Brought to you by:
May 19, 2011
KENTUCKY LAKE LEVELS RETURN TO NORMAL…FISHING SCENE
Bet you thought it would never go down! Kentucky Lake’s elevation is
expected to return to normal by this weekend after a wild ride that
lasted for several weeks on what seemed like a roller-coaster gone out
Lake levels have been on a steady decline and should stabilize late this
weekend once the elevation reaches the summer pool reading of 359. TVA
is projecting an elevation of 360.8 at Kentucky Dam as the weekend
approaches and 360.7 upstream at New Johnsonville.
After pulling the lake at least almost a foot per day for a week
straight, TVA has reduced the discharge some but will continue to
release water until normal curve is achieved.
Surface temps have fallen some since last week as unseasonable cool
conditions descended earlier this week and made it feel like fall
slipped in the door. Surface temps were in the 67 to 69 degrees at
midweek but warm weather is in the forecast and the water will rebound
to the mid 70’s later this weekend.
Water color has been clear in backwater bays and creeks and throughout
Big Sandy while a little dingy water is present in the main Tennessee
River channel. Falling lake levels really pulled stained water out of
shallow areas this past week.
Bluegill and shellcracker continue to top the list as spawning phases
have been at peak levels lately and good numbers and hefty fish continue
to bite. Despite unusual conditions lately the bluegill and shellcracker
bite has been consistent.
Odds are the spawning phases and active bite will hold up another week
to ten days. Boats have been catching in excess of 100 keeper size fish
It has been a good spring for light tackle enthusiast who have seen a
lot of bobbers disappear and drastically lowered the population of
crickets and wax worms at local bait shops.
High lake levels likely contributed to the spike in activity as these
powerful panfish thrive when shoreline vegetation and structure is
inundated, greatly increasing forage areas, zooplankton and
Bass activity is holding up well as some hefty stringers continue to
come in and anglers are boasting as to numbers of fish being caught. It
has been a mecca for visible structure style fishing.
Buck bushes, willow trees, and submerged weedbeds have been giving up
lots of fish. With falling lake levels has come the outside bush line
pattern that is now producing well. Any structure close to deeper water
seems to be holding fish.
Pitching and flipping techniques have worked well but clear water has,
at times, required anglers to lay back and cast for best results.
Watch for some sloping points to hold fish as well since the fish are
staging near deeper escape routes after leaving spots that appealed last
week but are now void of water.
Spinnerbaits in white and chartreuse with gold willow leaf blades have
worked well as have some buzzbaits and assorted floating fluke style
worms. Clear water has also worked well for jerk baits and various
Carolina rigged lizards, worms, and crawfish imitations continue to
appeal when fished on sloping gravel points and mud bars. Those feeder
creeks and ditches are now very popular places within the big bays.
Color choices in the clear water have ranged from motor oil and green
pumpkin-pepper to cotton candy and black and blue pearl.
Watch for some ledges to begin producing too as falling lake levels and
current will continue to pull fish to those venues.
Crappie have been slow but showing some signs of improvement. The fish
are filtering back to submerged structure in the 10 to 14 foot zones.
Fish are still scattered and while a lot of small fish are showing up, a
few more keepers are entering the picture.
With warmer weather and rising surface temps approaching watch for the
bite to improve as some fish that were roaming shallow shorelines last
week will now begin to navigate toward manmade fish attractors in both
the main lake and big bays.
Catfish have headed toward rocky banks lately and are spawning. Some
nice fish were taken this week and rocky bluffs and rip-rap levees
should attract fish this week.
Normal lake levels and weather patterns are long overdue and it appears
conditions are headed in that direction. Can I get an Amen on that?
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.