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August 10, 2011
ANGLERS GET REPRIEVE…COOL SNAP STIMULATES FISHING SCENE
Kentucky Lake’s fishing scene got a reprieve this week from the hot and
humid conditions that had lingered for several weeks and it appears the
cool snap will last well into the weekend.
After a few weeks of above average temperatures anglers are sure glad to
see cooler nights and moderate day time conditions that have made
fishing much more appealing. The weatherman indicates nighttime temps
will sleep in the upper 60’s for a change with highs only in the upper
80’s for a few days, which is much more appealing than the heat index
earlier this month that climbed into the three-digit range and stayed
Lake levels continue on their path of slow descent and are on schedule
for mid-August. Observed elevation at Kentucky Dam will be 357.7 going
into the weekend. Upstream at New Johnsonville Steam Plant elevation
will be in the 357.6 range. Those readings are down a few inches from
last week at this time.
Surface temps this week have been in the 88 to 91 degree range but will
likely fall some courtesy of the cooler nights now upon us. Water color
remains clear all across the reservoir.
Crappie were showing up in the creel of a few anglers working midrange
depths of 11 to 14 feet. Although fish were somewhat scattered there
were a few spots holding decent numbers at times with small and keeper
size fish mixed together.
Jigs were producing as were live minnows and jigs tipped with minnows or
Berkley crappie nibbles. Fish actually responded favorably on days when
cloud cover was present, showing interest in baits entering their strike
zone around brush and stakebeds.
Some scattered fish were taken off deeper ledges in the 18 to 24 foot
zones but action on the deep ledges was inconsistent as more fish
appeared to favor the midrange depths. Mixed in with the crappie action
has been a tug from a catfish, bass, or a striper and white bass now and
Catfish anglers were finding decent action along the main river channel
banks as a slow current has been present this week and that usually
works in favor of anglers bumping bottom along the channel ledge where
baitfish are active.
A few boats have taken catfish this summer on a regular basis beneath
the Paris Landing Bridge and on the down current side of the bridge
pilings. Seems there’s always a few fish relating to the bridge piers
when current enters the picture and puts baitfish in eddies.
An occasional striper, along with a few yellow and white bass, has been
caught around bridge piers as well. However, not much surface activity
has been seen along the main river from white bass as the schools of
this popular gamefish are clearly not out there as they were in years
Bass continue to hit good for anglers working ledges and drop-offs in
the main lake and also in the mouth of some large bays. Tossing
crankbaits, Texas and Carolina rigged worms, along with some jig and
craw combos and swim baits have produced lately.
Some schooling bass are showing up as they bust the surface in pursuit
of shad. The fish push the schools of baitfish from deep water toward
the shallow sides of sandbars and the shad make a last ditch effort to
escape by coming to the surface, which stimulates the surface feeding
Casting chrome colored Rattle Traps and other shad imitations toward the
schooling fish will pay dividends as will worms and swim baits tossed in
The summer bass bite has held up pretty good despite the hot weather
that kept a lot of angles off the lake earlier this month. However, the
cool snap should help the attitude of anglers in the days ahead.
Although lower lake levels sometimes expose some grassbeds it appears
the extended spell of high water this spring took a toll on any patches
of pondweed and Eurasian watermilfoil. The various aquatic plants that
appeal to bass and anglers are just not there in shallow flats and backs
High lake levels two years in row have greatly curtailed growth of
aquatic plants up and down the reservoir.
Meanwhile, if you’ve been waiting for cooler weather before getting back
out on the lake then perhaps now is the time. Every day makes the
arrival of fall a little closer.
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.