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Archived Fishing Report

Fishing Scene Good for Variety of Anglers

Written by Steve McCadams | Originally published 06/08/2017

A variety of anglers are enjoying pretty good fishing on Kentucky Lake lately. The overall fishing scene has held up well despite some high winds at times and changing lake levels.

Crappie anglers have scored some decent stringers this week despite a couple days of unruly northeast winds that brought a touch of fall to the morning air. Prior to the midweek cool snap summer weather dealt the cards with some warm days and mixed thunderstorms courtesy of high humidity.

Presently fishermen are enjoyed nice conditions with a good forecast for the weekend. Calm winds should allow main lake crappie fishermen to resume their plight in open water where some decent size fish were mixed in with smaller fish around midrange depths of 12 to 14 feet.

Although somewhat scattered at times, some good fish were taking jigs tipped with minnows or jigs tipped with Berkley Power Bait in the white and chartreuse colors. At times a lot of small fish were in the picture only to have a good one show up now and then.

Popular jig colors have ranged from black/red to blue/chartreuse.

Strikes have been very light at times from finicky fish. Action has been best on cloudy days with light winds. Some days high skies and stagnant winds had the fish somewhat lethargic.

Anglers were having to make a lot of stops to accumulate decent numbers of keeper size fish when Mother Nature didn’t cooperate.

Most boats have been using vertical presentations around stakebeds and brushpiles but other techniques such as long lining twister tail grubs have paid dividends as well. The pulling techniques have worked when fish were scattered and suspended as have trolling crankbaits along the main lake ledges.

The first full moon of June arrives on Friday and that has stimulated a second surge of spawning for bluegill and a few redear sunfish. Some dandy stringers were taken this week by anglers tossing crickets and redworms.    

Several fish are bedding in deeper water out away from shorelines. Depths of 7 to 9 feet were attracting male bluegill to the sandy or gravel bottoms. There have been a few shallow beds producing too as some fish returned to 2 to 3 foot depths as lake levels rose this week.

After a few more days odds are the bluegill will scatter and bedding activity will diminish as they now prepare to take advantage of the mayfly larva and adult flies that are beginning to hatch. Just because spawning phases will diminish doesn’t mean you can’t still catch some good numbers of these powerful panfish.

Bass fishermen have been pounding the main lake ledges lately searching for the big bite or perhaps locating a school of active fish.

There are still a lot of bass relating to shallow shoreline and island rim habitat. Seems there’s always a few fish shallow even when the ledge bite is underway.

Ledge fishermen are tossing deep diving crankbaits in the blue/chartreuse and Tennessee shad colors just to name a few. It’s crankbait time on Kentucky Lake and that pattern will hold up for quite some time.

Also producing have been big Texas rigged worms, Carolina rigged craws and lizards, Alabama rigs and assorted swim baits. 

In the recent Triton Boat Owners Tournament out of Paris Landing State Park, which had 400 boats entered, the big bass tipped the scales at 9.15 pounds and was taken on a green pumpkin pepper jig. The winning stringer weighed just over 33 pounds as anglers were limited to a three-fish limit in the two day event.

The shallow bite has worked well for some anglers tossing topwater in the early morning hours. From buzzbaits to jerk baits or floating worms, decent stringers have been taken on surface lures at times while spinnerbaits are working too.

Most anglers are having trouble finding those popular schools of shad fry that normally fill the shallow grass and buck bushes. Those schools of pin minnows are usually the cat’s meow and attract bass to grass, blowdowns and bushes.

Lake levels for some unknown reason rose almost a foot this week, which put the reservoir about a foot above summer pool. Watch for TVA to pull the reservoir back down closer to summer pool this week which means current will be present on main lake ledges and around island rims.

Lake levels at midweek crested around 360 in the Kentucky Dam sector. Upstream around New Johnsonville the lake was slightly lower at 359.6. Water color is in good shape with some stain in places but clearing overall.

Surface temperatures have been starting out the day around 77 degrees and warming to the 80 to 81 degree range by mid-afternoon.

Catfish have begun their departure from shallow rock banks and bluffs. Most are filtering their way back out to midrange depths where they’ll linger for a few weeks until higher surface temps push them deeper.

Odds are crappie anglers will tie into several in the weeks ahead as they work the midrange depths where catfish will occupy structure.

The early summer patterns are about on schedule for most species. June should be a good month for a variety of anglers testing the waters of Kentucky Lake.

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Bald Eagle
Photo by Melodie Cunningham

This majestic bald eagle is keeping a close eye on his Kentucky Lake neighborhood. The months of January and February are the best times to catch a glimpse of bald eagles in Land Between The Lakes.