Lake levels on Kentucky Lake have been changing daily with all the rainfall we’ve been seeing this spring. Combined with the cooler than normal water temperatures this spring, the spawn for crappie and bass, is now almost two weeks delayed. Normally we see crappie and bass already in the shallows with the males in spawn mode. This may be a blessing in disguise, as now the water levels will possibly be at or near normal summer levels, allowing the fish to find more and better areas to spawn. One of the most important ingredients to the picture, is with the higher water levels, the bait fish will have better spawning areas as well, as the bait fish numbers have a drastic impact on our sports fish growth rates and populations. The more bait fish (food) we have, the better the fishing becomes over the upcoming years.
Flow rates last week were drastically reduced, but with all the rainfall we’ve seen, TVA has bumped up the flow. As of last Saturday the New Johnsonville area has seen around 65,000cfs and TVA predicts the flow to remain around this rate early this week. Water temps have now risen above the 60 degree mark, but with cooler night temps and days early in the week, the surface temps may dip back into the upper 50’s for a brief time.
Crappie fishermen have been looking shallow for spawning fish, some have been found late in the afternoon on warm windy days, but seem to be reluctant to set up shop, as we keep having winter like days cooling the water. Most crappie still remain scattered, with the best catches coming from 10-12ft just out from spawning locations. The crappie still seem to be moving a lot, looking for food around stake-beds and stumps, and many fishermen are having to try multiple areas to find any numbers of fish. Bass temporarily moved shallow near spawning areas, and some good fish were being taken on warm days, but with lower temps cooling the shallows, most have moved back out to slightly deeper areas. Many bass fishermen have been using ‘search baits’ such as shallow running crank-baits, rattle traps and spinner baits, covering water to find active fish. The catfish activity has improved, as rising water levels have moved many cats into shallow water in the backs of the bays.
Turkey season continues to be doing well, as Humphreys Co. now has over 250 birds checked in as of last Saturday. As the nesting season starts, gobblers will become busy attending hens most of the morning, but many successful hunters know, that hens are often busy feeding and preparing nests during the late morning and early afternoon, and are not interested in the gobblers antics, and many gobblers will readily respond to calls by hunters at that time.
Morel mushroom season is upon us and I’ve seen many hunters finding some good ‘shrooms.’ Its now time for the ‘yellow’ morels to appear. Mushroom hunters need to look under poplar and sycamore trees (and others) , especially trees that are dying or have been cut, as the fungus that lives on the root systems of trees, will send up the mushroom when it needs to send out spores for the next generation of mushrooms.