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Archived Fishing Report

Summer Temps Return; Cool Spell Short And Sweet

Written by Steve McCadams | Originally published 08/01/2013

Kentucky Lake’s fishing scene had a nice reprieve for a few days last week when fall like conditions descended, dropping both temperatures and humidity to make it feel great on the lake for a few days.
At midweek summer conditions returned and the cool snap was in the rearview mirror of fishermen as they wiped sweat and dodged thunderstorms. Ah, but every day makes fall that much closer!
Action has held up pretty good lately for catfishermen enjoying a moderate amount of current in the main river channel. Bass are still hitting pretty good for anglers working the main lake ledges and summer crappie have managed to show interest in the baits of anglers too.
Lake levels this week were falling slowly this week as TVA continued its gradual drawdown. However, some heavy thunderstorms at midweek were dropping a lot of water across the southern end of the reservoir so it’s likely a little rise in lake stages could occur in the next few days.
Elevation was projected to be 357.2 at both Kentucky Dam and New Johnsonville as the weekend approached but TVA could revise that in the aftermath of the runoff that entered the pictured on Wednesday.
Surface temperatures the last few days were resting in the 83 to 85 degree range but actually cooled off a bit last weekend. Water color is clear in Big Sandy but the main Tennessee River channel will likely inherit some stain these next few days from upstream.
Bass fishermen were tossing Carolina rigged craws, worms, and lizards on a regular basis and catching decent numbers on drop-offs, especially on the main channel areas when current was present. Earlier in the week the current subsided for a day or so and bass activity fell off but rebounded at midweek.
Big crankbaits are still producing too when fished along the ledges in 9 to 14 foot depths as have jig and craw combos and some swim baits. Texas rigged worms in the 10-inch size range have continued to be popular choices too.
Catfish action improved the last few days as slow current was working in favor of catfishermen baiting with nightcrawlers fished in 25 to 40 foot depths. Bouncing rigs around the submerged feeder ditches and creeks that enter the main channel has worked well as have some piers at the New McWherter Bridge area.
For summer crappie anglers the action has been fair lately and they enjoyed the cool snap last week that made it feel like fall was knocking on the door. With warmer weather returning look for more crappie to relate to the deep sides of main lake ledges in the 18 to 25 foot depth range.
Most anglers are using live minnows on bottom bumping rigs with fishing the deeper hideouts but there are still a few scattered fish hanging around deeper stakebeds and brushpiles in the 12 to 14 foot zone. Anglers vertical fishing manmade beds are still having success with 1/16 to 1/8-ounce jigs tipped with live minnows or Berkley Power Bait crappie nibbles.
Mayfly hatches have been sporadic as of late. A few flies have hatched around the Paris Landing area at times and up north around Cypress and around river islands down toward Danville levee but no massive hatches have been seen like those of yesteryear.
The summer scene has been pretty good to anglers lately and with the return of hot weather that early morning and late afternoon time frame will be the most appealing unless you choose to really beat the heat and try some night fishing.

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Photo by Libby Mundy

This male eastern bluebird is looking for an insect to munch on. Easily spotted by binoculars, the males are bluer than the females which are mostly grey in color.