Warm Weather Has Anglers Itching
Written by Steve McCadams - Published on February 22, 2023
Above average temperatures across the region this week have fishermen itching to hit the water. Fishing pox has been acting up and the only cure is a trip to the lake to wet a line!
Weather has indeed been unusual lately. At midweek many states and cities in the southeast were setting record high temperatures.
Spring fever is arriving early but February can be a strange months as can March in terms of the weather roller coaster. Best not put the coveralls and overcoat too deep in the closet just yet!
Unfortunately, with the unusual warm weather comes wind this time of year. Strong southern breezes accompany the rapid warm ups and that proves to be a high hurdle at times for Kentucky Lake fishermen yearning to kick off spring fishing a bit early.
Lake levels this week have been falling a few inches on a daily basis. In the aftermath of last week’s heavy rains the reservoir has been fluctuating.
Kentucky Lake’s elevation jumped a few feet as runoff entered the system when some areas experienced 4 to 5 inches of rain last week but Tennessee Valley Authority quickly began pushing a large volume of water through Kentucky Dam.
At midweek the elevation in the Kentucky Dam sector had fallen several feet to a reading of 355.6. The lake will continue a slow descent in the next several days but stabilize soon once the crest occurs around the winter pool level. That should occur by early next week if not sooner barring any more rainfall.
Surface temperatures have been rising in response to warmer weather and were in the 49 to 52 degree range. Water color has been stained to dingy in some spots after last week’s flooding but is rapidly improving as falling lake levels pull the dingy water out of secondary bays.
Crappie anglers were reporting fair catches on days when the wind allowed them to get out and about. Many target open lake areas this time of year or sometimes fall back into the mouth of bigger bays at times. The wind dictates the daily fishing route at times.
A few slabs were taken by anglers spider rigging and single pole presentations of jigs and live minnows over deep structure. Depths of 18 to 22 feet produced some nice size fish that were scattered in deep structure.
At the same time some boats were targeting brushpiles and stakebeds in midrange depths of 12 to 14 feet and finding enough fish in that locale to keep it interesting.
Somewhat stained water had anglers fishing a variety of colors as to their jig lead heads and skirt choices. Many were experimenting with florescent colors of green, orange, pink and various chartreuse combinations.
As the water clears anglers will drop back to some dull color presentations plus continue to keep live minnows on the menu as well.
A few bass fishermen have been out, tossing a buffet of crankbaits in a wide range of colors too. Some dingy water back in the bays and even along the main lake areas had bass fishermen reaching in the tackle box for variations of red, orange, firetiger and assorted combinations of loud crawfish combos.
Overall, Kentucky Lake’s winter fishing scene has been pretty good to anglers. February delivered several nice days when winds and temperatures teamed up to deliver pleasant conditions.
March officially takes over next Wednesday. The roller coaster of weather will be in full swing in the weeks ahead!