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


Kentucky Lakeís fishing scene enjoyed a pretty nice week of weather at a time when the dog days of summer are usually howling with heat and humidity. Yet fishermen havenít had to fight any three-digit temperatures this month and that suits everyone just fine.

Lake levels this week have been falling slowly but will stabilize somewhat as the weekend approaches. Projections for the weekend will be 357.1 at both Kentucky Dam and upstream at New Johnsonville. Those readings are down a few inches from last week at this time.

Water color remains clear across most of the reservoir as only a few light rains have passed through the region.

Surface temperatures are in the 82 to 84 degree range.

The summer bass bite continues as nice stringers are coming in from anglers working main lake ledges. There has been a little current this week as TVA continues its winter drawdown and overall lake levels are about on schedule.

A slow current works in favor of ledge fishing as it stimulate shad activity and hot on their trail are bass and other fish that are simply more active. Thatís been the case this week as a few large fish were taken off the deep sides of drop-offs in depths of 12 to 18 feet at times.

Popular lure choices have been black/blue and green pumpkin-pepper jig and craw combos, big 9 to 10-inch Texas rigged worms, deep diving crankbaits, along with both Carolina and Alabama style rigs.

A few shallow bass are still in the picture too and lower lake levels continue to expose more aquatic vegetation. Several flats now have exposed pondweed and spiny leaf type grass mats that are providing cover for both minnows and bass.

Backs of bays also have quite a bit of grass showing and thatís also holding bass. Tossing buzzbaits, weedless frogs, floating flukes, spinnerbaits and various jerk baits around the parameters has produced.

A few boats are tossing crankbaits around boathouses and docks and also flipping Texas rigged craws and similar style baits where shady areas are holding a few fish on bright sunny days.

Crappie action has been fair with scattered fish coming from main lake ledges in the 14 to 18 foot depth range. Tightlining minnows around the deep drop-offs has paid dividends but fish have been finicky at times with very light strikes.

There are still a few fish lingering around midrange stakebeds and brushpiles in the 12 to 14 foot depths but scattered best describes them too as it takes a lot of stops to accumulate decent numbers. Expect to encounter quite a few small fish this time of year.

Catfish were still hitting pretty good in midrange depths as crappie fishermen were tying into them on a regular basis, an indication not all the fish had moved out to their normal mid-summer river bank hangouts.

A few boats continue to work the main river channel using bottom bumping rigs armed with nightcrawlers, chicken livers, cut shad, and various commercial concoctions. Depths of 25 to 35 feet have given up a few fish lately.

Early morning and late afternoon outings have been pretty good times to beat the heat lately as the overall summer fishing scene is holding up well.

 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