Bass/Crappie Head to Main Lake Ledges; Mayfly Hatches Underway
Written by Steve McCadams | Originally published 06/27/2013
Bass and crappie continue to transition toward summer hangouts as warmer surface temperatures enter the fishing scene this week. Activity has been pretty good this week for bass anglers working main lake ledges and the summer crappie bite continues to hold up well. Mayfly hatches are beginning to enter the picture too, bringing bluegill, bass, and a wide variety of species to the table as this natural buffet seems to appeal to just about every fish in Kentucky Lake. Surface temperatures this week reflect the warmer weather patterns as readings have been in the 82 to 85 degree range. Water color remains clear in both the Big Sandy basin and throughout the Tennessee River. Lake levels this week were falling slightly and that put a lot of current in the main river channel and around secondary sloughs and islands. Projections for the weekend indicate the reservoir will rest at normal summer pool (359) at Kentucky Dam. Upstream in the New Johnsonville sector lake levels will be in the 358.9 range. With the falling lake levels throughout the week catfishermen scored decent catches beneath the Ned McWherter Bridge at Paris Landing. There have been some decent catfish taken by jug fishermen in the bays too, not to mention crappie anglers working the midrange stakebeds and brushpiles where some dandies are still lurking and testing tackle at times. Summer crappie action held up again this week despite some warm, windy days that challenged boaters at times. Most anglers want some light wind but it’s somewhat unusual to battle whitecaps this time of year but that was the case for me several days running. Area thunderstorms and rising humidity seemed to stir up stubborn winds that dictated fishing routes. When cloudy days were present there have been some dandy catches of crappie coming from 13 to 15 foot depths where deep stakebeds and brushpiles are holding fish. Vertical presentations of jigs tipped with either live shiner minnows or Berkley Power Bait have scored nice stringers. Other patterns producing have been trolling crankbaits along drop-offs and out over deep water venues this week. Popular jig colors have ranged from chartreuse glitter to yellow/black/chartreuse and even some purple with glitter at times. With surface temperatures increasing watch for more crappie to fall back to the deeper sides of main lake ledges in depths of 18 to 24 feet in the weeks ahead. Catch a cloudy day and the fish seem to move up some but fall back deep when bright skies enter the equation. Bass fishermen are still catching good numbers of fish on main lake ledges. Anglers are catching numbers but having trouble finding concentrations of bigger fish. Most winning tournament weights remain around the 20-pound mark but a lot of limits are coming in with weights in the 13 to 15 pound range. Tossing big crankbaits is still working on the ledges. Also consistent have been nine to ten inch works rigged Texas style. Carolina rigged worms and craws are producing too as have jig and craw combos hopped along the ledges. There are still some bass hanging around island rims and blowdowns in shallow water, especially if mayflies are around. There are areas of pondweed and various aquatics visible in shallow areas and anglers have been finding minnows using the grassbeds with bass hot on their trail. Floating fluke style baits have worked there as have some buzzbaits and spinnerbaits at times. Tossing weedless frogs and other surface lures are popular choices too. With hot weather entering the picture both crappie and bass anglers are finding some of their best action during the lowlight periods of early morning and late afternoon. That midday sun can curtail activity at times but the overall fishing scene has held up well this week and shows no signs of changing.
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