Kentucky Lake’s fishing scene has been the beneficiary of stable lake levels this week and it appears that will continue for the near future. Warmer days are already entering the picture so things will continue to heat up for bass, crappie, bluegill, redear and catfishermen.
Lake levels this week have stayed around the summer pool elevation as projections for the weekend will be in the 359.1-feet range in the Kentucky Dam area. Water color is clear in most areas of the reservoir.
Surface temperatures have climbed into the low 70s this week after hanging in the upper 60s during the first half of May. Fishermen could see temps in the mid-70s next week if not sooner.
Cooler conditions the last couple of weeks sort of played games with the bluegill spawn, to some degree, as the fish have been somewhat finicky. The bite has been mediocre some days, starting off slow several mornings when nighttime temps dropped to the low to mid-40s.
Those cool morning starts seemed to put both bluegill and elusive redear in a sluggish mood a few days. These fish are known to be sensitive to weather changes, especially cool snaps.
Watch for things to heat up this weekend and throughout next week for the powerful panfish as not only warm and humid weather has entered the picture but another full moon arrives on Wednesday.
Full moon phases in late May should stimulate activity for bluegill and redear to make another blitz to shallows and take on active spawning activity.
While several stringers of bluegill have been taken lately, anglers are catching a lot of small fish at times and culling a big percentage of their catch. Redear fishermen have faced a pretty tough bite all spring.
A lot of female bluegill are bloated with eggs and ready to spawn. Watch for improvement in the bluegill bite by this weekend and throughout next week. Some nice ones have been taken but the hot and humid conditions will likely stimulate the bite and spawning phases.
Catfish were still biting pretty good this week for some anglers targeting rock banks, while a few others had already backed off to fishing bridge piers and playing the current around the river channel itself.
There are still good numbers of catfish prowling the shallow zones searching for spawning areas.
Bass anglers are having to work hard to land a limit these days but some anglers are targeting deeper water for smallmouth and avoiding the shallow shoreline style of fishing.
Last Saturday’s Two Rivers Bass Club tournament — the annual Johnny Johnson/Paul Steele Memorial — out of Paris Landing had 55 boats entered, but there were only some 15 or so teams who managed to catch a limit. Overall weights were down and big bass of the event barely eclipsed 5 pounds.
Although a 21-pounds stringer won the event, second place dropped to 16-plus pounds and overall weights dropped off significantly from there.
While a lot of boats beat the banks stalking buck bushes and any blowdowns they encountered, there were some who targeted secondary humps and ledges in search of post-spawn fish. Some nice smallmouth were taken.
Crappie fishermen are encountering sluggish post-spawn crappie that are both scattered and somewhat reluctant to bite at times.
The mood swing of scattered crappie isn’t unusual for mid-May fish but watch for the bite to improve soon as warmer surface temps push fish out to midrange depths for a few weeks.
The time period of late May and throughout June has a reputation of producing some pretty good crappie fishing. Stable weather and lake levels combine to produce good fishing conditions and that scenario is fast approaching for late spring crappie anglers.
STEVE McCADAMS is The Post-Intelligencer’s outdoors writer. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.