Brought to you by: Fishtale Lodge
May 10th 2009
Updated May 10th, 2009
BLUEGILL/SHELLCRACKER ACTION GOOD....LAKE LEVELS RISE
AGAIN IN AFTERMATH OF REGIONAL FLOODING...CRAPPIE ACTION SLOWS..BASS
BITE STILL ON
Lake levels continue to roller coaster as heavy rains in the region late
last week have influenced TVA's ability to draw down the reservoir that
was falling for a few days. Elevation is now predicted to be 365 by
Monday at New Johnsonville and Kentucky Dam (normal summer pool level is
The reservoir should crest Monday night and begin falling on Tuesday
unless heavy rains return to the forecast, which is what happened late
Bluegill and shellcracker are still spawning and hitting good. For the
average angler that's the best thing going as stringers of 100-plus are
being caught daily.
Crappie action seemed to back off this past weekend, a likely response
to the rising lake levels that scattered fish more. Bass have continued
to bite well with a lot of small fish being caught but in good numbers
to please most bass fishermen.
Catfish have moved up to shallow areas and rock banks/bluffs as they
High water has been a nuisance but some species---namely
bluegill/bass---have held up well for anglers in the unusual conditions.
Hopefully lake levels will recede beginning Tuesday.
High water has worn out its welcome on Kentucky Lake. After an extended
stay lake levels are finally falling and thatís good news for anglers,
resort owners, campers, and all lake front property owners who havenít
been able to access docks and piers.
Itís another chapter in what has been a most unusual spring. Lake levels
have been on a roller coaster ride for several weeks.
There is a lot of current in the main river and along islands and
points. Water color is dingy in the Tennessee River portion and in the
upper Big Sandy but showing only a slight stain at the mouth of Big
Surface temperatures are in the 67 to 71 degree range but could warm
more by early next week.
Despite high water levels there have been some good stringers of crappie
taken this week. And, bluegill and shellcracker are spawning with
coolers full of the powerful panfish coming it.
Bass fishermen are finding fish in a variety of depths and
areas---ranging from bucks bushes and submerged grasslines to points and
ledges where current is a factor---and altering their techniques.
Catfish are entering shallow water too and some dandies have been caught
this week around bushes and rocks.
Falling lake levels will change the whereabouts of a lot of fish but
often times anglers can take advantage of the scenario. A prime example
will be finding bass on outside bushes next to feeder creeks or steep
Floating worms, jerk baits, spinnerbaits, and Texas rigged lizards and
worms have worked well this week. On points and ledges anglers are
tossing Carolina rigged lizards.
Crappie were showing interest in stakebeds and brushpiles around the 13
to 19 foot depth range at midweek. Look for main lake ledges to produce
fish as well this weekend and early next week due to falling lake
Tipping jigs with minnows has worked well. Chartreuse color variations
have worked well as have white leadheads and some neutral colors.
Peak spawning is now underway for bluegill and shellcracker as the
larger fish have stayed on some deeper beds even when the water was
rising. Several scattered fish were occupying buck bushes and grass but
the larger ones appeared to stay near the original shorelines even
during high water periods.
There should be some great bedding time ahead as these rusty rascals
will bite with a vengeance for quite some time. Crickets are working
best but some are taking small jigs tipped with a wax worm.
Catfish have gone on the prowl this week and entered shallow areas
searching for spawning territory. Some egg-laden females have been taken
around the bluegill beds and thatís quite a surprise to hook one on
light spinning tackle.
High water has also been a factor for West Sandy WMA as anglers there
have not reported consistent catches of crappie or bluegill lately. Fish
there have been scattered but the return of warm weather could see the
bluegill there improve soon.
Kentucky Lake anglers have had to deal with a lot of changes this week
and itís been a different lake every day with the rising water. It
appears things are headed back in the right direction as to elevation
but seems the fishing has been good for a lot of anglers who hung in
there and adjusted their approach to score hefty catches.
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.