Jordyn Riddick on spring break March 2014 with grandad
Crappie Action Guide Service
BEDDING TIME AT HAND FOR BLUEGILL/SHELLCRACKER
Kentucky Lakeís fishing scene warmed up this week courtesy of some
summer days that slipped in the door a bit early.
Surface temperatures climbed into the 72 to 75 degree range in most
areas and that has really stimulated the spawning phases of bluegill and
shellcracker. Despite several days of annoying wind, anglers have
chalked up some hefty catches as the bite has really turned on.
The first full moon of May arrives next Wednesday, a scenario that most
veteran bluegill and shellcracker fishermen feel signals peak spawning
time. It appears some already good fishing will get even better as these
feisty rascals have been attacking crickets with an attitude the last
Showing up in increased numbers this week have been shellcracker too as
these powerful panfish were taking redworms, meal worms, and crickets.
Several fish were out from shoreline habitat earlier in the week in
depths of 4 to 6 feet but began moving up shallow at midweek toward buck
bushes and submerged grassbeds.
Lake levels had been falling late last week and dropped below normal
summer pool for a few days, a situation that pulled a few shellcracker
and bluegill back off the banks. However, TVA allowed the reservoir to
slowly rebound to the summer pool reading of 359 at midweek and fish
were in the process of moving toward shoreline habitat.
Projections for the weekend show the elevation will be 359 at Kentucky
Dam. Upstream at New Johnsonville lake levels will be slightly lower
with a forecast for the 358.7 range.
Water color has been dingy in the upper ends of bays and in the main
Tennessee River channel this week but clearing in the main lake portion
of Big Sandy and around Paris Landing. High winds had whipped up
sediments in some places along shorelines.
Bass anglers had a pretty good week with a variety of patterns paying
off. Some good numbers of fish have been taken this week by anglers
pitching and flipping Texas rigged craws ,lizards, and worms around
visible buck brush and treelaps.
Black and blue colored craws and lizards were working well but some
pockets off the main lake had dingy water while others were quite clear
so color combinations were varying as to their popularity. Gold
willow-leaf spinnerbaits were also working well as the shallow cover was
holding lots of bass.
Topwater action improved lately as well with buzzbaits cast over those
popular yellow flowers mixed with buck bushes producing plenty of
Some boaters are backing off the shorelines and working sloping gravel
and mud bar points with Carolina rigged craws, Alabama rigs, crankbaits
and jig and pig combos. Backing off the banks can be productive when
some post-spawn bass stage there or the big females transition away from
shallow spawning territory and park in-between summer their summer
haunts and shoreline visits.
Catfishing was on the upswing too as some dandies have been taken this
week from both bank fishermen and those working shallow coves and rocky
banks. A lot of smaller catfish are being caught by bluegill fishermen
as the catfish love to infiltrate bluegill bedding areas once eggs are
present or small fry begin to hatch off.
Watch for some increased activity in the days ahead for any rocky bluffs
and rip-rap banks as the catfish come shallow to spawn.
Crappie were entering their second week of post-spawn phases and while
somewhat scattered and sluggish, a few were still being caught. Some
decent stringers were taken this week up Big Sandy by anglers vertical
fishing jigs around shallow stakebeds. Other techniques producing were
slow trolling crankbaits in bays where some suspended fish were riding
it out in depths of 8 to 12 feet.
A few male crappie are lingering in shallow structure and still
displaying their handsome purple appearance which occurs when hormonal
changes increase pigment. Itís likely a few late spawning fish were
still at it last week and earlier this week.
The fishing scene has embraced warmer weather this week, although most
anglers are still somewhat bewildered with the wicked wind. With catfish
on the prowl, bedding bluegill and shellcracker jerking bobbers under
right and left, bass in the bushes and a few scattered crappie still
being caught itís high time to go fishing.
Business is good!
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.