LAKE LEVELS RECEDE…CURRENT RETURNS FOR BASS AND CATFISHERMEN
Kentucky Lake’s summer fishing scene has seen rising lake levels greet
anglers this past week, which is a bit unusual for this time of year.
However, lake stages crested on Tuesday and a gradual drawdown is
underway, which means current will be present for several days along the
main Tennessee River channel.
TVA has increased discharge rates the last few days after a series of
thunderstorms across the region dropped a lot of water both north and
south of the Kentucky Lake region.
Lake levels jumped more than two feet above normal summer pool---which
is 359--- late last week. TVA projects a reading of 361.7 at Kentucky
Dam as the weekend approaches. Upstream at New Johnsonville the
elevation will be in the 361.6 range. Falling lake stages will continue
for several days until TVA pulls the reservoir back down to its normal
curve, which sees a gradual fall and winter drawdown begin each year in
Surface temperatures have been in the 83 to 86 degree range. Water color
has some stain in the main river channel due to runoff but clear
throughout the Big Sandy area around Paris Landing.
Both catfishermen and bass anglers should benefit this week from
increased current along the Tennessee River channel. Current seems to
stimulate baitfish activity and that will spread up the food chain.
Catfish action should improve as fish transition back toward the main
river channel after moving up during the recent phase of rising lake
levels. Odds are anglers will do well while targeting the edge of the
main channel and looking for submerged cuts or irregular turns in the
riverbank that might break the flow and create underwater eddies where
catfish will hide and wait for baitfish washed their way.
Some fish have been taken this week on the down current side of bridge
piers at the Ned McWherter Bridge at Paris Landing. Nightcrawlers,
chicken liver, cut shad and catalpa worms have been popular baits.
Bass action should improve for main lake ledge fishermen in the days
ahead since current is working in their favor. Falling lake levels will
keep current in the picture for several days and that should stimulate
shad school movement and trigger the ledge bite.
Once current enters the picture it seems to stir up sediments, along
with algae and plankton. That scenario brings life to a stagnant lake
and both the fish and fishermen are beneficiaries.
Anglers keying in on the down current sides of main lake ledges or deep
structure should benefit as will shallow water patterns. There’s a lot
of pin minnow schooling around shallow vegetation.
Not only does the deeper bite improve but shallow structure around main
river island rims where aquatic vegetation is present will also be
worthy spots as schools of pin minnows will be congregated. Tossing
Texas rigged worms, topwater and spinnerbaits should be productive.
Deep water presentations will see the big deep diving crankbaits appeal,
along with big spoons, 9 and 10-inch Texas rigged worms, swim baits, jig
and craw combos and Carolina or Alabama rigs.
Summer crappie are still hitting as anglers have done pretty good lately
while vertical fishing jigs tipped with either live shiner minnows or
Berkley Power Bait crappie nibbles. The fish have been relating to
structure in the 14 to 16 foot depth range, with a few fish taken on the
deep sides of main lake ledges in 17 to 20 foot depths.
A few scattered bluegill and bass were taken earlier this week along
shallow shorelines where mayflies hatched during a series of
thunderstorms. More hatches should continue in the weeks ahead.
Dodging a few thunderstorms is part of the summer fishing scene so keep
an eye in the sky and use common sense and error on the side of caution.
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.