Jul 5, 2024

Fishing Report

 Kentucky Lake 7-3-24

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


Rising surface temperatures reflect the extended spell of hot weather across the Kentucky Lake region. Readings this week showed the lake had warmed to the 88-to-90-degree range. Watercolor remains clear across the reservoir. Lake levels continue to fall slowly as TVA implemented its annual drawdown beginning July 1. All lake users will begin to see slightly lower lake stages in the weeks and months ahead. Elevation this week saw the reservoir falling slowly and was showing an elevation of 358.8 at Kentucky Dam, which is down a few inches from the summer pool elevation of 359.

Hot and humid weather continues to dictate the fishing conditions for most anglers. After the first two or three hours of the morning it’s pretty tough out there. Some days when light winds team up with cloud cover it’s tolerable; other days it’s an endurance test. The heat index lately has reached the three-digit mark and that takes the fun out of fishing.

Cat fishermen are finding a few playing their game out on the main Tennessee River channel area. Most days have produced a low flow as a lazy current situation has not worked in favor of an aggressive bite but that can change from day to day. The current calls the shots. A few fish have been taken by anglers using nightcrawlers and chicken livers, along with several commercial catfish baits. Depths of 35 to 45 feet have produced at times with some hanging around the 50-foot range.

The summer crappie bite has been sluggish this week but at times wind has had a negative impact. A few crappie have been taken in the 19-to-23-foot depth range by fishermen working the deep sides of main lake ledges while using mostly live minnows.

Main lake ledges have been sluggish to produce bass lately too, another side effect of low current at times. There are still a lot of schools of pin minnows related to grass beds and blowdowns on the edges of main river island rims. A few bass have been taken by anglers who find the minnows schooling. Tossing a Texas rigged worm and white/chartreuse spinnerbait with a bronze willow leaf blade have paid dividends at times. Some scattered reports from a few boats trolling crankbaits out on the main lake ledges have indicated a few sauger and white bass have been taken out there at times.

Big mayfly hatches were underway lately out on the main river shorelines and islands. That has attracted several species of fish up to shallow shady spots at times. A few bass and bluegill are feeding on them plus a host of other species there for the buffet as well.

Practically everyone on the lake is yearning for a few cool cloudy mornings that will help the attitude of both the fish and the fishermen.

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