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Archived Fishing Report

Summer Doldrums Taking Toll on Anglers

Written by Steve McCadams | Originally published 08/11/2016

The summer fishing scene has been rather tough for a lot of anglers. No doubt the summer doldrums have cast a spell and curtailed activity for bass and crappie anglers. Catfishermen haven’t been out in force either.
Surface temperatures this week have been in the 87 to 89 degree range. Cool nights have not entered the picture so not much cooling taking place during the evening hours.
Water color remains petty clear across most of the reservoir. Lake levels this week have been in the 358 range at Kentucky Dam. Upstream around New Johnsonville elevation was projected to be 358.1 as the weekend approached.
Lake levels rose a few inches last week in the aftermath of heavy thunderstorms across the TVA valley but the reservoir is now falling slowly.
Some current has been present and that helped the bass bite recently as a few decent stringers were taken during last week’s college and high school Bassmaster championships out of Paris Landing State Park. The young bass anglers found several fish in relative shallow water too, despite the heat and high surface temps.
Find the bait fish and you’ll find the bass. That’s just what some of the youngsters did and wound up with decent strings taken on Texas rigged worms, spinnerbaits, shallow running crankbaits and even some topwater at times.
There are still ledge patterns producing too as some boaters are working big 10-inch Texas rigged worms in the pumpkin-pepper color ranges. Jig and pig combos, huge deep diving crankbaits and some spoons have been on the menu too as have some swim baits when schooling fish were found.
Night fishing has produced a few smallmouth for anglers tossing spinnerbaits along sloping gravel banks and rip-rap.
Crappie anglers have been struggling as of late. Not many fish have been taken despite anglers working deep drop offs and stake beds or brushpiles. A few small fish were biting but the larger fish seem quite lethargic as the mid-summer spell takes over.
There are a few people night fishing and catching low numbers beneath the lights but stringers have been mediocre at best.
The overall bite has been sluggish for catfishermen too. Not many boats can be seen working the edge of the main river channel lately, a clear indication not many fish are residing on the edge of the channel banks as has been the norm in times past.
Once popular during the summer months were surfacing schools of white bass, known locally as stripes. That particular fish as all but disappeared in the creel of sportfishermen in the last few decades. It’s a shame too as the schooling fish once thrived up and down the Tennessee River area and especially right here in the Paris Landing sectors.
Just remember that while these hot and humid days are upon us, fall is fast approaching and each day brings it a little closer!

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Photo by Jennifer Dunnaway

We photographed this doe peeking from behind some tall grass near Honker Bay in Land Between The Lakes.