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Archived Fishing Report

Early June Fishing Scene Rates High Marks

Written by Steve McCadams | Originally published 06/07/2012

Early summer patterns are on schedule for anglers who have chalked up some hefty stringers of bass, crappie and bluegill this week on Kentucky Lake.
Despite a few days with annoying north winds that whipped up whitecaps the fishing scene has held up well as the first week of June dealt pretty decent cards. Rain earlier in the week helped bring some cooler conditions and lower humidity.
Surface temperatures are starting out around 78 degrees in the mornings and warming to the 82 degree range at midday. Water color is clear in the main lake with a slight stain in some bays where winds whipped up sediments.
Lake levels are up slightly from last week but still more than a foot below summer pool’s 359 mark. A few thunderstorms passed through the region earlier in the week but haven’t dumped enough water to alter levels much, according to TVA.
Projections for the weekend will be 357.6 at Kentucky Dam and 357.4 for the New Johnsonville sector. There has been slight current in the main river at times.
Anglers continue to deal with below normal lake levels but it hasn’t diminished the catch rates for bass, crappie or bluegill fishermen who continue to score as they adjust to the patterns.
Good stringers of crappie continued this week as the 10 to 14 foot depth range has produced well. There is a good grade of fish mixed in with some smaller fish as they share the comfort zone of midrange depths where structure is located.
Stakebeds, stumprows, and brushpiles are holding nice numbers and the early June bite will likely last for some time. Once the fish pull off shallow spawning territory and discover structure in the midrange depths the pattern generally holds up for several weeks.
Popular presentations have been various shades of chartreuse jigs tipped with live minnows or Berkley Power bait crappie nibbles. Live minnows have worked well too on tightline rigs.
Bass patterns are on track for the early summer gig as hefty catches have been taken this week by anglers working main lake ledges and midrange grassbeds near deep water.
In the recent Triton Boat Owner’s tournament held June 1-2 out of Paris Landing there were some awesome stringers weighed in that recorded several fish in the 9-pound plus range and two that tipped the scales over 10 pounds! 
On two different days teams landed stringers that weighed 27 and 28 pounds for an average weight of 5.77 pounds on the event’s top stringer! Big bass of the event was a 10.38 pound lunker and it took 48.57 pounds to win the two-day tourney.
The quality and quantity of the bass taken last week in the event was quite an eye opener for most of us who have been around the fishing scene for several years.
While most have been working ledges with big deep diving crankbaits, large Texas rigged worms, hopping spoons or jig and craw combos there have been some milfoil grassbeds producing well as anglers put together spinnerbait, topwater and flipping patterns.
The ledge pattern has been on for quite some time but grassbeds have increased in the last few weeks, especially south around the New Johnsonville area where mats are showing up near ditches and deeper sloughs. Lots of baitfish are relating to the aquatic vegetation and the grass near deep water has held some of the year’s best bass thus far.
The clear water has lingered for several months across the reservoir and the conditions apparently stimulated growth of milfoil and bass have wasted no time in moving up to the shallow havens.
Late bedding bluegill were still sporting an attitude this week and decent catches were taken from deeper bedding spots in the 4 to 7 foot depths. A lot of late spawning females are now occupying the bedding areas and that’s not unusual this time of year as the second wave of spawning takes place.
There are still a few good bull bream hitting on the beds but a lot of the big males are showing up in deeper water as they leave the fanning areas and scatter into open water zones where mayfly larva is beginning to show up. 
Some good bluegill action remains but anglers may have to cull out a lot of smaller fish and some females as  the last phase of the spawning time is in its eleventh hour. Watch for another mayfly hatch at any time.

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Hematite Leaves
Photo by Shane Dunnaway

Those who are familiar with Hematite Lake trail will know where this photo was taken. Beautiful autumn leaves attempt to cover the rocks alongside the path around Hematite Lake.