Brought to you by: Fishtale Lodge
Kentucky Lake Fishing Report for:
May 3rd, 2007
BLUEGILL SPAWN UNDERWAY…FAST ACTION
Right now you can have about as much fun as you’d like fishing
Kentucky Lake bluegill beds. The spawn is red hot and action is fast and
Just ask 9-year old Meagan Sewell of Paris, who teamed up with her
grandfather Dennis Bohnert, to wet a line Monday afternoon. After a few
practice casts with her spinning rod and reel combo she was battling
hungry bluegill as they submerged her orange bobber in pursuit of tasty
Bluegill on the bed and kids go together like peanut butter and
jelly. After a few tugs on the line young Meagan quickly came under the
spell of fishing. She attends Lakewood School where the 3rd
grader said she kind of liked this fishing thing.
Some 20 bluegill later and she was a veteran angler, although it was
only her second fishing trip ever. She seems to be hooked.
Meanwhile, her mom Nancy heard some fish tales over the cell phone
right from the boat and her dad Matt, who is a marine in the Iraq war,
will be getting some photos via email of her big fishing trip on
Redear sunfish, better known as shellcracker here in the south, are
also at peak spawn and ready to make your bobber disappear and test the
knot on your line. These babies are tackle testers and sport a hefty
size and appetite this time of year.
Once surface temps reach the 66 to 70 degree range these powerful
panfish begin fanning their small craters around sandy or small gravel
substrates. It’s there where egg deposits are made and the larger adult
fish reside for a short period, taking on a rather territorial mood in
defense of their nest.
Try tossing a cricket, red worm, meal worm, or artificial imitation
in their locale and you’ll quickly find a fight to the finish gate
keeper in the form of a big dark rusty bull bluegill or a handsome olive
This week the action has been quite good as nice weather has really
stimulated the bedding phase. A full moon entered the picture earlier
this week and that also tripped the switch for spawning phases to begin.
Action will likely hold up well for the next few weeks but right
now, the bluegill and shellcracker action is about as good as it gets
here. Weather is always a factor as the fish stay quite active during
warm spells while a cold front and falling surface temps can bring a
temporary hiatus to peak spawning.
You’ll find the feisty fish awaiting your arrival around the two to
five foot depth range in small bays or pockets off the main lake. Look
for a mixture of grass and bushes and work the parameter of the grassy
The water is quite clear now and with polarized sunglasses you can
spot a lot of the light spots or craters where the fish are fanning.
While the shellcracker are more finicky and often relate to buck bushes
or various aquatic vegetation, bluegill will bed out in the open water
away from shoreline.
Laying back and casting light spinning tackle works best as you
can’t get too close to the beds without spooking the fish.
Tackle choices need to include long nose pliers, small lead
split-shots, long shank number six bait keeper hooks and the bobbers of
your choice. Small spin cast or ultra-light rods and reels work great
for this style of fishing with monofilament line choices in the four to
six pound range working great.
Not only are these popular gamefish fun to catch but great to eat as
well. The small fillets will tip your taste buds when fried up golden
Don’t let this great fishing phase pass you by. Fishing the peak of
spawning for bluegill and redear is a great time to introduce a
youngster to the great sport of fishing. And, it kind of brings out the
kid in all of us old timers too!
What you waiting on anyway? The fish are sending you an invitation
to join them so hop to it.
# # #
Elsewhere on the fishing scene finds bass action holding up quite
well as anglers have landed some big numbers of fish this week. Crappie
have been improving in midrange depths, especially on cloudy days that
appeared to stimulate the bite.
Catfish are heading toward rock banks and already showing up in good
numbers where bank fishermen are cashing in as the fish seek out
spawning territory in the rock crevices.
Overall fishing conditions have been good this week for a variety of
species as warm weather and stable lake levels have been kind to
fishermen. Calm winds and cloudy days have been good too.
Water color remains clear.
Lake levels in the Paris Landing area and elsewhere on the reservoir
are lingering around the summer pool mark of 359.
Surface temps have warmed since last week with most of the reservoir
showing readings in the 67 to 72 degree range.
Several bass have been on the bed this past week as females were
really relating to grassbeds where buck bushes and willows mixed in
offered prime cover. Bedding fish have been visible in small pockets off
the main lake and up in the backs of large bays.
It appears Kentucky Lake has a healthy population of two and three
year old bass as those age classes are really abundant. Anglers were
catching 25 to 30 bass a day this week using a variety of patterns.
Tossing floating worms such as Slugo, Mann’s Shadow, and Gary
Yamamoto’s fluke style baits have been deadly choices this week as have
Zoom lizards and Yamamoto’s senko style worms.
The finesse style baits are working very well as anglers toss them
in shallow water without scaring fish. Working them up under boat docks
and piers has worked too.
Popular color choices have been red shad, watermelon with red
glitter, green pumpkin-pepper, and cotton candy.
The bass are really using weedbeds and buck bushes and several
topwater jerk baits have also produced such as Storm’s Chug-Bug and
Thunderstick, Bagley’s Bang-o, and Rapalas, just to name a few.
Some anglers are working Texas rigged worms and lizards while
pitching and flipping around blowdowns and deeper bushes.
Other patterns producing have been Carolina rigged lizards worked
slowly off sloping gravel points as some fish begin to pull away from
shore in their post-spawn phase. A few larger fish appear to be moving
back toward deeper water away from shoreline cover.
Crappie were finicky earlier in the week when high skies seemed to
slow down the bite. However, by midweek the cloudy days saw significant
improvement in the 11 to 14 foot zones where stakebeds and brush piles
produced decent numbers. A few fish were also taken on deep ledges out
on the main lake where depths of 20 to 25 feet were still giving up fish
on chartreuse variations of jig skirts.
Catfish are showing up at Danville railroad levee, U. S. Highway 79
rip-rap levee, and up Big Sandy around the little rock island near
Sulphur Well Island. Other rock banks are seeing improvement as well.
The bottom line is that fishing is good and whether you like bass,
crappie, bluegill, or catfish, it seems now is the time to go.
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.