Jordyn Riddick on spring break March 2014 with grandad
Crappie Action Guide Service
CRAPPIE SPAWN RESUMES…HEFTY BASS BITE CONTINUES
This stubborn spring has been a doozy. To an already roller coaster ride
of weather patterns add yet another week of unstable conditions where
frigid winds started the week off and finally lost the strangle hold
Can there be any more hurdles for bass and crappie fishermen in this
spring’s weather forecasts?
By this weekend the crappie spawn here on Kentucky Lake will be back in
action as the near record cold snap on Tuesday and Wednesday brought a
short hiatus to the annual ritual. Bone chilling northeast winds
Wednesday morning really put a chill in the air---temperatures fell
below the freezing point in some areas---but started to rebound quickly
by late afternoon.
Surface temperatures dropped back to 59 degrees for a few hours but
eased back up to the 62 degree range late Wednesday afternoon as winds
shifted to the southeast and delivered a warm-up. Shallow water has
warmed quickly and will be back in the 64 to 66 degree range as the
weekend arrives, stimulating active spawning phases.
Success rates improved the last few days for a variety of anglers. Those
pulling long lines armed with curly tail grubs and Road Runner style
jigs continue to score decent stringers as have those spider rigging
with multi-pole presentations. A lot of fish are still scattered and
suspended; a likely pattern in response to the crazy fluctuation of
A few boats have been drift fishing as high winds have required some
anglers to adapt as best they could. This style can produce at times
too, especially when fish are a bit suspended and scattered. Some are
using live minnows or tipping jigs with minnows and also utilizing slip
bobbers to regulate depth.
Also producing has been vertical presentations of jigs over manmade fish
attractors in depths of 7 to 12 feet. A few were taken deeper but at the
same time some fish had really moved up last weekend during the warm
conditions and blitzed toward 4 to 6 foot depths.
Water color is clear across most of the reservoir with a few bays
showing stain in the upper ends. Some dingy water was present up Big
Sandy and anglers there found shallow fish biting at times too.
Casting curly tail grubs and various small spinner type baits has
produced a few fish too as the black crappie were beginning to
transition toward rocky points and banks last weekend. Action backed off
at midweek but should resume quickly as the fish dart back to the
shallow areas that warm quickly.
The next few days should see crappie turn on in response to rising
surface temperatures. This year’s weather has pushed the timetable back
for active spawning phases and thrown things off balance for the last
If you have been somewhat confused by it all and experienced some tough
fishing days as to catch rates you are not alone; it has been tough out
there for most folks this spring. There have been a few anglers who
boated limits while long line trolling or pulling jigs but for the most
part the overall crappie fishing scene has been below average.
Has the decline been due to the cold weather? Are the fish out there is
good numbers? Have fishermen been fishing the wrong depths? Do fishing
regulations of length limit, pole limits and creel limits need to be
These are questions on the minds of most fishermen stalking their
favorite holes this year here on Kentucky Lake. It will be interesting
to see how the fish react now that warm days are here. Up to now it’s
been a bit mysterious but things are improving.
From the bass scene comes word of some hefty catches lately. Folks are
still talking about bass angler Tom O’Bryant’s lunker caught last
Saturday out of Paris Landing State Park that weighed 11.86 pounds! He
won the American Bass Tour tournament with a stringer weighing 28.04
pounds and has reportedly landed four bass this year that exceeded the
Some of the bigger fish were taken back away from the shallow banks last
week as anglers were tossing Alabama rigs, jig and craw combos,
spinnerbaits and Carolina rigged craws on long sloping rock and gravel
It appeared the bigger fish were staging out away from shallow areas
while a lot of smaller fish had moved up and were taking crankbaits on
shallow shorelines. With warmer surface temps returning watch for some
bigger fish to sprint toward shallow gravel and rock points in the days
ahead as they prepare to spawn.
Lake levels continue to be above normal for the third week of April but
TVA began spilling water through Kentucky Dam earlier this week,
dropping lake levels a few inches each day. Projections going into the
weekend show lake stages will be in the 358 range at Kentucky Dam and
357.8 at New Johnsonville.
Those readings are down several inches from the crest that occurred
earlier this week.
Are warm sunny days finally taking charge? Most anglers sure hope so but
don’t bury the coats and sweaters too deep in the closet. The saga of a
string spring continues!
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.