LAKE LEVEL BACK TO NORMALÖSUMMER FISHING SCENE HOLDS UP
Kentucky Lake anglers should see the reservoir return to normal
elevation by this weekend after some two weeks of above average readings
due to heavy rains across the TVA valley.
A slow but steady drawdown has been underway the last several days.
Projections for the weekend will see the reservoir resting in the 358.6
range in the Kentucky Dam area with a similar reading upstream at New
Lake levels had been more than a foot above normal this week and another
foot higher than that two weeks ago. Surface temperatures are starting
the day off in the 85 degree range but climbing to 89 at midday.
Water color is in good shape for fishing with a slight stain in the main
Tennessee River channel but clear elsewhere across the reservoir.
Summer crappie have been hitting pretty good as anglers are finding jigs
tipped with minnows to be quite appealing. Several fish are relating to
structure in the 14 to 16 foot depth range. Stakebeds and brushpiles are
holding fish in the midrange depths, although some good ones have been
taken on the deep sides of drop-offs too.
Tightlining jigs or bottom bumping minnow rigs have accounted for some
decent stringers in the 17 to 20 foot depth range.
A few boats are slow trolling crankbaits along main lake ledges with
mediocre results. Seems most of the summer crappie are favoring that
live minnow these days, although tipping a jig with Berkley power bait
is still producing as well.
Most anglers are hitting the water early and finding decent action
lasting until midday. Seems the bites slows some once the bright sun
bears down at midday and the heat increases but several mornings have
offered cloud cover and light breezes making for nice fishing
Catfish were still lingering in midrange depths earlier in the week as
crappie anglers continue to tie into a few, which is a nice surprise as
they sure test your tackle.
Current continues to work in favor of catfishermen working the main
river channel. The falling lake levels have been slow but just about
right for drifts along the channel bank.
Depths of 25 to 35 feet have harbored several catfish lately and a few
fish deeper at times. Popular baits continue to be nightcrawlers,
chicken liver, cut shad and some big minnows.
Bass fishing has been fair with main lake ledges still giving up plenty
of fish for those tossing swim baits, big deep diving crankbaits, Texas
rigged worms, huge spoons, and jig and craw combos. A few anglers are
tossing Carolina rigged worms and craws too.
Some boat docks, bridge piers, visible aquatic vegetation, and blowdowns
are holding nice schools of pin minnows and that is attracting bass as
well. Spinnerbaits and Texas rigged worms have worked well but some
topwater presentations, ranging from buzzbaits to weedless frogs, have
produced at times.
During the last two weeks of high water the lionís share of aquatic weed
patches have been submerged. However, lower lake levels are beginning to
expose a lot of weeds in the backs of bays and along shallow flats and
around island rims.
As with the catfish bite current is present daily so that should help
the ledge bite as it seems to stimulate movement from baitfish.
Once popular during the dog days of summer were schools of white bass,
also referred to as stripes, as their surface feeding frenzies offered
fast action with an abundance of fun. However, hardly anyone reports
stripes in the jumps anymore.
A few mayflies have appeared at scattered locations but there have not
been any massive hatches this summer, a scenario that is somewhat
puzzling and mysterious. Hatches have been small and inconsistent across
most of the reservoir.
The overall summer fishing scene has held up pretty good lately. The
warm weather is part of summer fishing but if you rise and shine early,
keep plenty of cool drinks on hand, apply the sunscreen and get your
fishing done by midday or perhaps opt to hit it late in the afternoon,
well, itís not too bad out there.
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.