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Kentucky Lake Fishing Report for:
August 8th, 2003
Anglers are finding Kentucky Lake water levels somewhat above normal
this week as heavy rains have been on the radar screen for quite some
time. A lot of water has fallen in the TVA valley this past week,
keeping the reservoir several inches above normal for this phase of
Observed lake elevation at Kentucky Dam is 358.6 and upstream at New
Johnsonville the reading is 358.7. That's several inches above normal
for early August.
Crappie, bass, and catfish action is holding up well for most anglers.
Summer crappie patterns have been somewhat different this year due to
higher lake levels and an abundance of cloudy days. A lot of fish are
staying in the midrange depth zones of 12 to 15 feet.
Deep stakebeds and brushpiles are holding a lot of fish. You'll find
several short fish mixed in but there's enough keepers to keep you
interested. The activity level there is likely due to the higher lake
levels giving the fish and baitfish a comfort zone that would otherwise
be in deeper water.
There are some fish on the deeper sides of ledges so those areas are
The bait of choice is a live minnow and jigs tipped with live minnows or
Berkley crappie nibbles. Jig skirt colors appealing most seem to be dull
motor oil and clear with metal flake and some chartreuse combinations.
Catfish action has been fair but appears to have slowed down some this
week. However, watch for that to improve this next week, as TVA will
likely pull a lot of water through the system due to the recent rainfall
causing above average elevation.
With the increase in current this weekend and into next week anglers
could see some good catfish activity along the main river. Depths of 25
to 40 feet are producing with nightcrawlers and catalpa worms being the
most popular baits.
Bass action is still good and several fish are still roaming the shallow
weedbeds due to the higher lake levels. Normally the parameter of
islands and the backs of bays are too shallow by now to hold many bass
but this week has been an exception.
Shallow logs and exposed crappie beds are holding bass. Treetops that
have blown over along the make lake shoreline are also worth a cast or
Main lake ledges are producing some scattered fish as anglers toss big
crankbaits and Carolina and Texas rigged worms. Some anglers are also
working jig and pig combos along ledges.
A few smallmouth are showing up but still illusive for most anglers.
Compared to last year there have been fewer brown fish taken. Some
anglers are working spinnerbaits at night along rip-rap and sloping
Not much happening in the white bass and sauger departments. A few
scattered jumps of white bass have been reported but anglers casting
spoons and spinners were taking most. Sauger are few and far between
with only an occasional catch of one making it to the legal length
Surface temperatures are in the 83 to 86 degree range. Watercolor is
dingy in the upper Big Sandy and backs of some Tennessee River bays
while the main lake is still relatively clear.
For The Lake Barkley Report
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.