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Steve McCadams' Fishing Report

Summer Daze Requires Anglers to Rise Early

Published on July 11, 2024

Kentucky Lake fishermen best set the alarm and rise early. In order to beat the heat anglers are rising to the occasion, hitting the water long before the sun rises high in the sky.

Wise are the fishermen who launch the boat in the wee hours of the morning and motor to their starting spot early. The summer fishing scene will again hit the three-digit heat index in the days ahead says the weather wizards.

Early morning fishing trips have not been all bad as of late. Some increase in activity has been reported by catfishermen in addition to crappie and bass anglers. And, there are a few reports of scattered sightings of white bass jumps out on main lake sandbars adjacent to the main Tennessee River channel.

A slight increase in current the last few days has helped the overall bite somewhat. Tennessee Valley Authority increased discharge rates to over 24,000 cfs (cubic feet per second) at Kentucky Dam but flows have been low as of late.

Lake levels show the elevation to be around 358.7 range. That’s down a few inches from last weekend. Water color remains clear.

Surface temperatures are in the 88 to 92 degree range.

A sluggish catfish bite should show signs of improvement as increased current will help stimulate additional movement from schools of baitfish.

Depths of 45 to 50 feet have been giving up a few fish as have some suspended schools of baitfish/catfish showing up on sonar screens in the 40-foot depth range.

Popular bait choices continue to be nightcrawlers, chicken livers, cut-bait, hot dogs marinated in a host of manmade concoctions and several different commercial stink baits.

Some stringers of crappie have been taken by anglers using mostly live minnow presentations on main lake areas. Finding brushpiles and stakebeds or deep stump rows in the 18 to 25 foot depth range have given up several crappie.

There are a few fish still residing in manmade fish attractors located in the 14 foot depth range.

Some anglers are using jigs or tipping jigs with minnows to entice bites from finicky fish. Others are resorting to live minnow presentations exclusively.

Mayfly hatches have occurred on a regular basis along the main river shorelines as well as some island rims and backwater bays. Seems the hatches have really emerged whenever a thunderstorms occurs as that seems to trigger this natural phenomenon.

Some decent reports by anglers finding bass and bluegill beneath the shady canopies of overhanging willows have come in despite the hot weather.

Bass anglers banging away at main lake ledges have found the bite to be sluggish as of late. Perhaps the increase in current could also help that situation.

More schools of shad should begin to move about and feed on plankton as the current increases. The bass bite on the ledges should reflect that and improve.

Not all bass are deep as some have been taken around the mayfly hatches. Seems the hatches always bring activity to their whereabouts.

Steve McCadams' Bio

Steve has been fishing professionally for over 40 years on Kentucky Lake. He is a member of the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Hame and Legends of the Outdoors. Steve also guides for ducks during the season.

With his residence in Paris, Tenn., Steve's report covers Paris Landing to New Johnsonville.

Steve McCadams

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