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Archived Fishing Report

Anglers Enjoy Mild Weather as Winter Officially Arrives

Written by Steve McCadams | Originally published 12/21/2011

Winter fishing officially began Wednesday as that was the day seasons changed according to the calendar. Kentucky Lake anglers have had mild weather lately that has seemed like fall was going to hold on a while longer but fishermen arent complaining; conditions have been pretty good for bass and crappie anglers who know this time of year it can change quickly.
    
Meanwhile, TVA has really pulled the plug on lake levels the last week to ten days. The reservoir was resting at winter pool level this week after surging more than five feet recently. Lake levels have fallen about as fast as they came up when recent rains flooded many areas.
    
Once the Tennessee River crested TVA really spilled water through Kentucky Dam and lake levels were falling almost a foot each day for several days running. At midweek the reservoir bottomed out at 354.3 in the New Johnsonville area and 354.2 at Kentucky Dam.
    
Forecasts for the weekend indicate a slight rise will occur with projections of 354.5 at Kentucky Dam. Lake levels in the New Johnsonville area will be 355.1. Rain was entering the picture as this report was updated.
    
Water color has had some stain in the Tennessee River channel and backwater while the mouth of Big Sandy has been relatively clear. Surface temperatures have been staying in the 49 to 51 degree range as mild nights and above average temperatures during the day have kept the water slightly above normal for this time of year.
    
Although falling lake levels have been part of the fishing scene for the last ten days, crappie anglers have managed to score some decent catches. The pattern continues to be deep drop-offs in the main lake where crappie have been relating to the 18 to 23 foot depth range at times or suspended near the break where brush or stumps are located.
    
Tightlining jigs in the orange/chartreuse, purple/clear, red chartreuse, and some blue/chartreuse have been a few of the popular color combinations. Live minnows have also paid dividends.
   
A few bass were also hitting as some anglers have played the current lately and taken fish around rip-rap and some bridge piers at times. Also giving up some fish were long sandbars near the main channel were current was pushing shad into the areas. Rattle Traps and some Carolina rigged craws were producing.
    
A few boats were fishing for sauger in the Paris Landing area and down near Danville Bridge and further south toward New Johnsonville and the mouth of Duck River but low numbers were taken.
    
It appears some cooler weather will arrive on Christmas Day but nothing too severe is in the forecast so anglers may have decent fishing conditions next week as well.

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Colorful Bridge
Photo by Shane Dunnaway

In the back of Hematite Lake in LBL are a series of boardwalks and bridges. In autumn, spectacular colors of foliage are scattered throughout, as seen here on this "colorful" bridge.