FISHING CONDITIONS IMPROVE FOR LOCAL ANGLERS
Spring roared in like a lion last Saturday. High winds and
thunderstorms sent most anglers running for shelter as lightning
entered the picture over the skies of Kentucky Lake.
Then on Sunday, a brutal cold front whipped the lake to a froth and
sent temperatures down near the freezing mark. Anglers were wondering
what hit them as dramatic weather changes really threw a curve to the
fishing earlier this week.
Yet spring weather is always unpredictable and this week has been a
prime example. The weatherman appears to be on the side of anglers for
the next few days as warm temperatures are in the forecast. That
should improve conditions for both bass and crappie anglers.
Lake levels have been changing this week too as the reservoir rose a
few inches early in the week but began falling slowly on Wednesday.
TVA indicates Kentucky Dam will have an elevation of 355.2 going into
the weekend while upstream at New Johnsonville the reading is expected
to be around 355.
Surface temperatures were in the 53 to 56 degree range at midweek but
have begun climbing that last couple of days thanks to warm sunshine.
Look for surface temperatures to reach the 58-60 degree range early
Watercolor is still good with a little stain in both the Tennessee
River and Big Sandy area. Many of the larger creeks have been clearing
Crappie continue to play hide and seek with most anglers. The fish
have been finicky, as not many big stringers have been taken this
week. A lot has to do with the drastic weather changes and wind that
has had a negative impact.
Still, many anglers are having a tough time finding concentrations of
fish. Overall numbers of fish have been down for most anglers
throughout the West Sandy, Big Sandy, and Paris Landing area.
A few big crappie have been taken this week, however, as some slabs
are coming from the deeper main lake ledges. Depths of 21 to 23 feet
have produced some big fish but itís a one here, one there scenario.
I found some big crappie this week along the deep sides of drop-offs
but it was difficult to catch more than two or three at a spot.
Then, a day or so later I checked some midrange brush piles and stake
beds in the 7 to 12 foot zones but most of the fish were in the 9 to
11 foot areas with hardly a fish in the shallow stuff.
Surface temperatures and stained water up near the Sulphur Well Island
area was reported to have yielded a few shallow fish at midweek,
however. So watch for that Swamp Creek and upper Big Sandy basin near
Country Junction and New Hope to turn on this next week.
Anglers who are trolling or drifting are finding fish. It seems the
fish are scattered and suspended in many areas so those covering a lot
of water seem to be having the most success. Live minnows are
producing as are jigs tipped with minnows.
Popular colors have been purple and chartreuse, orange and chartreuse,
yellow with red metal flake and some blue and white. Many fish are
hitting jigs with painted leadheads too as the dingy water seems to
require some loud color combinations to entice the crappie bites.
Action should improve this weekend and into next week as surface
temperatures will rise and stimulate more movement to shallow areas as
the fish enter a prespawn pattern. Watch for more action along shallow
rock and gravel banks, as well as manmade stakebeds and brushpiles in
depths of 6 to 10 feet.
The male crappie have yet to turn dark so the hormonal changes have
not taken place, a further indication that spawning is still another
week or more away.
Bass action continues to hold up as some hefty stringers are coming in
each week. The bass fishing has been good for a lot of anglers who
have braved the winds and inclimate weather lately.
Crankbaits are still working best. Those rock bluffs, levees,
roadbeds, and sloping gravel points have been producing some good
fish, especially when the wind is blowing in and churning up the
Popular colors have ranged from crawfish to Tennessee Shad and
firetiger. Some fish are taking jig and pig combos, along with
suspended jerk baits. Watch for spinnerbait and topwater action to
improve this week, especially around wood structure in the backs of
bays and pockets where warmer water will be a factor.
Some good smallmouth are still showing up too. Some hefty fish have
been taken along the east side of the lake as anglers work those steep
A few rockfish have also been taking crankbaits and giving anglers a
tackle test as have those ever present big drum.
Although fishing has been a bit slow in getting started this spring,
look for overall fishing conditions to improve this next week.