Brought to you by: Fishtale Lodge
May 20, 2010
ANGLERS HOPE FOR NORMALCY IN AFTERMATH OF HIGH WATER
In the aftermath of high water and heavy rains, anglers are adjusting
their tactics and locations in pursuit of lost fish. Kentucky Lake is
back down near normal summer pool and for that most lakers are thankful.
Elevation in the Paris Landing area is expected to be slightly above the
summer pool mark this weekend. Projected elevation from TVA’s forecast
shows 359.8 at Kentucky Dam this weekend while upstream at New
Johnsonville the reservoir is in the 359.7 range.
The fishing scene has been changing lately as some creeks have cleared
while the main lake and most of Big Sandy was still sporting a very
dingy color this week. The falling lake levels helped the water color in
many bays and pockets but muddy water has been slow to settle in some
Topping the list for fast action for several weeks in a row has been the
bluegill. A few good shellcracker have been taken too but hefty bluegill
are biting best. Seems a lot of shellcracker are on the back side of
their spawn and did a good job of hiding during the high water, using
buck bushes and willow trees that were almost impossible to access for
anglers at times.
Bluegill are still spawning and hitting good with consistent catches of
100-plus coming in. Crickets are the bait of choice and several local
bait and tackle shops have been selling them like hotcakes.
Some panfishermen are tossing redworms for the redear sunfish and also
opting to use small grubs or larva type baits. The long shank hooks
armed with Berkley’s Gulp and Power Bait are also effective as are some
beetle-spin style lures cast on ultra light tackle.
Expect another week to ten days of hot action on the bluegill before
their spawn starts to taper off. That means you still have ample time to
load the boat with these feisty fish that pack a punch.
Surface temps this week responded to some cool nights and fell a few
degrees. Readings were in the 69 to 71 degree range at midweek but will
warm by the weekend. Watch for readings in the 73 to 75 degree range
Bass fishing has also held up well and that outside buck bush pattern is
paying off. Tossing a spinnerbait, jig and pig, Texas rigged lizard or
worm or some shallow running crankbaits have been producing.
A few fish are hitting topwater jerk baits as those open grassbeds are
holding lots of fish that are out cruising at times. Find a creek where
water color has cleared and the floating worm and jerk baits are
Some anglers are already backing off the banks and tossing Carolina
rigged worms and lizards, along with big deep diving crankbaits on
sloping points and ledges as the falling lake levels pulled some fish
out of shallow cover.
Rattle traps and similar style lures have been working too as anglers
comb the feeder ditches and deeper banks.
With lake levels slightly above summer pool there are multiple
shorelines and islands offering excellent habitat for bassers who prefer
to pitch and flip.
Catfish continue on the prowl with some nice ones taken along rock
bluffs this week. The rip-rap levees such as Danville railroad south
near Cane Creek and along highway 79 levee have been popular venues.
Those rocky bluffs are the ticket for spawning catfish who love the
submerged crevices. That why areas like “catfish island” near Sulphur
Well up Big Sandy and bluffs along the east side near the TVA power
lines are other popular catfish hideouts this time of year.
Crappie continue to pay hide and seek with anglers. The unusual water
color in the main lake is likely contributing to the slow rebound as
it’s downright murky in spots.
The crappie bite is normally good during late May but is overdue on its
comeback since the high water came and went. Watch for improvement if
water color rebounds in main lake areas by next week.
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.