June Fishing Scene Off To Good Start
Written by Steve McCadams - Published on June 1, 2022
Kentucky Lake’s early June fishing scene is off to a good start for bluegill, crappie and catfish anglers while the bass bite seems to be improving as well.
Lake conditions are in pretty good shape and the early summer patterns begin even though it’s still officially spring until June 21st.
Last week’s warm days saw the first mayfly hatch occur although it wasn’t massive like the ones that will soon arrive along the shores of Kentucky Lake. I observed several areas that had flies hatching while I was bluegill fishing these last few days.
Watch for the big mayfly hatches to start showing up in the next couple of weeks along the shorelines and river islands.
Once that happens anglers can find bass coming to their locale as the hatches attract all species of baitfish and small panfish that also lure bass to the natural buffet. Practically every fish that swims the waters of Kentucky Lake benefits in some fashion from the annual mayfly hatches that occur throughout the late spring and summer months.
Lake levels are staying stable and hugging the normal summer pool elevation mark of 359. Surface temperatures this week were starting the mornings off around 76 and warming up to 79 by midday. Warmer days will soon see surface temps rise into the low 80’s range.
Water color is clear across most of the reservoir with some stain present in the main Tennessee River sector. The dingy water along some river islands and shorelines is mostly from wind or boat traffic.
Crappie fishing showed some improvement lately as more fish are relating to structure in the midrange depths of 7 to 14 feet. The bite improved for anglers targeting structure while offering both live minnows and jig presentations.
June is a post spawn period for crappie that had been scattered and suspended throughout most of May. With warmer surface temperatures and their forage base of threadfin shad moving to midrange depths it lures the crappie to that locale.
This time of the year is often overlooked and underrated by crappie fishermen. The stability of both weather and water conditions works in favor of a more consistent bite.
While anglers tightlining jigs and minnows around manmade stakebeds and brushpiles have been productive lately so are the trolling methods of boaters pulling crankbaits out over main lake sandbars.
They cover a lot of water with that technique and often pick up several other species in the process, namely catfish.
Speaking of ole’ whiskers he’s still on the prowl as some nice ones were taken this week in midrange depths and still along rocky bluffs.
Some boats were jug fishing and having good luck doing it in backwater bays. It’s a very productive way to catch a lot of fish while to sitting back and letting the wind push the floating buffets across open water.
Decent catfish were still roaming the shoreline bushes too as bluegill anglers were encountering them on a regular basis when tossing crickets up around the edges of grassbeds and buck bushes.
Bluegill were still showing a desire to fan some bedding areas and the bite seemed to improve the last few days. Several females were taken around some deeper areas as they mixed in with the dark colored bull bream that were guarding the spawning craters.
That mixing is sort of an indicator that the last phases of active spawning are taking place.
Even a few shell cracker showed up in the creel this week as bluegill anglers tied into them while working grassbeds and edges of shoreline habitat. Some of the shellcracker have been dandies too.
Bass fishermen are still finding a few bass relating to shallow shoreline bushes and grass at times, especially in the early morning and late afternoon period of lowlight conditions. Floating finesse type worms have been working well as have a few Texas rigged craws twitched through the visible grass patches.
Some schools of pin minnows are beginning to show up around shallow structure too. As the minnows mature in the weeks ahead look for the shallow bite to hold up well.
Several boats are backing off the banks and hitting ledges with a summer pattern in mind. A few decent smallmouth have been taken out on midrange depth ledges and around rip rap rock levels at times too.
Tossing Texas rigged worms and Carolina rigged lizards had been producing fish from midrange sandbars as have deep diving crankbaits.
The ledge bite in on the verge of taking off but bass fishermen on Kentucky Lake know there’s always a good shallow bite along river islands and other shorelines if schools of baitfish are located and current enters the equation.
It’s that time of year when both shallow and deep patterns are paying off. Meanwhile, most bass fishermen feel the overall bass situation has improved a bit when compared to last year at this time. Most comments indicate numbers have improved.