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Archived Fishing Report

Summer Cool Snap Suits Anglers

Written by Steve McCadams | Originally published 07/31/2014

Is it a fall or summer pattern for Kentucky Lake fishermen? From hot and humid to cool mornings with north winds and back again, anglers have had another mixture of weather this week with a thunderstorm thrown in there for good measure.
    
A rare but welcomed cool snap surprised anglers again this week but no complaints from fishermen who donned long sleeve shirts---temps dropped to 54 degrees two mornings in the Paris Landing area at midweek---and quickly adapted.
   
Surface temperatures fell back to the 81 degree range, which is a bit below the normal range for late July and early August. Water color remains clear across the reservoir.
    
Lake levels have been falling slowly this week and are a few inches below last week at this time. Projections for the weekend will be 357.9 at Kentucky Dam and 357.5 upstream at New Johnsonville.
   
Summer crappie continue to bite for anglers working main lake ledges in depths of 18 to 22 feet. However, the cool conditions a midweek have kept a few fish holding in midrange depths where several scattered fish have been taken around deeper stakebeds and brushpiles in 12 to 14 feet at times.
    
Most anglers are still favoring live minnows or tipping jigs with minnows. And, a few boats have been night fishing under lights and scoring some decent stringers. 
    
Bass anglers are still finding some shallow fish chasing shad. Tossing spinnerbaits, shallow running shad colored crankbaits, and some topwater plugs have paid dividends. Tossing a Texas rigged worms has worked too as have some weedless lures around lily pads and other aquatic vegetation on shallow flats and backs of bays.
    
Summer patterns are also working for a few boaters that continue to concentrate on deep ledges in main lake areas. Tossing jig and craw combos, big Texas rigged worms, deep diving crankbaits, and swim baits are still catching fish too.
    
A little current plus lower lake levels should continue to work in favor of ledge fishing for the next few weeks.
    
Mayfly hatches were underway earlier this week in the aftermath of thunderstorms. Seems the sudden changes and low barometric pressure stimulate the mayfly larva to emerge from the substrate and hatch into adult flies that swarm in lowlight conditions.
    
Catfishing perked up a bit this week with slow current helping stimulate the bite along the main river channel and around bridge piers at Paris Landing. The fish respond to the current as it stimulates baitfish activity and that helps the whole fishing scene.
    
No sightings of white bass, referred to locally as stripes. In times past the late July and early August time frame were prime for surface activity from schools of white bass busting the surface. Unfortunately, the white bass have almost disappeared in much of Kentucky Lake and same goes for sauger.
    
For many years trolling for sauger along the sandbars was a popular technique of late spring and summer fishing. Both the trolling style of white bass and sauger fishing is almost nonexistent now; not because anglers dont want to fish that way but because the fish arent there to catch!

More Kentucky Lake Fishing Reports

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If you've dug this deep in our Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley fishing reports, you are probably just itching to come down and visit the South's biggest lakes.  Get started by finding that perfect place to stay!  Find a Kentucky Lake cabin or a Lake Barkley campground, a full-service resort or a marina.  Heck, there are even dozens of hotels off the water to choose from! 

Don't have a boat?  No worries!  Bank fishing is always an option for panfish. But if you're heart is set on largemouth or smallmouth, you can rent a fishing boat at many of our local resorts!

The perfect place to start looking for a place to stay at Kentucky or Barkley Lakes?  Right here on our main lodging page.


Turtle
Photo by Jennifer Dunnaway

This shy little turtle visited our campsite recently in Land Between The Lakes. There are several different species of turtles that can be seen near Kentucky Lake.