Winter Woes Bite Anglers; Warming Trend in Forecast
Written by Steve McCadams | Originally published 02/09/2011
About the only thing that’s had a bite to it lately for Kentucky Lake anglers has been the bone chilling north winds. Snow storms and frigid temps have not been kind to anglers this winter but hold the phone; a warming trend has entered the forecast. Fishermen have been cooped up for several days now and cabin fever is about to peak as anglers pace the floor, thumbing pages of tackle catalogs that further peg the “go outdoors” meter. It appears warmer weather will trail this week’s blizzard and bring temps back to the mid to upper 50’s by late this weekend and throughout next week. That should stimulate activity from both the fish and fishermen. Kentucky Lake’s elevation has been falling slowly this week after a foot or more surge in lake levels last week. Observed elevation is expected to be in the 355.4 range at Kentucky Dam this weekend and 355.6 upstream at New Johnsonville Steam Plant. Lake levels may change, however, as a rapid warm-up and snow melt may influence lake levels by early next week as runoff enters the system. Water color has been clearing this week but could experience some stain in the days ahead. Surface temps have been sleeping around the mid to upper 30’s. Cold nights when the mercury dipped down into the teens has held a grip so it will likely be few days before a steady rebound occurs. Crappie anglers are anxious to get back out as some decent fish were showing up before the recent rash of cold weather descended. Stakebeds and deeper brushpiles, along with some natural stump rows close to deep water had been producing quality fish. Look for the deeper venues to produce best for a few days as crappie have likely pulled back to deeper water, trailing the shad that likely rode out the cold spell in deep zones. Depths of 12 to 14 feet were giving up a few crappie but fish may be deeper for a few days until the warm weather impacts the cold water and brings baitfish back shallow. Those deeper main lake ledges with structure located in the 20 to 25 foot depth zone may be holding the bulk of fish until warmer makes its presence known. Jigs in a variety of chartreuse shades had been producing but crappie were showing a passion for live minnows as well. Bass and sauger fishermen were not having much luck lately. Although a few winter bass boats were buzzing around and hitting sloping rock points and deeper humps with Carolina rigs, they weren’t reporting many encounters. Sauger continue to evade anglers and not many boats were seen in the popular spots such as the mouth of Duck River, Danville Bridge or Paris Landing bridge areas. Even further south toward Pickwick Dam the sauger saga was still slow going. Despite a weary winter wonderland as of late, fishing should resume quickly as weather moderates and normal temps return to the Kentucky Lake fishing scene in the days ahead.
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