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Archived Fishing Report

Bass Bite Holding Up Despite Hot Weather; Recent Rains Could Improve Fishing

Written by Steve McCadams | Originally published 08/05/2011

Hot weather continues to dominate the Kentucky Lake fishing scene but a few success stories have come in recently from bass and catfish anglers hitting the lake at daylight. By midday most anglers are pitching in the towel and yielding to the heat.
Recent rains from a series of thunderstorms should improve the fishing scene as some freshwater enters the system and should stimulate some current from the runoff.
Observed lake elevation at Kentucky Dam was expected to be in the 357.9 range as the weekend approached. Upstream at New Johnsonville Steam Plant area lake levels will be slightly lower in the 357.7 range. TVA continues its slow but steady drawdown of the reservoir and lake levels are about on schedule for this time of year.
Surface temperature reflects the extended spell of hot weather with readings in the 89 to 92 degree range. Not many cool nights have influenced the water conditions lately and the reservoir remains clear.
Current had diminished earlier this week as not much rain has entered the system until thunderstorms on Thursday and Friday dropped quite a bit of water in the Paris Landing area. However, a slight amount of current has worked for a few catfish anglers who are still finding some decent stringers while fishing on the edge of the main river channel and beneath the Paris Landing Bridge.
Most of the fish were coming from the 20 to 30 foot depth range with an occasional big fish lingering in deeper water. Baits of choice have been night crawlers, chicken liver, catalpa worms, and shad.
Bass fishermen were finding some action this week as fish were schooling around a few main lake ledges and surface action occurred at times when shad make a blitz toward shallow sandbars in an attempt to escape the feeding frenzy.
Tossing shad colored crankbaits, swim baits, and spoons have worked well when the fish get active. And, Texas and Carolina rigged worms are still producing too as are some jig and craw combos.
Drop-offs near the main channel in the Tennessee River have given up some decent bass lately. Meanwhile, night fishing has appealed to a few anglers who are tossing spinnerbaits around rip-rap and sloping gravel banks.
A few smaller bass were taken in relatively shallow water this week by anglers fishing shallow running crankbaits, worms, and spinnerbaits. Some shallow stickups continue to hold a few bass despite the warm surface temps.
A few white bass were taken mixed in with the schooling bass along the main river but no significant numbers of white bass have been present as was the case for many years during the hot summer months. Numbers of white bass have clearly declined over the years as the surface schools that once appealed to summer anglers no longer exist in numbers sufficient to attract the attention of fishermen.
From the crappie department comes word of a few fish still lingering in midrange depths. Reports of fish taken in 9 to 14 foot depths came in this week, a summer scenario that might indicate dissolved oxygen levels are better in relatively shallow to midrange depths.
Sometimes the deeper sides of drop-offs are less appealing as the extremely hot weather and lack of current and rainfall may not contribute to mixing of water layers, especially if a lack of wind contributes to the picture for several days.
A few boats were night fishing over main lake ledges where the use of floating lights attracts shad and lures crappie to the cone angle of the lights, especially if the boat is position near a drop-off. If a mayfly hatch occurs then the night fishing gig can be especially good.
No doubt the warm weather will linger throughout August but catch a cloudy day with a breeze and its not all bad out there.

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Honker Lake
Photo by Jennifer Dunnaway

In June these beautiful lily pads are in full bloom at Honker Lake in Land Between The Lakes. Honker Lake is a great place for wildlife viewing and hiking.