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Archived Fishing Report

Anglers May Get A Brief Break; Temps To Moderate Next Week

Written by Steve McCadams | Originally published 07/25/2017

Kentucky Lake anglers may get a little break from the heat wave by early next week. While cool mornings and mild days are still weeks away, it appears temps will retreat a bit in the coming days and fall back out of the mid 90’s.

A reprieve is welcomed and long overdue!

The cooling should provide a bit of relief for fishermen who have been victims of a heat wave stubborn to loosen its grip. For the last few weeks the majority of days have crested in the low to mid 90’s with heat indexes even higher.

No doubt the heat has dealt a mean hand to anglers throughout most of July with the hottest month of the year still to come. It appears August weather arrived early this year.

In spite of the dog days a few anglers have continued to venture out in the early morning hours for bass, crappie and catfish. And, some decent stringers have been taken too.

Lake levels this week have been in the 357.9 range at Kentucky Dam. Upstream at New Johnsonville the reservoir is a bit lower with readings in the 357.5. 

The lake has been falling slowly since last week, although some days very little current was present.

Surface temperatures stayed in the 87 to 89 degree range this week. Water color remains clear across the reservoir.

Summer bass fishermen are still scoring decent catches as they continue to key in on main lake ledges and play the current when it’s present. There doesn’t have to be current to find and catch fish on the ledges but it sure does help.

Pounding the ledges with crankbaits is still the most productive technique. Tossing the big Texas rigged worms in a close second.

More schools of pin minnows have been showing up the last two weeks and that is good news, especially for shallow anglers tossing spinnerbaits, worms and shallow running crankbaits.

Normally the schools of shad fry start showing up in mid to late June. It appears the hatch was a bit late this year but still it’s good to see the forage base coming on. Better late than never!

With a lot shad fry relating to docks, piers and some blowdowns along the main river and elsewhere, a few smaller fish are hanging around shallow areas as they’re following the forage.

Still, most of the bigger fish are holding true to summer patterns and lingering on the main lake ledges in depths of 12 to 15 feet.

Crappie fishermen are still having to work hard to find decent numbers of keeper size fish. Pretty good numbers of small fish continue to show up but the larger fish remain scattered.

Depths of 13 to 14 feet are holding several crappie. Deep stakebeds are producing but anglers have to make a lot of stops to accumulate decent numbers of keeper fish.

Mixed in the deeper stakebeds have been a few decent bass and catfish at times too.

Live minnow have worked well for summer crappie fishermen has have a few jigs either tipped with minnows or Berkley Power bait.

Popular colors have been black/chartreuse, blue/chartreuse and some red/black variations. Seem live minnows have worked best these last few weeks.

Catfishermen are reporting some decent stringers whenever the current aids their cause. Depths of 25 to 30 feet along the main river channel have been the most productive depth zone.

Nightcrawlers and chicken livers have worked best but a few anglers have scored using catalpa worms.

The summer bite will hold up on days when current is present and diminish when it doesn’t show up and stimulate baitfish movement. Without current the catfish take on a sluggish mood but will respond quickly when the opportunity arises.

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Peek-a-boo
Photo by Jennifer Dunnaway

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