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Kentucky Lake Guide Andy Hicks


Cooler conditions are on the way! Kentucky Lake anglers are anxious for the arrival of lower temps and diminishing humidity after some twenty days of 90-degree temps since June rolled around.

Summer officially arrived last Sunday but summer weather has been here for weeks. Thursday’s weather was forecast to top out at 97 as the cool front knocked on the door, escorted by some unruly weather patterns as the weekend draws near.

Temps on Saturday are expected to top out in the low 80’s so a reprieve is on the way and that will last well into next week. Some cool mornings are long overdue.

Despite several back to back hot days the fishing has held up pretty good for both bass and crappie anglers. Most of the activity takes place in the early morning hours as by midday it’s another ballgame unless some cloud cover and light winds help out.

Lake levels were down several inches earlier this week for some strange reason but TVA projects a return to summer pool this weekend. The forecast indicates a reading of 359 at Kentucky Dam and 358.9 upstream at New Johnsonville.

Surface temperatures this week have been in the 85 to 88 degree range. Water color is clear. Very little current is expected the next few days as TVA is not expected to pull much water.

Decent stringers of crappie are coming from the 13 to 15 foot depth range. Anglers working stakebeds and brushpiles with jigs tipped with minnows or Berkley chartreuse crappie nibbles are scoring good numbers.

A few boats have been trolling crankbaits along main lake ledges. And, others are working bottom bumping rigs or tightlining jigs and minnow combos on the deep sides of drop-offs in 15 to 18 foot depths and finding some activity.

Most anglers continue to overlook and underrate the June crappie bite. It has held up to its reputation lately.

Bass are running schools of minnows around shallow grassbeds and around blowdowns. Some fish have been taken in the aquatic vegetation by anglers tossing Texas rigged worms and spinnerbaits. Topwater action has occurred as well for anglers tossing floating fluke style worms and some jerk baits whenever minnows are encountered.

The bulk of the shallow water bite occurs in the early morning before bright sunlight enters the picture.

Main lake ledges are still producing the winning tournament stringers as backing off the banks is pretty much the norm for summer patterns. Not every ledge is loaded with bass, however, so it’s a trial and error approach.

Sometimes it takes a lot of looking before a decent school of bass can be located. Most of the tournament winners are logging long hours with their sophisticated sonar units, which help eliminate some dead water.

The “grand slam” of summer bait selection for ledge fishermen continues to be big deep diving crankbaits, swim baits, large Texas rig worms and jig and craw combos. Carolina and Alabama rigs have produced at times as have big spoons.

Catfish are still hitting in midrange depths of 13 to 15 feet as crappie fishermen are tying into them on a regular basis while fishing deep stakebeds. Very little current is expected the next few days and that will not work in favor of catfishermen stalking the edges of the main river channel.

Scattered mayfly hatches are underway along the main Tennessee River channel area but no massive hatches have occurred, although one is overdue.

 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.

Gone Fishing