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Archived Fishing Report

Winter Fishing Scene Rebounds; Warm Weather Returns

Written by Steve McCadams | Originally published 02/07/2013

Thanks to a nice week of warm weather the winter fishing scene has rebounded for Kentucky Lake anglers. Temps this week have been in the upper 50s and low 60s at times. And, winds have been pretty nice as well , allowing both bass and crappie anglers to access anywhere they chose.
Lake levels this week began a gradual fall after rising a few inches over the weekend. Elevation continues to be above normal winter pool and that has been the case pretty much all winter. TVA is pulling water and projecting a continuous fall throughout the weekend.
Elevation for the weekend at Kentucky Dam is predicted to be 354.8. However, upstream at New Johnsonville there is still almost a two foot variation in lake levels as water flows down the Tennessee River. Lake levels this weekend for the New Johnsonville area are projected to be in the 356.7 range and falling.
Surface temperatures have responded to the warm weather and are now in the 46 to 49 degree range. Water color has improved with a slight stain in the main channel but clearing in the bays and creeks as falling water has pulled most of the muddy water out of shallow areas.
Crappie fishermen were out in force this week as weather improved. Light winds and a warming trend had boats working the main lake ledges where anglers were dunking jigs and minnow rigs on deep drop-offs. Depths of 18 to 24 feet were producing some fish in the Paris Landing sector.
Up Big Sandy and into West Sandy boats were working deep brushpiles, stumprows, and stakebeds and finding fish in the 10 to 14 foot range at times. Some crappie were even moving up to 8 to 12 foot spots but appeared scattered.
Watch for increased activity in the days ahead around midrange depths as mild weather will remain in the forecast. That should see surface temps moderate some and bring more fish to the 10 to 12 foot zone.
Bass anglers were tossing a variety of baits around submerged grass on sloping flats. Spinnerbaits were popular as were Rattle Traps and other shallow running crankbaits.
A few boats continued to key in on deeper ditches and sloughs that feed into the main river channel and tested the submerged areas with Carolina rigged craws, jig and pig combos, Alabama rigs, and some finesse baits worked very slowly to entice strikes.
Other boats have been working the gravel bank, rip-rap, and big chunk rock patterns with crankbaits in crawfish colors and some loud color choices during periods when dingy water was present.
No doubt a touch of spring fever was in the air this week after last weeks cold snaps and north winds kept most anglers on shore. Although mid temps will hang around this weekend and into next week, some high winds are expected later this weekend.

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If you've dug this deep in our Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley fishing reports, you are probably just itching to come down and visit the South's biggest lakes.  Get started by finding that perfect place to stay!  Find a Kentucky Lake cabin or a Lake Barkley campground, a full-service resort or a marina.  Heck, there are even dozens of hotels off the water to choose from! 

Don't have a boat?  No worries!  Bank fishing is always an option for panfish. But if you're heart is set on largemouth or smallmouth, you can rent a fishing boat at many of our local resorts!

The perfect place to start looking for a place to stay at Kentucky or Barkley Lakes?  Right here on our main lodging page.

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.