This past weekend was the opening of 2021 spring juvenile turkey hunt. Weather wasn’t great, with the rainfall, but hopefully we had plenty of kids finding turkeys. The birds have been singing and weather has been warm, and the gobblers have been vocal over the last few weeks in anticipation of the breeding season. The regular spring turkey hunt will begin next weekend, April 3rd. As always, I encourage everyone to consult with the most recent hunting guide for all the information regarding laws and regulations.
Lake levels have responded to the recent rainfall, with TVA raising the lake closer to summer pool, as of last Friday, area lake levels were at 358.25 ft, and predicted to remain stable. The normal time for TVA to raise the water is April 1st, with the lake reaching summer pool of 359ft by May 1st. Water temps are just under the 60 degree mark, and some shallow protected areas have exceeded 60 degrees. Expect flow rates to pick up, as the rainfall entering the TN river has increased and TVA will be trying to get the water levels back down for added flood storage. Current flow rates have exceeded 200,000 cfs.
Crappie have begun to stage in anticipation of the upcoming spawning season, with many being taken in the 10-15 ft depths around stake beds. The normal time for the spawn is around the 2nd to 3rd week in April, when water temps approach the 66-68 degree mark. The best technique has been moving from bed to bed looking for the moving fish, as often this time of the year, fish are always on the move. Bass action has been picking up, with some decent catches lately. Most fishermen have been beating the banks with the rising water levels, using crawfish colored crankbaits and rattle traps. A few fish have been taken with gold colored willow leaf spinnerbaits.