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June 24, 2011
SUMMER NO SLEEPER FOR BASS/CRAPPIE ANGLERS
Crappie and bass anglers continue to chalk up nice catches of fish from
Kentucky Lake as the first official week of the summer season is now
underway. Summer arrived on Tuesday with a typical southern thunderstorm
that saw some high winds and heavy rains escort the new season to the
Anglers have had to dodge a few dark clouds lately that whipped up the
open waters with white caps but after a few hours the unstable weather
has moved through, bringing only a temporary halt to fishing trips.
Action has held up well for summer crappie anglers who are consistently
catching fish in midrange structure. June continues to be quite
productive for crappie fishermen who have taken good stringers this week
from 11 to 15 foot depth zones.
Midrange brushpiles and stakebeds in the mouth of large bays and out on
the main lake have given up some hefty fish throughout the month of June
and anglers are reaping dividends on a day to day basis. Popular
techniques have been vertical presentations of minnows or jigs tipped
with minnows. A few fish were taking jigs tipped with Berkley Power
Baitís crappie nibbles.
Popular jig color combinations have been white/orange, black/chartreuse,
orange/chartreuse and some tube skirts in clear or motor oil sporting
glitter skirts just to name a few.
Trolling crankbaits has also been a popular technique for a few boats
working the drop-offs and main lake flats. Some anglers were pulling
long lines with twister tail grub and Road Runner style jigs and finding
a few fish as well.
Deeper drop-offs where brush and stumps are located is beginning to
harbor some summer crappie as well in depths of 15 to 17 feet but the
bulk of nice catches are still coming from midrange depths. It has been
a good late spring and early summer for crappie anglers here in the
Paris Landing area of Kentucky Lake.
Lake levels are resting near summer pool this week after falling a few
inches since last weekís report. Observed elevation going into the
weekend will be 359.2 at Kentucky Dam. Upstream at New Johnsonville TVA
projects the summer pool mark of 359.
Water color is relatively clear across most of the reservoir. Surface
temps are in the 82 to 85 degree range and somewhat cooler than two week
Some cloudy days and light winds continue to make conditions quite nice
for anglers enjoying this summer fishing.
A few mayflies were seen earlier this week scattered across the
reservoir but watch for some hefty hatches in the days ahead. Seems
there are always some big hatches in late June and early July.
Some scattered bluegill were still being caught by anglers tossing worms
and crickets around parameters of grassbeds and deeper spawning spots
out form shorelines. Although bluegill and redear have spawned, there
are still some decent catches coming in and action will improve in
shallows and around river islands once mayflies begin hatching.
The bass bite has held up well too with a variety of depths and patterns
producing. While most of the winning tournament stringers are coming
from main lake ledges not all the fish are deep. A few nice fish were
taken this week by anglers working buck bushes and weedbeds as the water
had been a few inches above summer pool and that likely worked in favor
of some shallow structure.
A few schools of pin minnows are beginning to show up around visible
structure and that attracts bass even during the heat of summer. Seems
the fish follow the pin minnows and you can get lots of bites tossing a
spinnerbait, shallow running crankbait, or Texas rigged worm or craw.
Schooling bass were taken in a few pockets as they chased shad and pin
minnows out away from the shoreline in the mouth of feeder creeks this
week too. The fish were not relating to structure but running baitfish
in open water flats.
Some anglers were tossing jerk baits and buzzbaits over shallow grass
and landing fish in the early morning and late afternoon hours.
Main lake ledges have been popular hangouts too as lots of fish are
running shad near drop-offs and submerged shellbeds located on drop-offs
near main channel sandbars. The typical pattern of deep diving
crankbaits, jig and craw combos, Texas rigged worms and Carolina rigged
lizards have been producing.
Worms in the nine to ten inch length have been popular on Texas rigs.
Popular color choices have been green pumpkin-pepper, red shad, cotton
candy, black/blue and pumpkin-pepper with chartreuse tails.
Itís not unusual for a variety of patterns to pay off during the summer
months so watch for schools of minnows around the abundance of
blown-down trees to hold fish as will the outside weedbeds and deeper
bushes. At the same time anglers could find some nice stringers relating
to the drop-offs far out from shore so Kentucky Lake has diversity in
its menu for bass fishermen.
Although no milfoil grass has been reported north of the Eva area a few
reports are coming in from bassers finding scattered patches further
south on the reservoir. Rattle traps, big spinnerbaits and Texas or
Carolina rigged worms have produced some bass from the submerged grass
in the New Johnsonville area as was the case last year at this time.
Catfish were mediocre on the main channel but still hitting fair in
midrange depths of 15 to 20 feet. Crappie anglers were tying into some
nice ones at times around their crappie beds so the fish havenít moved
into deep water just yet but watch for that to change.
Some boats were working the piers beneath the Ned McWherter bridge at
Paris Landing but only reporting scattered fish taking chicken liver and
night crawlers. Jug fishermen were catching decent stringers throughout
Big Sandy while drifting their baits over 10 to 15 foot depths.
All in all the summer fishing scene has been good with a few windy days
interrupting what has otherwise been a productive June.
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.