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Archived Fishing Report

Anglers Battle Heat As Fishing Cools

Written by Steve McCadams | Originally published 08/02/2012

Kentucky Lake anglers have battled some hot temperatures recently as a few three-digit days returned to the fishing scene, cooling off the bite for most bass, bluegill, crappie and catfish anglers.
Last week was somewhat surprising as to lake levels when the reservoir rose several inches after some local and regional thunderstorms apparently dropped enough runoff to swell streams. After a slight surge lake levels are now falling slowly and pretty much on track for TVA’s winter drawdown curve.
Elevation is projected to be 358 at Kentucky Dam as the weekend approaches. Upstream around New Johnsonville readings will be in the 357.8 range. There has been some current in the main river this week as TVA has pulled some water through the system and that has helped bass and catfish anglers at times.
Surface temperatures are in the 86 to 89 degree range. Water color is clear.
Bass fishing held up pretty good this week as the slight current seemed to stimulate movement of baitfish around both visible grassbeds along the river islands and flats where submerged mats of grass was attracting shad.
Main lake ledges were holding bass too and the typical summer pattern of big Texas rigged worms, deep diving crankbaits in shad colored variations and jig and craw combos were working well. Caroline rigged worms and lizards were also producing at times.
Depths of 9 to 13 feet were holding bass on the top sides of ledges around mussel shell beds but fish were also relating to any structure in that depth range if deep water was close by. Some fish continue to linger on the deeper sides of drop-offs where 15 to 20 foot depths were holding bigger fish at times.
Schools of minnows were relating to visible milfoil grass across the reservoir and bass were hitting topwater in the early morning and late afternoon but backing off in favor of spinnerbaits and worms worked on the parameters once lowlight conditions faded.
Crappie have been sluggish but a few are still lingering in the deeper stakebeds around depths of 10 to 14 feet. Jigs tipped with minnows were working well and just a live minnow presentation paid off too. I found fish still accepting a jig tipped with Berkley crappie nibbles fished slowly in thick cover as well.
Deeper ledges have produced some scattered crappie this week as a few boats were working the 19 to 25 foot zones and finding fish holding around deep brush piles or stumps. Live minnows worked on bottom bumping rigs were appealing to the deep crappie.
Some gravel banks around steeper shorelines were still holding on to a few bluegill this week as were bridge piers and boat houses with docks. Seems a few nice ones are hanging around such areas and taking crickets or worms tossed their way.
Catfish activity picked up some this week which is likely the result of increased current in the main river channel. A few boats were tying into some dandies along the bank of the river around 25 to 35 foot depths and some were working the down current sides of the piers at Paris Landing Bridge with moderate success.
Hardly any sighting of white bass have been reported but traditionally, the month of August is popular for surface activity when the fish school and bust the surface chasing shad.

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Rocky Shores
Photo by John Mahler

Although the terrain in this part of the country is typically flat, you'll still find an occasional rocky shoreline like this one on Kentucky Lake.