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Jimmy and Larry from TN March 2017
Kentucky Lake Crappie Fishing
MARCH WEATHER KEEPS ANGLERS OFF BALANCE
One day itís warm, next day itís cold.
Some days are windy while other are calm. Sunshine sometimes but low
clouds and rain often chase blue skies away.
Welcome to March madness. While the basketball world uses that slogan to
describe tournament time in collegiate sports, anglers use it too when
describing the monthís weather patterns.
Look no further than this weekís weather. Thunderstorms early in the
week followed by a brisk cool front that blew the bad weather out of the
At midweek warm days arrived once the winds diminished and it felt like
spring for a short spell. Light winds delivered a couple days of great
fishing conditions but the honeymoon was short as the weatherman says
this weekend will be a doozy!
Best dig out the coveralls as it appears winter weather will descend.
Gale north winds are forecast for Saturday and temps will plummet but
only for a couple of days. By early next week warmer days will return.
This roller coaster ride is normal for March. Always has been; always
Some good fishing days do occur but predicting just when they decide to
visit is a tough call. Anglers just have learn to adapt and prepare, as
best they can, for inclimate conditions. Take the sunscreen and the
overcoat; youíll need one or the other.
Meanwhile, some decent stringers of crappie have been taken this week on
Kentucky Lake. No doubt the fish are in transition.
Prespawn phases usually see both bass and crappie on the move, changing
locales daily when weather conditions dictate. Warm sunny days often
influence surface temperatures several degrees from early morning to
late afternoon. Add a few warm nights and that really speeds of the
Surface temperatures this week were starting out at 55 degrees in the
morning and warming to 57 by late afternoon. Odds are the shallow areas
will backslide this weekend with the arrival of the ugly cold front that
could even drop some flurries at times.
Water color has been sporting a slight stain in the Paris Landing sector
after some high winds stirred things up in the aftermath of
thunderstorms. Overall itís a good color for fishing.
Lake levels rose slightly last weekend but began falling slowly at
midweek. TVA predicted lake levels to be in the 354.6 range this weekend
at Kentucky Dam. Upstream around New Johnsonville lake stages will be
slightly lower at 354.4.
Crappie fishermen at Kentucky Lake were swapping stories last month
about an early spawn but their conversations were a bit premature. March
has a way of putting the brakes on unusually warm conditions and it
appears thatís just whatís happening since it roared in like a lion some
ten days ago.
Although several crappie have been moving up toward shallow venues and
some pretty good stringers have been caught in 5 to 8 foot depths, donít
expect spawning phases to kick in just yet. Cooler surface temperatures
have now returned plus male crappie have yet to show much hormonal
change that results in their darkening color change.
Anglers are still finding a lot of small fish in the deeper main lake
areas where drop-offs were holding pretty good numbers but not many big
fish were there. Most of the better quality ones are coming from depths
of 5 to 9 feet. A few are residing in the 9 to 13 foot depth range too
but fish were showing signs of moving toward shallows when warm sunny
days influenced them.
Techniques were varying from vertical presentations of jig over
stakebeds to long-lining Road Runners or spider rigging jigs and
minnows. Vertical jigging has been the most productive as of late.
Bass fishing has been good at times with crankbaits still producing
best. A few decent sized ones have been taken as anglers bang the banks
but some winning tournament stringers are coming from boaters backing
off the shorelines and working secondary creek channels, humps and
Just how much influence the approaching cold front with have on the
shallow bass bite and transitioning crappie remains to be seen.
No doubt it will throw a curve ball to fishing patterns for a day or two
but itís that time of the year when things change quickly. Rebounds
occur rapidly. The fish can turn back on just as quickly as they turn
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.