FISHING WORTH THE TRIP
From the summer fishing scene comes good reports from crappie
anglers working the deep ledges of Kentucky Lake. Bass action continues
to hold up very well in shallow areas while mayfly hatches descend and
catfish head deep.
Surface temperatures this week had warmed slightly from last week
with readings in the 82 to 85 degree range.
Observed lake levels at New Johnsonville will be in the 358.7 range
this weekend. Downstream at Kentucky Dam TVA predicts a reading of
358.5. The reservoir is falling slowly as the annual summer draw down
normally begins in early July.
Watercolor remains clear in the mouth of Big Sandy and up in the
West Sandy and upper basin. Over on the Tennessee there is some stained
water in the main river and along river islands but the bays are clear.
Summer crappie action is good and continues to be overlooked by most
anglers. A few fish are still lingering in the 112 to 14-foot stakebeds
and brushpiles but action has increased on main lake ledges in depths of
18 to 24 feet.
I found a few fish taking jigs tipped with minnows this week in 12
to 14 foot stakebeds located near deep water. Several small fish were
present but a keeper now and then would make his presence known.
Activity was better when I backed off to deeper ledges at midday.
Crappie were taking live shiner minnows fished on double-hook bottom
bumping rigs worked slowly around structure. The fish appeared to be
schooling somewhat around various spots where clusters of cover could be
We took several doubles as two fish at one time took the bait
dangled in front of them. A bonus sauger and catfish also helped
straighten out the kinks in the line.
Look for main lake ledges to continue producing crappie in the weeks
ahead as warmer water and falling lake levels push the fish back out.
Bass action has held up well in shallow areas where schools of pin
minnows have kept the fish relating to weedbeds and buck bushes in bays
and along the edges of main river islands. Several blow-downs are
holding fish too as the tree laps provide good cover with deeper water
on the end.
Spinnerbaits, worms, lizards, and topwater jerk baits have worked
well lately. The key is finding the minnows as the bass are right there
The bass story has been lots of small fish but few big fish.
However, with lake levels falling look for improved action on the main
lake drop-offs as this normally pulls fish off the banks and out to open
Some deep-water anglers have been fishing Carolina rigged worms and
lizards, along with Texas rigs. The big crankbaits have been somewhat
slower this summer for unknown reasons. But that can change on any given
Catfish action has improved this week with the daily current now
becoming a factor. With the draw down underway the main river will
likely sport current each day, especially around midmorning when power
generation demands increase.
Catalpa worms are out and the big green leaf trees provide excellent
sources of bait. Nightcrawlers, liver, leeches, and shrimp are also
still on the menu.
Depths of 20 to 35 feet have been producing, especially on the edge
of the main river where irregular cuts in the riverbank provide havens
for lazy catfish to hang out and wait for the current driven baitfish to
fall prey to their appetites.
Mayfly hatches continue along the main lake so bluegill and bass
action is still available. Look for another couple of weeks of hatches
before the flies begin to taper off.
Sauger are still scattered and inconsistent along main lake sandbars
as trollers are finding one now and then. Not many white bass showing up
yet but that will change in the weeks ahead.
Night fishing for bass, white bass, and crappie enters the equation
now that hot weather has arrived.