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Archived Fishing Report

June Crappie Action Heats Up; Bass On Main Lake Ledges

Written by Steve McCadams | Originally published 06/06/2013

It’s been a good week for anglers here on Kentucky Lake as crappie and bass anglers are chalking up some nice stringers. After another week of near normal lake levels and decent weather conditions teamed up to make this late spring time frame quite productive.
Some thunderstorms last weekend and a day or two of windy weather to start the week off didn’t diminish the bite as June continues to hold up to its good fishing reputation. The month has a little bit of spring left in it before the summer season takes over.
Crappie action has really improved this week with some good numbers showing up in the creel of anglers working midrange depths of 11 to 14 feet. A few fish were also taken on deeper ledges in 17 to 19 feet this week as well.
June crappie fishing is overlooked and underrated by most anglers. The stable lake levels and weather patterns combine to produce good fishing conditions as crappie will stage for several weeks in the midrange depths before the doldrum days of summer arrive.
Jigs tipped with Berkley Power Bait have been productive but tipping with a minnow has enticed strikes too. The fish are really relating to structure now that the post-spawn phase has passed and sporting an appetite. Those stakebeds, brushpiles, and submerged stump rows are holding a lot of fish and action should hold well for the next few weeks.
Popular colors have ranged from red/black to blue/chartreuse with some motor oil with glitter and cotton candy producing too. Don’t let this good June crappie fishing pass you by.
Bass action has held up with this week too with the bulk of larger fish coming from main lake ledges. Most anglers are tossing big deep diving crankbaits such as Strike King, Bill Norman, Mann’s, Poe’s and various brands of big lip baits. 
Also working on the ledges have been big Texas rigged worms in the 10-inch plus range. Popular colors have been green pumpkin-pepper, black/blue pearl, and Tequila sunrise just to name a few.
Carolina rigged craws are always popular too once the ledge bite intensifies. Some boats were tossing Alabama rigs at times, along with jig and craw combos to fool a fish as well.
Several smaller fish were still coming from shallow buck bushes and some blowdown trees around river islands. Working spinnerbaits and some topwater around the shallow grass and logs has produced at times.
A few bluegill where still lingering around scattered bedding areas this week and some decent catches were taken in the 3 to 5 foot areas. Some fish have scattered and left bedding areas this week but there were a few spots where some nice bull bream were making a late spawning attempt and holding on to fanning areas.
Catfish were hitting pretty good in midrange depths as crappie anglers are encountering them on a regular basis while working those deeper stakebeds and brushpiles in 12 to 15 foot depths. A few scattered boats were jug fishing and doing well while baiting with nightcrawlers and chicken livers.
Water color has been clear across most of the reservoir this week. Surface temperatures warmed into the 76 to 80 degree range.
Lake levels have been rising a few inches the last few days due to heavy rains across portions of the TVA valley. And, high water on the Mississippi River has diminished discharge rates at Kentucky Dam the last few days.
Projections for the weekend indicate the reservoir will be about a foot above summer pool with readings of 360 in the Kentucky Dam area. Upstream at New Johnsonville lake levels will be a bit higher with a forecast for 360.5.
Once the reservoir crests anglers can expect some current in the main channel areas next week once TVA is able to increase its discharge rate and lower the reservoir back to normal summer pool.

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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.