Jun 9, 2024

Fishing Report 6-6-24

 By Steve McCadams, Professional Guide/Outdoor Writer (stevemc@charter.net)


Kentucky Lake’s fishing scene had returned to normal in terms of lake levels and overall weather patterns this week. It has been a wild ride the previous two or three weeks. Presently, the reservoir is back to near normal summer pool level. Readings were showing an elevation of 359.2 at Kentucky Dam as this report was updated. Surface temps have warmed to the 79 to 81 degree range. Water color is clearing in backwater bays but still dingy in the main Tennessee River channel.

Mayfly hatches were underway this week as massive swarms of flies could be seen along river islands and main lake shorelines. Several mayflies were also showing up in the upper end of Big Sandy. That can stimulate the bite for both bass and bluegill around shallow weed beds, low overhanging trees and around steep banks.

Not many old techniques such as using a fly rod and popping bug are seen out there anymore but tossing ultralight spinning tackle with slip-bobbers and boats armed with wax worms or crickets is deadly. So is casting a small Rooster Tail around the shorelines where flies are present. Anglers can tie into a lot of different species during the peak of a mayfly hatch. Look for big hatches to continue for another month or more. Several bluegill were still lingering around some late bedding areas where anglers were tying into decent numbers in 3 feet of water or less.

Catfish are still hanging around some shallow shorelines too as bluegill fishermen continue to hook into them on a regular basis. The shallow bushes and weeds are full of small shad fry that have hatched out the last week or two so there is an abundance of forage that lures them to shallow structure. At the same time the bite has resumed somewhat for boaters moving out and working the main river channel areas. Watch for the bite to hold up for several more weeks as the summer catfish bite is dependent on some current out there to stir up the schools of shad. Baits of choice are nightcrawlers, big minnows, cut bait, chicken livers and a host of commercial baits that work well too.

Post spawn crappie hare biting pretty good as they fall back to mid-range depths of 9 to 15 feet. June can be a good month to find and catch crappie. The fish resume their affinity for structure so brush piles and stake beds are holding them. Both live minnows and various jig color combinations are producing.

Bass fishermen are finding pretty good action around shallow weeds and buck bushes, not to mention blown down trees that are attracting big schools of pin minnows. Quite a few schools of pin (shad fry) minnows are gathering around any shoreline cover or island rims and that draws the bass. Find the schooling minnows and you’ll find the bass. Casting gold willow leaf spinner baits, Texas rigged worms and assorted topwater is working well.

Kentucky Lake’s ledge bite has improved as anglers tossing big deep diving crank baits are back out there pounding away, covering a lot of water in an attempt to locate some schooling fish. Big Texas rigged worms in the green pumpkin pepper, black/blue and red shad color variations are a few popular color choices. Carolina rigged worms plus swim baits and hopping a jig and craw combo have paid dividends as well.

With the return of normal lake levels and weather patterns comes a good early summer fishing pattern with much more predictability on the whereabouts of all species.

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