winning tournament stringers are mostly coming from boaters working jig
and craw combos, big Texas rigged worms, Carolina rigged worms, and
hopping spoons along the deeper sides of the ledges. Some swim baits
have worked along the deep venues too.
Main lake ledges are producing but some of the better fish are relating
to the edge of the main river channel itself at times. No doubt the low
lake levels combined with the clear water scenario are influencing the
deeper summer pattern this year.
In times past anglers could find schools of pin minnows around shallow
bushes, treelaps, and shallow visible water willow style grass along
shorelines this time of year but low lake stages have altered the
location of late spring and early summer bass this year along Kentucky
Big deep diving crankbaits are still part of the summer arsenal too but
with bass holding off in deeper depths lately even the most deep diving
baits just wonít get down there where the fish are. No doubt the fish
will move up on top to feet at times, especially if some cloud cover
enters the picture but overall itís been deeper than usual for several
A few scattered mayfly hatches have dotted the shorelines at times but
bluegill have held out away from shore for the most part and are now
relating to deep structure in 6 to 12 feet. Some pretty good ones were
taken this week by anglers dragging wax worms, crickets, and redworms
around deeper crappie beds where the fish seem to have found a comfort
Catfish were still holding in midrange depths too and some nice ones
were taken by crappie anglers working live minnows or jigs at times.
There hasnít been much current in the main river so that summer catfish
pattern along the main river channel has yet to develop.
Although some warm days are part of the fishing scene lately, it really
hasnít been too bad out there in the early morning hours. And, when the
fish are biting the heat seems tolerable.
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.