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Joe and Judy Bernath from Tennessee
Kentucky Lake Crappie fishing
photo courtesy: Crappie Action Guide Service


Summer weather has returned to the Kentucky Lake fishing scene this week after fall like conditions descended last week but the overall report is a pretty good one.

Anglers got spoiled last week when cool mornings required long sleeve shirts and the weather picture was a bit surreal for mid-July. Normal temps returned the last few days as warm and humid conditions returned.

Lake levels have been falling slowly and are pretty much on schedule for TVAís drawdown curve that began in early July. The reservoir is down a few inches from last week at this time as a slow but steady drop is underway.

Projections for the weekend will see a reading of 358.1 at Kentucky Dam and 358 upstream in the New Johnsonville area. Water color remains clear across most of the lake.

Surface temperatures reflected last week cool snap and were in the 80 to 82 degree range at midweek but will likely rise a few degrees by this weekend.

Crappie continued to bite pretty good this week but some fish have backed off into deeper water. Several fish were residing on the deeper sides of main lake ledges in depths of 17 to 22 feet this week. The falling lake levels likely pulled a few fish out of shallow to midrange depths lately but a few were still being caught in stakebeds and brushpiles around the 14 foot depth range.

Those live minnows or jigs tipped with a minnow are still the best bet.

Bass fishing is holding its own with more fish taken in shallow water lately. No doubt the cool spell influenced that too as some decent stringers were taken by anglers tossing spinnerbaits, various surface plugs, Texas rigged worms and shallow running crankbaits. Pitching and flipping worms and craws around boat docks have worked too as those schools of pin minnows are using the shade and bass are staying with them.

Seems most folks think deep water is the ticket when hot weather arrives but in reality, finding the forage is the key. If you find the minnows youíll find the bass and sometimes those shallow weedbeds, boat docks, and blown down trees pay dividends even on hot days.

Drop offs are still giving up fish too. Itís not unusual for decent stringers of bass to be taken in both shallow and deep water this time of year on Kentucky Lake.

A little current has been present at times and that seems to have helped ledge fishing on the main Tennessee River lately. Big Texas rigged worms, spoons, giant crankbaits, Carolina rigged worms and craws, and jig and craw combos are still producing as are some swim baits.

Catfish action has been fair with a few more fish now occupying their normal summer haunts along the main channel in depths of 25 to 40 feet. Nightcrawlers, chicken liver, shad guts, and some big minnows have worked well.

Scattered mayfly hatches are still underway along the main river channel banks and islands from the state line area south toward Bass Bay. A few bass and bluegill have been taken around the flies too.

The dog days of summer are fast approaching. Donít let their barks take a bite out of your fishing as itís been pretty good out there lately.

 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