Brought to you by: Fishtale Lodge
Kentucky Lake Fishing Report for:
March 16th, 2007
CRAPPIE BLITZ TOWARD
SHALLOW VENUES...BIG BASS BITE CONTINUES
Above average temperatures have
greeted anglers in the Kentucky Lake area for well over a week, even
though a cool spell is in the forecast as the weekend approaches. In
addition to warm sunny days relatively calm winds have offered good
Most anglers know March can be a mean
month. However, thus far it has been kind to bass and crappie anglers
who have gotten a head start on spring fishing patterns for the last two
weeks. Spring officially arrives next Wednesday, March 21 yet the fish
have been somewhat ahead of schedule as to their movement and moods.
Surface temperatures this week have
climbed to the 57 degree mark in many portions of Kentucky Lake and
especially here in the Big Sandy sector. Water color has been quite
Lake levels have been falling this
week on a steady basis as the reservoir had been some two feet above
normal for most of the month. TVA projections going into the weekend
will be 355.2 at Kentucky Dam. Upstream at New Johnsonville and in the
Paris Landing area lake levels are lower with readings in the 354.7
Crappie fishing has improved this week
and action is good as fish move toward shallow areas in a prespawn
phase. Significant improvement has taken place in the 5 to 8 foot depth
range the last few days as a lot of fish have made a blitz this week is
response to the rising surface temperatures and great weather.
Areas that were offering very few fish
last week at this time are rapidly changing. Shallow stakebeds, stumps,
and brushpiles are holding good numbers of fish.
While several anglers continue to find
scattered and suspended crappie in the main lake area of Big Sandy and
south near the Mansard Island sector around the TVA power lines, watch
for midrange depths to continue to attract moving crappie this next week
as the fish draw closer to spawning time.
This week anglers working the main
lake ledges were finding some fish in the 18 to 24 foot zones. Fish in
the deeper areas were relating to structure some days but other anglers
drifting, pulling long line presentations of jigs, and slow trolling
spider rigged jigs and minnows were finding fish suspended in the 18 to
20 foot zone out over 25 foot depths in the main channel of Big Sandy.
Itís that time of year when fish are
really on the move and a variety of depth ranges and techniques produce
results as do different sections of the lake. Earlier this week manmade
fish attractors in the upper portion of Big Sandy around New Hope and
into West Sandy were giving up some good stringers. Popular depths were
9 to 12 feet but fish have moved up since then.
A few anglers were also casting jigs
over shallow submerged structure as the clear water made it tough to
vertical fish without spooking the fish. Using casting bobbers and just
slow straight retrieves of curly tail pearl, chartreuse, and June bug
colored grubs was producing well.
I found some good numbers of fish on
shallow stakebeds at the last two days taking white and chartreuse tube
jigs fished in a vertical presentation. A light wind with some cloud
cover allowed good conditions for fishing the shallow venues and fish
hit very well.
The approaching cool front will likely
see action back off some for a day or two as north winds are expected to
drop temperatures12 to 15 degrees the next few days. While the crappie
have almost gotten ahead of schedule this week due to the extended spell
of warm weather and rising surface temperatures, watch for the
transition to slow down some until early next week when warm weather
Male crappie have not shown drastic
changes in color yet so hormonal changes havenít seen spawning begin but
watch for males to darken next week as they head toward shallow
structure and gravel banks.
Females are sporting hefty egg sacs at
this time so all the signs are pointing toward an early spawn that in
the event warm weather returns and dominates next week. Spawning usually
takes place once surface temps reach the 62 to 66 degree range with some
Bass action continues to hold up well
as hefty stringers are coming in on a regular basis. Some nice
smallmouth have shown up this week in addition to the heavy stringers of
largemouth that have been common for over two weeks running.
Those gravel banks and big rock
points have really produced lately with several fish in the 5 to 7 pound
range being caught.
Popular patterns have been working
sloping rock banks and bluffs with such lures as crawfish and shad
colored crankbaits, rattletraps, and suspending jerk baits.
There have been some fish in the upper
ends of big bays chasing shad too. Sometimes the submerged grass and
open mud flats harbor a lot of baitfish and in those scenarios no
structure is much of a factor as the fish are running the forage in open
March has traditionally been the best
month to catch big bass here on Kentucky Lake and this year has been
right on track. Watch for some topwater action and spinnerbait patterns
to enter the pattern by next week too.
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.