Brought to you by: Fishtale Lodge
Kentucky Lake Fishing Report for:
April 13th, 2004
SNOW SENDS SPRING FISHING PATTERNS INTO
HIBERNATION...(WARMER WEATHER ON THE WAY)
Anglers in the Kentucky Lake area woke up to snow and bone chilling
north winds today (Tuesday), courtesy of a drastic weather change that
temporarily sent spring fishing patterns into winter hibernation.
It has not been a good post Easter fishing spree as
both the anglers and fish have been confused and pushed back by the cold
weather, high north winds, and mixture of snow and rain.
However, warm weather is on the way and
anglers could see sunny skies and temperatures returning to the mid 70's
later this week. Fishing should bounce back for bass and crappie anglers
Crappie have been attempting to spawn this last week throughout much
of the reservoir but success has been mixed as the fish were scattered
in various depth ranges and locations going into Easter weekend.
Some slabs were taken last week during a three-day segment of warm
sunshine and light winds where surface temperatures rebounded into the
62 to 64 degree range. Success stories were mixed, however, as a lot of
traditional areas known to appeal to shallow water crappie were not
producing high numbers of fish.
Many crappie remained suspended in midrange depths of 8 to 12 feet
out in the main lake and around open water flats. The most consistent
stringers have been taken by anglers drifting, slow trolling, and
pushing multi-pole spider rigs where a variety of baits have been fished
over large areas and different depth zones. This further indicates the
scattered pattern and confusion of the fish which seemed to be reluctant
to related to structure lately.
While a few good fish have been taken from stakebeds, brush piles,
and stump fields in 8 to 12 foot depths, fish have been scattered
requiring anglers to make a lot of stops. Jigs tipped with minnows have
worked best. Colors in the light blue and sparkle, chartreuse with red
metal flake, pearl with red metal flake, and silver or smoke colors with
sparkle have worked well.
A few fish remain on main lake ledges in depths of 19 to 23 feet.
There are a lot of small fish there, however, with only a few making it
past the 10-inch minimum length limit. The larger fish appear to be
in-between the shoreline and deep water, although several dark male
crappie were caught late last week on gravel banks and shallow
Surface temperatures have plunged back into the 57 to 59 degree
range today. Today's air temperature is expected to be 25 degrees below
Lake levels are rising and Kentucky Lake will see a continued
increase in lake stages the rest of this week due to rains throughout
the TVA valley. Observed elevation in the Paris Landing area was
expected to be 356.4 today and rising a few inches throughout the week.
At Kentucky Dam lake stages were in the 356.9 range and rising while
upstream at New Johnsonville the elevation was slightly lower with
readings in the 356.5 range.
Water color has gone from extremely clear to somewhat stained in the
upper Big Sandy and West Sandy areas. The Paris Landing area has some
dingy water due to wind and runoff in secondary bays while the main lake
areas remain clear.
How will all this cold weather effect the crappie and bass spawning
phases? That's a question on the mind of all anglers right now.
It appears a few crappie have already spawned as some females were
taken this week sporting a thin appearance due to dropping eggs. Yet a
few fish still have eggs sacs and may be reluctant to spawn until
conditions improve and water temperatures return to the mid to upper
Sometimes, when conditions are adverse and continued cold fronts
interrupt peak periods, crappie will reabsorb eggs and not spawn at all
while others may wait and make a late attempt at the annual ritual.
Watch for improvement later this week as warm weather returns and
the fish resume a bite, although don't expect any mass migration to
Bass anglers continue to find fish moving up to shallow structure
with some hefty catches taken around stickups. Several fish exceeding
the 5-pound mark are being caught by anglers working spinnerbaits,
shallow running crankbaits, floating tubes and worms, and jerk baits.
Many bass moved to shallow pockets and bays late last week where
warmer water was present. Some fish even appeared to be going through
early spawning phases around gravel banks as warm weather and a full
moon may have triggered some early attempts.
Most fish will back off this week due to cold weather but should
resume a more aggressive mode by the weekend.
A few dandy smallmouth were taken last week as anglers worked small
finesse baits such as hair jigs and inline spinners around rock bluffs
and rip-rap. Some jig and pig combos were producing as were crawfish
Rising lake levels this week will likely seen bass activity improve
along shoreline structure such as exposed crappie beds, dead grass
banks, and rocky points. Tennessee shad colored crankbaits and other
shad imitations will produce this week but watch for the return of loud
colored lures to appeal if muddy water enters the picture in some areas.
Overall, crappie fishing has been off this week but should improve.
Bass fishing has held up pretty good and should continue to improve.
Weather is always a factor during the spring fishing season and this
year has seen an abundance of unstable conditions and wind challenge
anglers. Still, no one can outguess the weather and
the best time to go fishing is whenever you can!
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.