TVA has been reducing the flow rate from where it has been all winter/spring. Flow rates on Kentucky Lake were over 450,000cfs (cubic feet per second), to less than 20,000cfs last week. With some rainfall across the Tennessee River Valley this past week, flow rates have increased to the mid to upper 70,000cfs range this weekend.
Water temperatures on Kentucky Lake have reached into the mid to upper 70’s, which have spurred on the shellcracker/bluegill spawn. Normally the shellcrackers (red-eared sunfish) begin the spawn from late April to the first few weeks in May, but due to cooler weather this month, water temperatures remained lower until this week. Shellcrackers will spawn when water temperatures reach and remain in the low 70’s.
Fishermen looking for shellcrackers or bluegill need to concentrate on looking for protected shallow areas with vegetation close by. The fish seem to be most commonly found in 1-3ft of water this year. Follow the shoreline fishing worms or cricket/meal worms close to the bottom until you find a school of spawning fish. Often, many can be found in a small area, and some great fights can be had by these fish on light tackle. Limits on shellcracker on Kentucky Lake are 20/person with no size limit, and no limit on bluegill.
Turkey season is now over, with a total of 40,109 turkeys taken throughout the state this year. Humphreys Co. ended with a total of 483 birds this year, which was up from last year. Maury Co. finished first in the state, with 1,500 turkeys harvested.
Memorial Day weekend is typically the start of the boating season, so here are a few items to remember before heading to the water this year.
Make sure batteries are charged and ready, gas is good and lights are working. A wearable life jacket is required for everyone on the boat, and all children 12 and under must wear a life jacket while on the water. TWRA will be out in full force during the holiday weekend. The most common things they look for are safety equipment, such as life jackets, throw-able PFDS, registration for the boat, fire extinguisher (in good working order) and if fishing, a valid fishing license.