Kentucky lake levels are holding at 358.5ft and the TVA is saying that the level should remain stable. We have not had much rainfall in the system and expect flow rates to be only around 20,000cfs or less, and only when power is being generated. As the hot weather continues, expect water conditions to deteriorate. As surface temperatures increase the water cannot hold as much oxygen, combine this with low flow, and we could start seeing the thermocline form, with the deeper areas of the lake devoid of oxygen. The Duck River has become low without much precipitation entering the system, and has now fallen to around 2ft, and is predicted to fall to a level of 1.5ft this week. The Buffalo is normal, with a level on Friday at 4ft, and is remaining stable. Most of the lake is now at or above the mid 80’s for the surface temp. Expect that to rise this week, as the air temps continue to be at or near the 100 degree mark.
The hot temperatures have slowed the fishermen more than the fish, as the temperatures have been over 80 degrees and near 90 by late mornings. Most fishermen have been hitting the water at daylight and coming off the water early, as the temps increase quickly. Bass fishermen are still finding fish in the shallows chasing the shad found around wood cover and grass lines, but seem to move offshore as the sun’s rays begin to heat up everything. The ledge bite has fallen off form what it was, slow to begin with. Most ledge fishermen continue to see a ‘one here, one there’ pattern, as the bass seem to always be on the move. Most are using search baits, like deep-diving crankbaits and lipless crankbaits. Some fishermen have been trying finesse techniques like drop shooting, ned rigs and jigs along the deeper river drops around cover. Most of the activity seems to be related to current, when there is no current, fishing is tough but seems to improve when there is flow. Catfish are also being taken when current is present, mostly now from the river channel. Catfishermen should use their electronics to help locate schools of fish along the old river banks. Catfish are distinguished from other fish on the sonar because catfish don’t have scales and will produce a weaker return on the depth finder, usually only showing a hard return around the head of the fish from the skull bone, where as a scaled fish will give a stronger return because scales are harder and the whole fish will usually show this. Crappie anglers have all but given up the chase during this heat spell. The ones that do fish have been early in the morning and continue to find some in the deeper areas of around 15-25ft.
Free fishing day was Saturday June 11th and we had a great turnout at Mason’s Boat Dock. The kids had a great time and I would like to thank everyone who came out not only to fish, but to help. We had over 35 kids participate and had a lot of fish brought in to be weighed. The big fish was a catfish around 3lbs. We had multiple categories; biggest fish, most fish and most weight for both boys and girls. The boys; biggest fish was taken by Colton Bates, most fish Brewer Allgood, most weight was taken by Evan Loyd. The girls biggest fish was taken by Emily Stone, most fish went to Langley Allgood, and most weight was taken by Anniston Allgood.
TWRA news; a new executive director was named for TWRA; Bobby Wilson retired and Jason Maxedon became the new director. Jason is a native of west TN and holds a bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology from UT Martin, a master’s degree from UT Knoxville, and an associate degree form Dyersburg State Community College. TWRA is inviting the public to take part in the Agency’s wild turkey summer observational survey. The new public survey is launching this year and will be an annual opportunity. The survey is currently underway and will continue through Aug 31. Participants will have an opportunity to help the TWRA monitor the state’s wild turkey population by reporting wild turkey sightings. For more information on the survey and how to participate, visit www.tn.gov/twra/turkeyobs