Brought to you by: Fishtale Lodge
Kentucky Lake Fishing Report for:
September 17th, 2004
IVAN THE TERRIBLE CHANGES LAKE LEVELSÖ
TVA SPILLING WATER ON TENNESSEE RIVER
It started out thousands of miles away but Ivan The Terrible will
likely alter lake levels here on Kentucky Lake this weekend and into
TVA has altered its draw down schedule across the valley and began
spilling water along Tennessee River reservoirs and tributaries earlier
this week in anticipation of heavy rains.
Upstream at Ft. Louden, Watts Bar, and Chickamauga TVA was drawing
the reservoirs down some two feet at midweek and spilling water through
dams in hopes of creating more storage capacity.
Water was spilling, a term used by hydrologists when dams release
water quickly as opposed to slow releases that operate turbines, by
midweek at Ft. Louden, Watts Bar, Chickamauga, Nickajack, Guntersville,
Pickwick, and here on Kentucky Lake.
That means thereís a lot of water coming through the Tennessee River
system right now and as the last and largest reservoir in the TVA
system, Kentucky Lake is inheriting a lot of water. Since the Tennessee
River flows north all the water is passing right through our area.
Just how much rain the TVA valley will receive has yet to be
determined as this column went to press but every meteorologist is
painting a wet picture.
Locally, lake levels began rising Wednesday as the discharges began
sending water our way. TVA is predicting a reading of 356.9 by midnight
Friday at New Johnsonville but advises that could change.
The agency is recommending lake users pay close attention to the TVA
website for updates on lake levels, especially those upstream. You can
also call TVAís toll-free hotline at 1-800-238-2264 for specific
reservoir readings and projections.
Hurricane Ivanís backwash of heavy rains means a lot of current in
the main river this weekend and into next week. That could stimulate
activity for catfishermen and some bass too as the fish react to
increased movement from baitfish.
Since the reservoir up in east Tennessee are smaller, they have less
storage capacity than Kentucky Lake and they could rise much faster, a
situation that could play havoc on docks and marinas on those lakes.
Meanwhile, anglers will likely see some improvement in shallow water
habitat, as grassbeds that were too shallow last weekend will have ample
water this weekend. Bass will likely move up in shallow structure or
roam many gravel banks and grass flats as meandering shad attract them.
Some ledges will improve for smallmouth where current stimulates
action so working a few of those points or sandbars might payoff with a
hefty bronzeback or two.
Crappie will likely move shallow too as the rising lake levels will
make some shallow structure more attractive to them. Watch for improved
action in the 9 to 13 foot zones this week.
Surface temperatures this week have been in the 78 to 81 degree
range. Watercolor has been relatively clear but watch for a lot of dingy
water in the Tennessee River this weekend while Big Sandy will likely
The cloudy days will also aid the shallow water crappie anglers as
it filters the bright sunlight and gives the fish a comfort zone.
Right now thereís a lot of change taking place on Kentucky Lake as
to water conditions but it could help the fishing in certain areas.
However, itís a good idea to watch for floating logs and other
debris as fast rising lake levels often send a lot of hidden dangers to
Donít let Hurricane Ivan dampen your fishing spirits too much.
For The Lake Barkley Report
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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.