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July 3, 2013


It has been an unusual start for July anglers here on Kentucky Lake this week as below average temperatures and low humidity teamed up for nice fishing conditions. Everyone knows it won’t last all summer but a lot of fishermen have been making the most of it with hefty catches of bass, crappie and catfish.

Seems odds for the second week of summer to feel like fall but that was the case a few mornings and no one is complaining.

Lake levels are pretty much on track this week as the reservoir was staying around normal summer pool elevation. Projections for the next few days indicate a reading of 359.1 at Kentucky Dam and New Johnsonville. TVA’s normal curve will see a slow, gradual drawdown begin next week as the decent toward winter pool begins after the holiday period.

Surface temperatures the last few days cooled back down into the 81 to 83 degree range thanks to the cooler nights and light north winds at times. Water color remains clear across the reservoir.

Summer bass activity has held up well this week with the heaviest stringers coming from main lake ledges but a lot of smaller bass are running the shallow banks and grassbeds where a lot of anglers are tossing topwater and spinnerbaits and loving it.

There are areas of pondweed and various aquatics growing in shallow water that have been holding bass the last few weeks as schools of minnows and other baitfish are residing in the visit cover. Some fish have taken weedless frogs and other jerk baits but working a floating worm and Fluke style baits has produced too.

From the main lake drop-offs have come most of the heavier stringers this week. Several 20-pound plus limits have been taken in tournaments recently by anglers staying with those big deep diving crankbaits, 10-inch Texas rigged worms, jig and craw combos and Carolina rigged worms and lizards imitations.

Strike King’s popular series of XD crankbaits have been popular choices as have Bill Norman, Poe’s, Bandit and Rapalas just to name a few of the big deep divers. Colors producing have been blue/white/chartreuse and Tennessee shad variations.

Zoom’s Brush Hog in the green pumpkin pepper, red shad, and black/blue have been popular choices rigged both Texas and Carolina style. Culprit, Berkley, and Zoom’s big 9 to 10-inch worms have worked well too for deep water anglers.

Thanks to some cloudy days crappie action has held up well again this week and benefitted from the cooler conditions. A few fish remain in stakebeds and brushpiles in midrange depths of 12 to 15 feet but numbers have scattered some since last week. No doubt a few fish are pulling out of the midrange zone and occupying deeper depths as last week’s warm spell heated up surface temps for a few days.

There have been some decent stringers taken lately by anglers vertical fishing jigs in the manmade fish attractors, although it has taken a few more stops since fish are somewhat scattered. Tipping jigs with live minnows is still producing as is adding Berkley Power Bait crappie nibbles to enhance bites.

Trolling crankbaits is another pattern that continues to produce this time of year. A few boats were finding crappie on the edge of drop-offs this week and also tying into a few big catfish and bass at times, not to mention an occasional sauger.

Watch for more fish to transition toward the deeper sides of drop-offs by next week when warmer temperatures coincide with slow falling lake levels. Those deeper ledges should see fish holding around the 18 to 25 foot zones.

Catfish were being caught beneath the Ned McWherter Bridge at Paris Landing again this week where a little current was working in favor of anglers fishing the piers. Nightcrawlers have been the most popular bait choice.

A few catfish are still lingering in the deep crappie beds too as anglers continue to tie into some dandies while dangling jigs around the submerged structures.

Mayfly hatches were somewhat scarce earlier this week but watch for increased activity this weekend and for the next few weeks.

Better take advantage of this nice weather and get out on the lake. Low temps and humidity won’t stay this week for long!

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.

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