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Archived Fishing Report

Anglers Get Reprieve; Cool Snap Stimulates Fishing Scene

Written by Steve McCadams | Originally published 08/11/2011

Kentucky Lake’s fishing scene got a reprieve this week from the hot and humid conditions that had lingered for several weeks and it appears the cool snap will last well into the weekend.
After a few weeks of above average temperatures anglers are sure glad to see cooler nights and moderate day time conditions that have made fishing much more appealing. The weatherman indicates nighttime temps will sleep in the upper 60’s for a change with highs only in the upper 80’s for a few days, which is much more appealing than the heat index earlier this month that climbed into the three-digit range and stayed there.
Lake levels continue on their path of slow descent and are on schedule for mid-August. Observed elevation at Kentucky Dam will be 357.7 going into the weekend. Upstream at New Johnsonville Steam Plant elevation will be in the 357.6 range. Those readings are down a few inches from last week at this time.
Surface temps this week have been in the 88 to 91 degree range but will likely fall some courtesy of the cooler nights now upon us. Water color remains clear all across the reservoir.
Crappie were showing up in the creel of a few anglers working midrange depths of 11 to 14 feet. Although fish were somewhat scattered there were a few spots holding decent numbers at times with small and keeper size fish mixed together.
Jigs were producing as were live minnows and jigs tipped with minnows or Berkley crappie nibbles. Fish actually responded favorably on days when cloud cover was present, showing interest in baits entering their strike zone around brush and stakebeds.
Some scattered fish were taken off deeper ledges in the 18 to 24 foot zones but action on the deep ledges was inconsistent as more fish appeared to favor the midrange depths. Mixed in with the crappie action has been a tug from a catfish, bass, or a striper and white bass now and then.
Catfish anglers were finding decent action along the main river channel banks as a slow current has been present this week and that usually works in favor of anglers bumping bottom along the channel ledge where baitfish are active.
A few boats have taken catfish this summer on a regular basis beneath the Paris Landing Bridge and on the down current side of the bridge pilings. Seems there’s always a few fish relating to the bridge piers when current enters the picture and puts baitfish in eddies.
An occasional striper, along with a few yellow and white bass, has been caught around bridge piers as well. However, not much surface activity has been seen along the main river from white bass as the schools of this popular gamefish are clearly not out there as they were in years past.
Bass continue to hit good for anglers working ledges and drop-offs in the main lake and also in the mouth of some large bays. Tossing crankbaits, Texas and Carolina rigged worms, along with some jig and craw combos and swim baits have produced lately. 
Some schooling bass are showing up as they bust the surface in pursuit of shad. The fish push the schools of baitfish from deep water toward the shallow sides of sandbars and the shad make a last ditch effort to escape by coming to the surface, which stimulates the surface feeding frenzy. 
Casting chrome colored Rattle Traps and other shad imitations toward the schooling fish will pay dividends as will worms and swim baits tossed in their locale.
The summer bass bite has held up pretty good despite the hot weather that kept a lot of angles off the lake earlier this month. However, the cool snap should help the attitude of anglers in the days ahead.
Although lower lake levels sometimes expose some grassbeds it appears the extended spell of high water this spring took a toll on any patches of pondweed and Eurasian watermilfoil. The various aquatic plants that appeal to bass and anglers are just not there in shallow flats and backs of bays.
High lake levels two years in row have greatly curtailed growth of aquatic plants up and down the reservoir.
Meanwhile, if you’ve been waiting for cooler weather before getting back out on the lake then perhaps now is the time. Every day makes the arrival of fall a little closer.

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Elk Herd
Photo by Melodie Cunningham

This herd of female elk are enjoying a winter's day in the Elk and Bison Prairie in Land Between The Lakes.