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Archived Fishing Report

Surface Temps Cool A Bit For August Anglers

Written by Steve McCadams | Originally published 08/09/2017

August anglers on Kentucky Lake saw a slight decline in surface temperatures the last week or so in the aftermath of two cool snaps that not only lowered temps but humidity as well.

It has been a welcomed change from late July when hot and humid conditions dictated a sultry fishing scene. Lately anglers have experienced several consecutive days where temps were below average and never eclipsed the 90 degree mark.

That has improved the attitude of both the fish and the fishermen.

Surface temperatures this week slept in the 85 to 86 degree range. Water color was dingy in portions of the upper Big Sandy and elsewhere along the Tennessee River after thunderstorms drenched the region but most of the stained water has now moved out.

Lake levels continue a slow decline in elevation as TVA has been pulling water gradually. Forecasts for the weekend show lake levels will be in the 357.8 in the Kentucky Dam sector. Upstream around New Johnsonville the reservoir is a bit low with readings in the 357.4 range.

Bass fishing has held up this week as anglers took advantage of some current on the main river channel and open lake sandbars and ledges. A few pretty good fish were taken on big crankbaits and large Texas rigged worms. Some swim baits and big spoons also accounted for a few fish as have the old reliable jig and craw.

Some anglers found a few shallow fish in the early morning hours taking surface baits around boat docks, bridge piers and treelaps on steeper banks with deep water close by. Still no aquatic vegetation showing up in the backs of bays as lake levels fall, although bass fishermen continue to hunt for it.

Summer crappie fishing has been fair with a few fish showing up for anglers trolling crankbaits along main lake ledges.

A few boats are catching decent numbers of small fish while vertical fishing minnow rigs and jigs tipped with minnows. Deeper stakebeds and brushpiles in the 13 to 14 foot depth range are giving up fish but anglers are still battling big numbers of small fish.

Even those trolling crankbaits in deeper water are landing a lot of small fish with keeper size ones a bit hard to come by. Some trolling boats have worked the 18 to 20 foot depths and found a few larger ones but there has been no clear depth range or pattern to escape ratio of small fish to big fish.

Cooler surface temps should help the situation a bit. Two weeks ago anglers were slugging it out in 91-degree plus water so the crappie bite should improve, at least to some degree.

Catfishing has been pretty good at times thanks to the current moving slowly along the main river channel banks this week. Anglers are working the mouth of deep feeder creeks that empty into the main river channel.

Although not a lot of boats have been out, those that have seemed to be catching decent stringers from the 25 to 30 foot depth range. Baits of choice continue to be nightcrawlers, catalpa worms, chicken liver and shrimp.

Cooler mornings earlier this week made it feel like fall weather arrived a bit early. No doubt more hot days will return before fall conditions take over but it has been a nice reprieve for fishermen.

Everyday means fall is that much closer!

More Kentucky Lake Fishing Reports

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Don't have a boat?  No worries!  Bank fishing is always an option for panfish. But if you're heart is set on largemouth or smallmouth, you can rent a fishing boat at many of our local resorts!

The perfect place to start looking for a place to stay at Kentucky or Barkley Lakes?  Right here on our main lodging page.


Winter Wonderland
Photo by Jennifer Dunnaway

If the road conditions permit, a drive through a snow-covered Land Between The Lakes is a must! This winter wonderland is every photographers dream come true.