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Brought to you by: Fishtale Lodge
June 18th, 2009
 

SUMMER FINALLY CHASES AWAY A STUBBORN SPRING


Say goodbye to a stubborn spring. Summer has finally chased it away and for several weeks now the fishing has been improving thanks to normal lake levels and weather patterns.

Summer officially arrives on Sunday and most anglers are glad to put spring in the rearview mirror. It has been another good week for fishermen as consistent stringers of bass and crappie are being caught.

Mayfly hatches were present this week in portions of the Paris Landing area and watch for a massive hatch to occur any day now, especially with the regularity of thunderstorms which seem to stimulate this natural occurrence.

In addition to good bass and crappie fishing there are scattered success stories from those catfishing and chasing shallow bluegill.

Lake levels have been a few inches above summer pool this week due to some recent rains but TVA is now pulling water so watch for a slow fall this weekend and early next week as current enters the picture.

Elevation has been in the 359.7 range the last few days but TVA projections indicate both Kentucky Dam and New Johnsonville will be in the 359.5 as the weekend approaches.

Surface temp has been in the 80 to 83 degree range this week. Several warm days have spawned thunderstorms but anglers have been dodging them and experiencing good fishing in-between those dark clouds. You just have to keep an eye in the sky and pay attention to that southwest direction as thatís where most of the adverse weather patterns originate.

Water color is clear throughout most of the Big Sandy area and the Tennessee River is relatively clear as well. Some isolated areas are showing a slight stain around milfoil grass and river islands.

Crappie have been hitting good as those midrange stakebeds and brushpiles are really giving up some dandy stringers. Both numbers and size of fish have held up well this week.

Depths of 11 to 15 feet have been productive as crappie seemed to return to those midrange depths this week and really turned it on during the cloudy mornings. Tipping jigs with minnows has worked best but adding a Berkley Power Bait crappie nibble has also paid dividends.

Popular jig colors have been white/red, orange/chartreuse, and some clear skirts with metal flake. Actually a lot of color combinations have worked. Whatever color anglers choose it seems that minnow is enhancing the strikes.

Deep ledges were still holding some fish this week too but appeared to fall off some compared to last week at this time, a likely result of rising lake levels earlier this week that teamed with cloudy days to offer the fish a comfort zone in midrange depths.

Watch for those ledges in the 20 to 25 foot depth range to rebound this next week as falling lake levels and some current pull a few fish back to these summer hideouts.

Bass anglers are pounding the grassbeds and finding fish. Tossing chrome colored rattle traps and blue/chartreuse colored spinner baits with gold willow leaf blades have worked well.

Those ledges continue to give up lots of fish as the deep water pattern has held up for several weeks. Carolina rigged worms and lizards are working as are big deep diving crankbaits and Texas rigged worms. Big jig and pig combos and some spoons are also accounting for some of the larger fish.

Some mornings the ledges have been slow but the bite has increased in the afternoon as current enter the picture. And, the current is also working in favor of shallow bass action where the fish are chasing pin minnows around river islands and grassbeds along the main Tennessee River.

Topwater has been worthy of consideration too as the jerk baits, buzzbaits around grass, and some floating worms are fooling a lot of fish that are still relating to shallow structure.

It appears there was a good hatch of shad this spring during the high water as an abundance of small fry is all over the place, offering an excellent forage base for a variety of species, namely small bass.

Catfish have been taken this week by some jug fishermen using big minnows, nightcrawlers, and chicken liver. Some dandies are also shaking hands with deep water crappie fishermen at times as they really take the kinks out of your line once they hit like a runaway freight train.

Bluegill anglers will have some fast action in the days ahead as mayfly hatches stimulate the shallow bite from hungry panfish that are congregating near main river islands and grass awaiting natureís buffet. That flyrod and ultra light tackle will help you have some fun as summer chases away spring.

Overall the fishing scene has been good and this summer bite is well worth your time and effort so hop to it. The fish are doing their part.

For The Lake Barkley Report
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Also check out our past:
Kentucky Lake Fishing Reports

Steve McCadams
 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

 
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