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Archived Fishing Report

Changing Lake Levels Tough for Anglers

Written by Steve McCadams | Originally published 01/17/2013

Winter anglers have had a tough week on Kentucky Lake. Conditions have not been kind for crappie and bass fishermen.
Drastically changing lake levels teamed up with some cold temperatures and stubborn winds the last week or so and that has kept most fishermen waiting for better days.
Lake levels jumped over four feet in that many days across the reservoir and muddy water has entered the picture as well. TVA had the reservoir back down to winter pool a day or two before the heavy rains drenched the region but tributaries swelled quickly on Monday as the runoff entered the system and sent flood warnings out for many low lying areas.
After resting two days near the 354 range Kentucky Lake’s elevation jumped to summer pool readings of 359 near New Johnsonville and higher than that upstream where a narrow river system had trouble absorbing the rapid runoff.
The lake crested at midweek and is now falling slowly with an accelerated forecast as the weekend approaches. Anglers can expect a lot of current in the main river for another week or so. And, the water color is muddy.
TVA is changing its forecast daily but the last report showed a drastic difference between Kentucky Dam and upstream monitoring stations at New Johnsonville. Projections for Kentucky Dam will be 355 by this weekend but upstream at New Johnsonville the elevation will be 358.9, which indicates a wall of water flowing north.
Both crappie and bass anglers have reported reduced catch rates this week but moderate temperatures are predicted for this weekend which should entice anglers to get back out. The Big Sandy area near Paris Landing is dingy but not as muddy as the main Tennessee River channel area.
Surface temperatures were in the 37 to 41 degree range and will likely moderate this weekend.

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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.