Will Spring Weather Chase Winter Away?
Written by Steve McCadams | Originally published 03/07/2013
Snowflakes one week; spring weather the next. Say hello to “March Madness” where drastic changes occur this time of year on short notice. Spring hasn’t sprung just yet but it appears the Kentucky Lake fishing scene will be the beneficiary of a nice warm up this weekend as temperatures rebound into the low 60’s and southern winds push cold weather back north. It will be a dramatic turnaround from last week’s blizzard conditions. Anglers are anxiously awaiting the warm-up as bone chilling winds have dominated the fishing scene for well over a week. March roared in like a lion last week and fishermen are hoping things improve once warm weather descends and winds change direction. Surface temperatures have remained in the 44 to 46 degree range this week as cold nights have prohibited any warm up. That will change this weekend and temps will creep back up a few degrees but may not cross the 50-degree threshold until the middle of next week unless warm sunny days hang around. Lake levels have fluctuated a few inches due to localized rains but TVA’s forecast going into the weekend will be 355 at Kentucky Dam. Upstream at New Johnsonville the elevation is projected to be in the 355.6 range. Water color is relatively clear to stained in most bays and clear out on the main lake. Despite the recent cold and windy weather bass anglers have landed some hefty stringers. Last week’s Wal-Mart BFL tournament, held during blizzard like conditions, took over 20 pounds just to make the top seven. The winning stringer tipped the scales at 23 pounds, 7 ounces. The week before a local tournament out of Paris Landing State Park had a winning stringer that was a fraction shy of 25 pounds! So, the cold weather bite has been a pretty good one to start the season off here on Kentucky Lake. Most of the hefty stringers were taken by anglers working deeper depths of 8 to 14 feet and out away from the main shorelines as some nice schools of suspended bass have been staging there. Popular lure choices have been Alabama rigs and suspending jerk baits. Watch for more bass to move up toward rock and gravel banks next week if surface temps warm. No doubt the cold weather has kept a lot of fish deep where they are riding out the chilly conditions and following their forage base. Crappie fishing had a flurry or two of activity over the last week but overall conditions have not been favorable for boaters hoping to work the main lake ledges. It has been too windy and cold for most but the warm spell now underway will see activity improve quickly. The weekend forecast is favorable as to warmer weather but wind could be a factor. Meteorologists indicate the warm-up may come at the expense of strong southeast winds. Most of the crappie are hanging out on main lake ledges with the 18 to 22 foot depth zone being most productive. High winds can play havoc on boaters trying to fish the open water this time of year. Popular jig colors have ranged from blue/chartreuse to black/chartreuse, red/green, chartreuse with red sparkle, and some sliver/green combos just to name a few. Several anglers have been tipping with minnows or Berkley power bait. As surface temperatures moderate next week watch for crappie to slowly move up toward midrange depths and enter the 10 to 14 foot depth range. Until warmer surface temperatures arrive look for the bulk of fish to remain deep in the Paris Landing sector while areas up Big Sandy and in West Sandy may see some suspended fish start showing up. No doubt anglers are ready to put this nasty cold weather in their rearview mirror as spring draws closer.
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