Brought to you by: Fishtale Lodge
Kentucky Lake Fishing Report for:
March 30th, 2007
CRAPPIE SPAWN UNDERWAY...WARM WEATHER
ADVANCES BIOLOGICAL CLOCK
Warm weather with
near record highs has advanced the biological clock for both bass and
crappie this spring.
It's ahead of
schedule but crappie spawning has begun here in the Big Sandy portion
and around the Paris Landing sector of Kentucky Lake. Surface temps are
up to 66 degrees in many areas and even warmer in the upper end of Big
Sandy and portions of West Sandy.
Earlier this week
anglers were finding fish blitzing toward shallow zones as spawning
appeared to start in the 3 to 5 foot areas. Extremely clear water color
has most anglers dropping back and casting curly tail jigs, tube skirts,
Road Runners, and Charlie Brewer Crappie Sliders to shallow submerged
Heavy rains on
Wednesday could send some stain to the shallow bays across the reservoir
as runoff may work in favor of shallow water anglers.
Some good stringers
were coming from manmade fish attractors in 7 to 11 foot depths as well.
Casting also proved to be the popular technique there as vertical
presentations were less productive due to the clear water and no wind
situation that made fish quite spooky.
numbers of fish were showing up near Mansard Island and the TVA Power
Lines where anglers were drifting, slow trolling, and spider rigging. A
lot of suspended crappie were being caught as anglers pulled jigs
through 7 to 12 foot depths out over much deeper water.
Hefty stringers of
crappie were also coming from the New Hope area of the upper Big Sandy
River. Crappie there were coming from structure located in three to five
The fish are really
on the move as a variety of techniques are working at several different
depth zones but the rapid increase in surface temperatures really has
the fish heading toward spawning zones.
Some good stringers
were taken in the main lake where anglers were vertical fishing deep
ledges in the 18 to 24 foot last weekend. However, each passing day has
seen more fish leave the deeper venues and head shallow as things are
Warm days and light
winds have been kind to anglers and fishing has been good. Most anglers
are saying it has been one of the best March months in decades as to
overall weather and fishing conditions.
Peak spawning time
occurs when surface temps reach the 62 to 66 degree range. It appears
the crappie spawn will be a week early this year compared to the usual
The fish don't have
calendars. However, they respond to warm water, length of day, etc...and
this year's extended warm spell has lingered long enough to speed things
up ahead of schedule.
Lake levels have been
relatively stable this week. A slight rise in lake levels may occur in
the next few days in the aftermath of Wednesday’s heavy rain. However,
according to TVA's forecast elevation at Kentucky Dam will be in the
355.6 range going into the weekend. Upstream at New Johnsonville
elevation is expected to be 355.2 the next few days. Those readings are
a few inches above the low ebb of winter pool but close to TVA's curve
for reservoir levels during late March.
normal rise toward summer pool begins on April 1. At that time a gradual
increase in lake elevation occurs, barring any drastic rains or floods
upstream. The reservoir is slated to reach summer pool of 359 on or
around May 1st each year.
Crappie will likely
move up toward the top sides of ledges and migrate over secondary flats
this week as they head out toward spawning territory. Expect to see the
7 to 12 foot zone pay dividends in the next few days. And, stakebeds and
brush in 4 to 8 foot zones will continue giving up fish in the early
morning and late afternoon lowlight conditions.
Male crappie have
really turned dark the last few days as their hormonal changes kicks in.
That's a sure sign the spawn is now underway.
Females are showing
good egg sacs as bellies are bulging on many fish. Many fish are
sporting mushy eggs that are ready to be deposited as the cleaning
tables are telling the day by day story.
Popular jig colors
have been white/chartreuse, purple/chartreuse, black/yellow,
red/chartreuse, yellow with red metal flake, and some dull red/black
combos with a touch of pearl mixed in. And, chartreuse with red sparkle
also worked well.
Shiner minnows tipped
on jigs seemed to also entice bites now and then as did adding Berkley
Power bait and other scent attractants.
Bass continue to
come on strong as those gravel points, big chunk rock, roadbeds, and
sloping points are giving up some hefty stringers.
Baits of choice have
been Rapala's Shad Rap and other assorted crankbaits in the shad and
crawfish colors. And, several fish have been taken on suspending jerk
baits such as Smithwick's Suspending Rogue and Bomber's Model A.
It appears more
smallmouth are showing up this spring than last year too. Several
anglers are tossing hair jigs and other finesse baits around rock
Watch for increased
activity around shallow structure this week as surface temps warm and
bring more bass shallow where submerged grass and wood may attract fish
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.