Humphreys County Outdoor Report for March 17th

Published Mar 19, 1:55pm

Kentucky lake has remained stable, fluctuating only ½ ft over the last week, even with the rainfall that has entered the TN river system. Lake levels on Friday were at 355.0 ft and TVA is predicting a stable level this week. The Lake will begin filling towards summer pool on April 1st and TVA will try to keep the lake near 354-355ft until then. The flow rates continue to be on the strong side, with an average before the rain on Friday, around 85,000cfs.  The DO level is at 11.42, with a pH at 7.48. the average surface water temperature is near 60 degrees. The Cumberland river at Dover is at 55ft, and at 26.8ft at Clarksville. The Duck was at 2.5ft on last Friday, but we did see some rainfall, and it may come up again.

The fishing report continues to look good, with many heading out and finding both Bass and Crappie. The Bass bite seems to be centered around the baitfish, and where the baitfish are, bass will be close by. Some are shallow around rocky banks, as well as in and around crappie beds. Some of the bigger bass have been taken on humps and drops inside bays, as the current is still strong on the main river. The crappie bite has moved shallower, with many crappie fishermen targeting depths of 10-12ft, but also finding some in the shallows, mostly around cover. The spawn is still a few weeks off, but the fish still have the urge to move shallower as water warms into the 60’s. Often the crappie will be deeper in the mornings, and as the water warms in the shallower water, they will move into water 3-5ft deep. Crappie will start spawning when water warms into the low 60’s, and most will be on bed once water temps reach 68 degrees. A few fishermen have been fishing for Sauger, with some success. Sauger should be done with their spawning activity, as most will spawn when water warms into the upper 40’s, and will be done after water warms into the mid 50’s, this usually happens around late February into March. White bass have been found around outflow areas, like Camden bottoms outflow, the pump station in J’ville and on the Duck river.  

It seems that fishing has continued to better over the last few years, as to why we saw a reduction in catch rates over the last few years, is up for debate. Some fishermen point fingers at the Asian Carp, others at fishing pressure, or even normal population cycles. Back in 2020, we had an excessive amount of rainfall for many months, and the Tennessee river was flooded with extreme flow (100,00-400,000cfs) for much of the winter. This may have contributed in some ways to the downfall of our fisheries. One of the big things I saw just after the flooding, was that we saw a huge reduction in the amount of baitfish in our area. Without baitfish, our Sportsfish will suffer, as Threadfin and Gizzard Shads are one of their most important food sources. We began to see the shad recover about 2 years ago, and it seems the Sportsfish are now doing better. But this is just an idea, there may be multiple factors at play, but it’s still good news that fishing has improved.

TWRA news is not this month, as turkey season is still a few weeks away, with the regular turkey season starting on April 13th. If fishermen are looking for the new fishing guide, TWRA wants everyone to know that there will be no paper guide available until the new Combo Hunting/Fishing guide is available in August. The fishing guide is available on-line at, or in the TWRA “on the go app”.

Upcoming events; ABA TN-30 Danville division on March 24th at Danville, TN National Refuge trail and garden Cleanup at Paris on March 22nd 8am-12pm. Celtic Bass Tournament on March 23rd at Danville (was moved from the March 9th date), Cumberland River Catman’s Association catfishing event on March 23rd at Cumberland city. ABA Divison 40 on March 23rd at Cuba landing. Hickman County Bass Club on March 30th at Pickwick yellow creek ramp. In April there are many events, including the USA Bassin New Johnsonville Divison on April 13th, Tn Mad Catters on April 7th at Guices Creek boat ramp, and many more, I’ll let everyone know as the dates get closer.