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August 18, 2011
LAKE LEVELS FALL SLOWLY AS SUMMER WEATHER RETURNS
After a cool snap that descended on the Kentucky Lake area for a week or
so anglers almost felt like fall slipped in the door. It has been nice
out there lately as lower humidity, light winds and some cloudy days
teamed up to produce a welcomed change to the dog days of summer.
A few cool nights set the stage for some nice mornings earlier this week
and anglers responded as activity increased on the lake from bass,
crappie, and few catfish anglers.
Temperatures this week were some eight to ten degrees cooler than the
previous week and that had an influence on surface temperatures which
fell a few degrees. Readings this week were in the 84 to 87 degree
range. Water color remains clear.
Lake levels are down some two feet from the summer pool mark since TVA
began its winter drawdown back on July 1. Observed elevation at Kentucky
Dam was in the 357.2 range. Upstream at New Johnsonville elevation is
expected to be 357 as the weekend approaches.
A slow but gradual fall in lake levels will continue throughout the
summer and early fall as TVAís curve will see the reservoir stabilize
once it reaches the 355 range in the months ahead.
Bass activity seemed sluggish this week as a few fish were taken on main
lake ledges but both numbers and weights seemed to fall off some from
the previous week.
Still, a few fish were taking jig and craw combos, Texas rigged worms,
Carolina rigged lizards, worms, and craws and some deep diving
crankbaits. The fish are still lingering around main lake drop-offs but
seemed reluctant to chase a crankbait.
Most of the fish were opting for Texas rigged worms in the nine to ten
inch length such as Berkleyís Power Bait worms in such colors as plum,
and blue fleck. A few fish showed interest in pumpkin-pepper with a
Carolina rigs were producing some fish that showed interest in Zoomís
Baby Brush Hog in green pumpkin pepper, red shad, and bluegill colors.
Although bass were finicky this week as to shad variations of crankbaits
that could swing back quickly as the fish are usually running threadfin
and herring shad this time of year along the ledges. The fish can turn
on quickly, especially if baitfish and current combine during the day in
the right spot.
Crappie were slow this week with an occasional fish taken in 9 to 14
foot depths. Numbers were down as it was a one-here and one-there
pattern although a decent size fish was showing up at times. Several
smaller fish were showing up in increased numbers in both midrange
stakebeds and on deeper ledges in 18 to 24 feet but finding a
concentration of keeper fish was not in the cards.
Fish showed a preference for live minnows over jigs or jigs tipped with
minnows this week. Itís not unusual for live bait to produce better
during hot weather periods and that seemed to be the case lately as
shiner minnows were the bait of choice.
A few bluegill were lingering around deeper brushpiles and beneath the
Paris Landing Bridge piers where shade and current were attracting them.
Very few mayfly hatches have shown up this summer and that usually
attracts bluegill but it hasnít been happening.
Some boats were trolling for white bass along the main river sandbars
and catching a few but no schools of surface activity were showing up. A
few anglers were casting Hopkins spoons and tossing Rooster Tails in
attempts to find some deeper white bass but action was slow overall.
Catfish were holding up well around the bridge piers and along the main
river bank where depths of 20 to 35 feet were giving up some good ones
at times when current was present. A few catfish were showing up in the
15 to 20 foot depth range as well.
Although it appears warmer weather is creeping back into the fishing
scene anglers have enjoyed a nice reprieve this past week. Every day
makes fall that much closer.
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.