Brought to you by: Fishtale Lodge
Kentucky Lake Fishing Report for:
March 24th, 2006
CRAPPIE SPAWN STILL WEEK OR MORE AWAY
battled wind and cooler temperatures this week but a warming trend is on
the radar screen.
officially arrived on Monday but it was a day of cold winds and rain,
feeling more like winter was staying around for a spell. Very cold
weather lingered all week, challenging anglers who braved the elements.
were some good catches last weekend on both bass and crappie, despite
having to battle north winds and below average temperatures. Action
slowed earlier this week in shallow areas but showed signs of
improvement at midweek, thanks to the return sunshine that has been slow
to bring temperatures back to normal.
Presently, surface temperatures are in the 50 to 53 degree range, which
is several degrees cooler than two weeks ago. Watch for waters to warm
several degrees early next week when sunny days return. It doesnít take
long for surface temperatures to rebound this time of year.
lake levels continue to say near the winter pool mark across Kentucky
Lake the last several weeks. Only minor fluctuation has occurred but the
reservoir did rise some at midweek after heavy rains on Monday.
Presently, lake stages are in the 355.1 range at Kentucky Dam. Upstream
at New Johnsonville Steam Plant elevation is slightly lower with
readings in the 355 range. TVA indicates lake levels will fall slowly
Watercolor is sporting a good stain for fishing in West Sandy and
throughout most of the Big Sandy embayment. Clearer water exists at the
mouth of Big Sandy and around the Paris Landing area while some creeks
such as Eagle, Swamp, Lick, Bennettís, and Standing Rock have some stain
in the upper end.
runoff from rains earlier in the week have combined with high winds to
stir up sediments on the main lake so some areas of stained water are
present throughout the area.
continue to hit good but have backed off some this week as to their
blitz toward shallow water that was underway last week. Due in part to
the cold fronts this week, the fish appear to have pulled back to main
lake ledges or creek channel ledges in the mouth of large bays.
unusual for the fish to move up quickly when drastic warm spells occur,
as was the case two weeks ago. However, some fish have pulled back to
main lake areas in 15 to 20 foot zones in response to cooler water.
some challenging days on the lake this week and wished some of this
brutal weather had come back during ducks season when I really needed
it. In spite of the cold weather and wind---and it was very cold some
days--- the fish really hit good as my clients and I filled coolers with
crappie from main lake ledges.
of 20 to 25 feet produced some hefty fish which fell prey to shiner
minnows and some red and chartreuse combo colored jigs. Purple and white
also accounted for a few fish as it appeared the dramatic drop in both
air and surface temperatures pushed the fish back deep.
fish remained in midrange brushpiles and manmade fish attractors this
week but the bite was timid as the fish had a mood swing and were not
taking a jig or minnow with as much enthusiasm as was the case last
week. A few sunny days will see that change back quickly.
Meanwhile, some male crappie were showing slight shades of purple,
indicating hormonal changes were underway. Thatís an indicator that
spawning phases arenít too far away.
appear to be healthy with bulging stomachs full of shad. Females are
sporting eggs too but arenít quite ready to broadcast eggs just yet.
spawning phases to begin in another week to ten days as the recent cool
spell has brought the timetable back in line. Generally speaking,
crappie spawning here begins in the first week of April but there have
been times when unusual warming trends have jumpstarted the annual
ritual in late March.
now you can find a lot of crappie still in the deep waters of the main
lake but itís that time of year when a lot of movement takes place in a
short period of time. So, watch for those shallow venues to improve
quickly when warm weather returns.
anglers are catching some hefty stringers as the big sows are putting on
the feed bag in preparation for spawning just like the crappie.
rocky banks, gravel points, shallow stumps, and exposed crappie beds are
giving up some good bass as anglers work them with a variety of lures,
namely spinnerbaits, shallow running crankbaits, jig and pig combos, and
some suspending jerk baits.
anglers are working Caroline rigs off sloping points and sandbars but
the bulk of fish are coming from rocky areas where wind is blowing in
and stirring up crawfish and shad.
crankbait choices have been Banditís root beer, dark red and black back,
along with bright orange and some crawfish colors. Rapalaís Shad Raps
and Bill Lewis Rattle Traps have also been productive. The dingy water
in some areas is calling for loud color choices while clearer waters are
appealing to shad and dull colors.
smallmouth have been taken on the east side of the lake by anglers
fishing crankbaits, hair jigs, and some Carolina rigs. The steep bluffs
and rocky points which slope off into deep water have produced some
bronzebacks this week as the smallies like those cloudy, blistery days
if you can tolerate it.
week has seen overall conditions decline for most anglers as wind and
below average temperatures have reminded us just how unpredictable March
there. Spring will return again soon but donít put that overcoat too
deep in the closet until late April.
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.