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Archived Fishing Report

Fishing Scene Awaits Warm-Up; Lake Levels Falling

Written by Steve McCadams | Originally published 01/03/2013

Kentucky Lake’s winter fishing scene has had a bit too much winter weather lately to suit most bass and crappie anglers. It appears moderate conditions are on the way as the weatherman indicates temperatures will return to the low to mid 50’s this weekend and throughout next week.
That is good news for fishermen who have yielded to the cooler conditions the last week to ten days. Some have cabin fever and are ready to get back out the water after having been cooped up for a spell. Most of the holiday period wasn’t too kind anglers.
Cold weather has dropped surface temperatures to the 42 to 44 degree range this week. Water color is still relatively clear.
Lake levels have been above normal winter pool elevation for quite some time, a situation that has puzzled anglers to some degree as not a lot of rain has fallen in the area.
Kentucky Lake crested at midweek around the 357.3 mark at Kentucky Dam and a bit higher than that upstream at New Johnsonville. Lake levels are falling several inches each day as TVA is spilling water through Kentucky Dam at a pretty fast pace. The agency was pulling some 122,000 cubic feet per second through the gates at Kentucky Dam the last few days, which is a large volume that will create a lot current in the system and see daily levels change by several inches.
Projections going into the weekend show TVA will increase its discharge with a forecast for 355.8 at Kentucky Dam with a foot difference in elevation from New Johnsonville where the forecasts shows 356.8. That means a lot of current is present in the main river channel with quite a wall of water headed north as the drawdown occurs.
Falling lake levels will likely remain part of the fishing scene through late next week when TVA has the reservoir back near winter pool.
Bass anglers are still venturing out and fishing ledges in the mouth of big creeks. Successful anglers will likely play the current in their attempt to pattern the winter bass this next week.
Deep water crappie action should resume the next few days so anglers can likely find the 18 to 24 foot depth range paying off in the days ahead. Fast falling lake levels usually work in favor of the deep drop-offs and with the cooler surface temperatures now present it’s likely the baitfish have gone deeper as well to ride out the cold.

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Geese in Flight
Photo by Murray Blake

These Canadian geese are just beginning their yearly migration south to avoid the long, cold winter. They will return in spring to the welcoming waterways of the Kentucky Lakes Area.