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Archived Fishing Report

Stubborn Scenario Continues; Warmer Weekend Precedes Another Cool Snap

Written by Steve McCadams | Originally published 02/27/2014

Kentucky Lake’s fishing scene had a couple of nice days slip through the door last week before stubborn winter weather returned. Last weekend wasn’t too bad in terms of temperature and wind but conditions deteriorated this week once north breezes and below average temps returned.
Although most of this week has seen unfavorable conditions, a warming trend is in the forecast for this weekend. Temps are expected to rebound into the mid 50’s on Saturday and rise above 60 on Sunday before another cold front enters the picture early next week.
Lake levels this week were rising slightly. TVA’s projections for the weekend show lake levels will be in the 355.5 range at Kentucky Dam. Upstream at New Johnsonville elevation is expected to be in the 356.3 range, which is up a few inches from last week at this time.
Water color has been dingy all week throughout the Big Sandy basin and borderline muddy in the upper end toward West Sandy and in the New Hope area. Dingy color was also present in the Paris Landing sector and in the main Tennessee River channel. Some bays on the east side such as Standing Rock, Leatherwood, Hurricane and White Oak were less stained. Cypress Bay north of Paris Landing was also showing a decent color for fishing.
Surface temperatures are still reluctant to cross the 45 degree threshold in most areas, a reflection of the continued cold days and nights that have lingered. A slight increase could occur over the weekend.
Crappie anglers saw some improvement the middle of last week as a few fish were taken at midweek when sunny days and light winds sneaked in. Most catches came from bays on the east side of the reservoir when water color was somewhat clearer but a few fish were also taken in portions of West Sandy by anglers fishing stakebeds and brushpiles.
Depths of 8 to 12 feet gave up a few scattered fish in those areas but by the weekend it seemed fish backed off and were reluctant to bite despite some decent weather. Anglers working main lake ledges at the mouth of Big Sandy near Paris Landing were not finding many fish willing to bite.
Water color should improve some in the days ahead unless heavy downpours enter the picture. Rain is in the forecast for Sunday and will likely accompany the warm-up.
Meanwhile, anglers continue to wait on warmer weather and hope north winds change to a southerly direction soon and bring normal temperature ranges back to the fishing scene. Crappie anglers are overdue for some improvement out on main lake ledges around those 18 to 25 foot depths.
Bass action has been slow for most but it only takes a day or two of warm sunshine for things to quickly improve. This weekend’s warm spell, although brief, could see improvement. Some fish have been taken on crawfish colored crankbaits and other colors such as firetiger, chartreuse/red, and florescent red.
Dingy water is present around most gravel banks and points where wind has things stirred up and stained runoff from upstream has moved in. Watch for rock bluffs and gravel points or shorelines to improve around midday when sunny conditions help stimulate sluggish fish to move up some and feed.
Some boats are still tossing Alabama rigs and Carolina rigs out away from gravel points and steep rock bluffs. Also, suspending crankbaits are popular choices as are Rattle Trap style baits cast on mud bars.
It sounds like a broken record but practically everyone is waiting on a warm-up! The overall fishing scene needs some help from Mother Nature but she has been showing anglers her ugly face for quite some time. Someday soon that frown has got to change into a smile!

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Photo by Jennifer Dunnaway

If the road conditions permit, a drive through a snow-covered Land Between The Lakes is a must! This winter wonderland is every photographers dream come true.