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Archived Fishing Report

Fishing Scene On Ice

Written by Steve McCadams | Originally published 01/03/2018

Not much to report from the winter fishing scene this week as most all anglers have ridden out the nasty cold weather nowhere near a fishing boat or out on the lake.

There was a time here on Kentucky Lake when several die-hard sauger fishermen tested the water during the coldest part of winter. However, a diminished sauger fishery has pretty much clipped the wings of sauger fishermen along the Tennessee River these last few years.

Once popular spots such as the mouth of Duck River, Pickwick Dam tailrace and the old Danville railroad bridge area are void of boats these days.

Brutal weather and dangerously cold temperatures have kept even the most seasoned crappie and bass anglers off the lake lately. Ice has taken over many back water bays and fishing areas. Boat ramps are iced in too, prohibiting access as ice has caked up on concrete launch ramps and make many in accessible.

Things appear to be changing for the better as a slight warm up is in the forecast. Temps are forecast to rebound this weekend and climb above the freezing mark. A few days may even make it up to the 50-degree mark!

Perhaps next week might free up some frozen areas and boat ramps to allow some anglers suffering from cabin fever to get out and about.

Meanwhile, lake levels have fallen steadily during the recent Ice Age. Elevation at Kentucky Dam has dropped to the 354.5 range the last 
few days. Upstream at New Johnsonville lake levels are in the 354.9 range.

Since the heavy rains just before Christmas swelled lake levels some five feet and jumped above the summer pool elevation TVA really pulled the plug and brought the reservoir back down to where it was prior to the heavy rains.

Surface temperatures are at the 32 degree mark in some bays where ice has taken over while the main river is still open and harboring surface temps around the 34 degree mark. A little warmer weather by this weekend will see a slight rise in temps.

Odds are anglers will battle a shad kill after this severe cold as that’s normally the case when the baitfish get caught in shallow water and icing occurs. No reports just yet but don’t be surprised to see it later this week.

More Kentucky Lake Fishing Reports

Now That You're 'Hooked' on Fishing... Come See Us!

If you've dug this deep in our Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley fishing reports, you are probably just itching to come down and visit the South's biggest lakes.  Get started by finding that perfect place to stay!  Find a Kentucky Lake cabin or a Lake Barkley campground, a full-service resort or a marina.  Heck, there are even dozens of hotels off the water to choose from! 

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.


Kentucky Lake Sunset
Photo by Shawn Dunnaway

Sunsets at Kentucky Lake are special. You can find them on the eastern banks of Kentucky Lake looking west across a mile of ripples and waves. There's nothing quite like experiencing a sunset on Kentucky Lake.