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Archived Fishing Report

Heat/Humidity Challenge Anglers

Written by Steve McCadams | Originally published 07/15/2015

Two words sum up Kentucky Lakes fishing scene this week: one is hot; the other is humid.
The dog days of summer are upon us. Temperatures lately have added another challenge for anglers but those rising early are getting in a few pretty good hours before the midday sun separates the men from the boys.
Lake levels continue to ride a roller coaster this week as TVA had pulled the plug last weekend, dropping the reservoir several inches each day. At midweek, however, heavy rain to our north and south drenched portions of the TVA valley and lake stages actually rose some on Wednesday.
Present elevation shows the reservoir is still about a foot above normal for mid-July. TVA projects an elevation of 360.1 this weekend at Kentucky Dam. Upstream at New Johnsonville the elevation will be in the 359.9 range.
Watch for lake levels to fall by early next week barring additional flooding across the region as TVA will attempt to pull the reservoir back to normal curve. Anglers should see increased current in the days ahead.
Surface temperatures have been in the 85 to 88 degree range. Water color had been clear at the mouth of Big Sandy in the Paris Landing area with dingy water in the upper end of Big Sandy. A little stain is present in the main Tennessee River channel.
Catfish were hitting good this week as current stimulated activity along the main channel banks. Depths of 25 to 35 feet were producing. Some deeper spots also produced at times as fish were laying on the down side of feeder creeps or submerged lips along the riverbank.
Baits of choice have been nightcrawlers, chicken liver, cut shad and commercial stink baits.
Summer crappie have been hitting fair in the early morning hours for anglers working stakebeds and brushpiles in the 15 to 16 foot depth range. And, a few fish are relating to the deep sides of drop-offs in 17 to22 foot depths.
Jigs tipped with minnows and live minnow rigs have worked well as have jigs tipped with Berkley power bait. By midday the bite has diminished as bright sun and heat seem to have a negative impact.
Bass action has slowed some with a few good size fish taken on main lake ledges but numbers were down. The higher lake levels may have worked against the ledge bite earlier this week. That should change for the better by early next week once lower levels and current combine.
It appears hot days will linger in the forecast. Some anglers are turning to night fishing and attempting to beat the heat while fishing spinnerbaits along sloping gravel banks near the main channel.

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Eagle Eye View
Photo by Ray Stainfield

This eagle has "puffed up" his feathers to appear more threatening. He hopes to intimidate a nearby enemy.