Brought to you by: Fishtale Lodge
Kentucky Lake Fishing Report for:
April 24th, 2003
Fishing this week on Kentucky Lake has improved for bass anglers and
crappie action has been a bit better than last week. Bluegill and redear
(shellcracker) are about to go on the bed too.
Cool winds have kept a big of dogwood winter lingering in the
picture so overcoats and raingear have been popular attire.
Kentucky Lake has been rising slowly and TVA predicts lake levels
will be somewhat above summer pool this weekend and into next week.
Lake stages at New Johnsonville are expected to be 359.3 this
weekend. Kentucky Dam is expected to have an elevation of 359.5. Normal
summer pool elevation is 359 so the lake in several inches above normal.
Watercolor remains clear in the main Tennessee River and through
most of the main lake portion of the Big Sandy embayment. Some dingy
water is present in the upper portion of Big Sandy around the gravel
pits and a few backwater bays where wind and runoff had created some
Surface temperatures fluctuated this week as some cool nights and
north winds had an influence. Early morning surface temperatures were in
the 62-degree range but warming to 66 by midafternoon.
Crappie anglers are finding the fish in a variety of patterns as the
fish continue to move about the reservoir. While action has slowed some
in the West Sandy and upper Big Sandy embayment where many anglers were
catching suspended fish last week, deep-water ledges were giving up some
good fish this week in the Paris Landing area.
Depths of 21 to 28 feet were producing some good size slab crappie.
The depth range is somewhat surprising as rising lake levels generally
send fish toward shallow areas or scatter them in a suspended pattern.
However, post-spawn crappie sometimes have strange moods and a few
of the guides found some deep fish this week out on the main lake drops
as they tight lined jigs and minnows around deep structure.
Guide Any Hicks boated some nice fish last weekend and throughout
the week while working ledges in the Big Sandy. I joined him in the deep
water on Monday and found some hefty crappie relating to the deep side
of the drop-off, although fish were somewhat scattered.
Jigs in the orange and chartreuse combo were working well and seemed
to produce even better when tipped with a minnow.
There are still some fish on main lake flats in the 8 to 12 foot
zones as stakebeds and brushpiles are giving up a few fish there and
there. The clear water is demanding that anglers use light monofilament
in the 4 to 8-pound test range.
Some anglers are still casting curly tail jigs around submerged
structure while drifting and slow trolling is also accounting for some
A few large female white crappie were still holding eggs but the
majority appear to have spawned. Sometimes crappie will reabsorb their
eggs when cold fronts and weather changes interrupt their spawning
Male crappie are still sporting their pretty dark colors but appear
to have backed off the banks and shallow water in much of the Paris
Landing area. Practically all the big fish I caught in deep water were
Look for crappie action to remain fair this week as a variety of
patterns continue to produce. The various depths and techniques are
typical of post-spawn crappie.
Bass action has improved in shallow shoreline habitat as the rising
lake levels continue to open up new territory for the fish and
fishermen. Grassbeds and some buck bushes were holding bass this week as
a lot of fish began fanning spawning areas.
A lot of buck bass were hitting spinnerbaits, lizards, worms, and
surface lures tossed their way. Floating worms were working too as
anglers worked them slowly through the aquatic vegetation.
Larger bass seemed a little harder to come by for many anglers, a
sure sign that some of the big females are on the bed.
Look for an increase in topwater action this week on the cloudy
days. The male bass are quite aggressive right now and shallow grassbeds
where those yellow flowers can be found is a recipe for success.
Some anglers are still tossing crankbaits and Carolina rigged
lizards around points in hope of finding a few larger fish or tricking a
smallmouth into hitting.
Pitching a jig and pork combo is also working around logs and
Bluegill and redear sunfish are about to go on the bed. Watch for
significant improvement from these feisty fellow this next week as
waters warm and the fish head to shallow pockets where a sandy, gravel
bottom is present.
Several redear have already been taken around shallow buck bushes
and grassbeds in the backs of large bays.
Crickets and red worms are the baits of choice but donít forget to
give those wax worms and try too.
For The Lake Barkley Report
For Other Kentucky Lake Fishing Reports
is a professional hunting and fishing guide
here in the
Paris Landing area and host of The Outdoor Channel's television series IN-PURSUIT.