Lake Conditions:  Overcast - 70° / Lake Temperature  82° - 359.30'
Cadiz, Kentucky
Cadiz, Kentucky
Cadiz, Kentucky
Closer Than You Think

Steve McCadams' Fishing Report

Summer Like Conditions Enter Fishing Scene

Report for May 31, 2023

Seems like summer on the Kentucky Lake fishing scene but it’s still spring as the season doesn’t officially transition until June 21st.

Anglers are getting an early dose of hot weather this week as temps have climbed to the mid-80’s and may warm even more by this weekend and early next week. Apparently June will enter with a heat wave in its first week on the calendar.

Lake levels this week are staying around the 359.3 range in the Kentucky Dam sector. That’s a few inches above the normal summer pool mark.

Elevation has been stable this week with very little current present in the main channel area.

Surface temperatures have been in the 79 to 80 degree range this week but anglers can expect a slight rise in the approaching days. Water color is relatively clear across the reservoir.

As the local fishing scene slowly changes over to a summer type pattern fishermen are still finding a few late spawning bluegill as June’s first full moon arrives on Saturday. That will have some influence on a second wave of spawning activity for these powerful panfish although the peak traditionally occurs in early to mid- May.

Seems a few fish return to spawning beds in late May and early June each year. This week several stringers of bluegill have been taken by anglers tossing crickets, wax worms and redworms around sandy or gravel shorelines. Some fish have backed off to deeper depths of 5 to 7 feet out away from the shorelines too.

After this week odds are the bluegill will scatter somewhat as the big males slowly fade away from guarding the small craters. That doesn’t mean anglers can’t catch a good mess of bluegill throughout the summer months but during the spawning phases the larger bull bream congregate around the bedding areas and pretty much chase away smaller intruders.

Not too far away are the first mayfly hatches of the late spring and early summer transition time. Watch for some early hatches to emerge in the next week to ten says with the more massive hatches arriving later in the month.

Meanwhile, numbers of successful reports from anglers tying into shellcracker have diminished. That’s not unusual as their peak spawning phase has passed.

Catfishermen have had some decent reports as of late with a lot of fish beginning to leave shoreline spawning territory and move out toward more open water areas and deeper depths as surface temperatures rise.

Several bluegill and crappie anglers have been tying into catfish on a regular basis while casting the 5 to 7 foot range or while vertical fishing crappie beds in 12 to 15 foot depths, which indicates catfish are backing off the banks and slowly heading toward main lake venues.

Crappie anglers who love to troll crankbaits and cover a lot of open water out over main lake ledges are also tying into a lot of catfish these days. The midrange depth is holding catfish up on the top sides of the drop-offs at present.

Trollers are picking up several crappie, which indicates the fish are somewhat scattered and suspended at times. It’s time the crappie were moving back to a structure oriented mood but those vertical fishing stakebeds and deep brushpiles using both minnows and jigs have had to make lots of stops to accumulate decent numbers.

Watch for that midrange crappie bite to improve as the fish phase away from the post-spawn scene and get back to hiding around structure.

Bass fishermen have already been on a summer type pattern for a few weeks as several have put their back to the banks and targeted deeper topography.

Tossing big Texas rigged worms plus Carolina rigged worms and lizards have been producing as have huge deep diving crankbaits in shad colored variations. Also in the summer bass arsenal have been swim baits worked along the edge of main lake drops. Seems there’s always a jig and pig type bait tied on one of the rods of summer bassers too. Hopping the jig on main lake ledges is often the lure anglers prefer when looking for a bigger bite.

Not to be forgotten are the guys who just like looking for a bite in the wee hours of the morning or perhaps beating the banks around sunset. Using topwater is their favorite presentation so the lowlight conditions work best for their style of fishing.

From buzzbaits to twitching a shad colored jerk bait; topwater is their cup of tea so this technique is alive and well over shallow weedbeds and around some buck bushes.

Soon schools of pin minnows, which are newly hatched shad fry and other forage base fish, will begin showing up and that will attract bass to treelaps, weed beds, boat docks and all sorts of stickups.

Summer may not officially be here on the calendar but summer fishing patterns are already in full swing!

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Steve's reports cover Kentucky Lake from Paris Landing to New Johnsonville.

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About Steve McCadams

A member of the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame and Legends of the Outdoors, Steve McCadams is a professional guide and outdoor writer from Paris, Tenn.

Steve McCadams
Professional Fishing/Duck Hunting Guide
655 Anderson Drive
Paris, TN 38242
(731) 642-0360