Humphreys Co. outdoor report for week of October 13th

It’s been a great week for outdoor enthusiast,now that more seasonal weather has set in.  Hunting season’s have gone from swatting mosquitoes to watching the colorful leaves falling gracefully to the ground, as fall should be experienced.  Deer archery will continue until the end of the month, when the juvenile hunt weekend will take place.   A few archery hunters are connecting with their quarry, with around 50 deer taken so far this year in Humphreys Co.  A few deer are still succumbing to the EHD virus, in which most deer infected will be found around water when dead.  EHD is an virus which is spreed by a biting ‘midge’ which infects the deer with a ‘blue-tounge’ like fever, which most deer will get a high fever which causes hemorrhaging of the capillaries of the vascular system, causing the deer to seek water to cool down, and often killing the infected animal.  EHD happens each year, but can be worse during drought years like this year. the problem usually ends with the onset of cooler weather, which gets ride of the midge, which causes the problem.

Fishing has showed and improvement as well with the cooler weather. water temps have cooled down to the mid 70’s on Kentucky lake, causing the shad to finally move out to deeper water. lake levels are in the mid 354ft range.  flow rates are in the mid 20.000cfs range.

The crappie and bass bite has followed the shad out to the mid-depth ranges of 10-15ft off structure.  the fish still haven’t started to relate to cover just yet, but as water temps cool into the 60’s, fish should relate to stakebeds and stumps.  Catfish have started biting quite well, with fiddlers being found in abundance around the tops of ledges along the old river channel, baits of choice are night-crawlers and livers, although a easily overlooked  bait is cut bluegill or any type of fish, cut into small pieces and fished on small hooks.  bigger cats have turned up in water depths of around 40ft, using cut baits fished around wood cover. 

Humphreys Co. Outdoor report for week on October 4th

Water levels have dropped on Kentucky Lake this week, current levels at NewJohnsonville are at 354.2 ft. with flow rates  averaging 15,000cfs.  Water temps are still in the mid to upper 80’s, but with the cooler weather on tap for this week, expect surface temps to slowly fall back to normal levels around 70 degrees.  The fishing scene has been improving somewhat, with crappie not doing to bad, some nice catches have been coming out of the mid-depth ranges of 10-15ft. mostly by spider riggers and long liners covering water.  as the water cools, expect the crappie to bunch up and start relating to cover, including brush beds and stake beds.  Slow presentations have been producing better numbers, but as the water cools, crappie will become more aggressive, as they feed up for the winter, and jigs fished close to the cover should produce. 

Hunting seasons now open are squirrel and deer archery.  Dove will re-open Oct 12th. The Fed refuge has many hunting opportunities, including a primitive weapon hunt this weekend, deer quota hunts next weekend, and when no quota hunts are taken place, open archery and racoon, and squirrel hunting.  A additional refuge hunting permit is required in addition to your TN licenses to hunt the federal refuge, which is a type 064 Tn national cross creek  wildlife refuge permit. for more information on hunting the federal refuge, pick up a refuge hunting guide at the kiosk at the entrance to the refuge.

A hunter ed class is scheduled during fall break, October 11th and 12th, per-register on-line at TNwildlife.org  the class will be taught at the Humphreys co. sheriffs office shooting range off Scepter Rd. from 8am to 4pm, you must attend both days to get credit.  

Humphreys Co outdoors report for week on September 22nd

The fishing scene has been slow this past week, I’m believing that it’s due mainly to the abnormally high temps this month, hot weather is punishing to fish, causing poor water quality and unpleasant conditions for fishermen as well.  Lake levels continue to fall slowly towards winter pool, with current levels at NewJohnsonville holding at 354.74ft with flow rates slowing down to around 15,000cfs.  water temps are holding in the mid to upper 80’s here in late September, where we should be seeing water temps around the mid to upper 70’s.

Hunting season’s have started, but the heat has keep many hunters staying indoors.  Woodduck/Teal/goose seasons are now over, and the first segment of the 3 dove seasons, will close on Sept 28th.  The archery deer season is slated to begin this weekend, Sept 28th, and I’m sure some hunters will be hunting, even with the prediction of high temps to be in the mid to upper 90’s.  In 30+ years in the wildlife field, I’ve seen a huge reduction in the number of archery hunters in the early season hunts, not sure the reason, but I’m guessing it’s due to the deer season being open for such a long period of time, with seasons starting in Sept and continuing till late winter, hunters can be much more picky on when they hunt, opting for better weather and choosing easier methods of hunting such as gun hunting.

Here are a few laws to keep in mind before hunting;  make sure you have the proper license for hunting deer, weapon type determines license type.  i.e.- archery deer hunting requires archery license, gun hunting needs a gun license etc.

hunters are reminded that you cannot hunt over a baited area, examples of baited areas are hunting over a pile of corn, apples, etc. or anything which has been placed to attract deer which was not grown there. The area is considered to be baited until all bait has been gone for 10 days.

all hunters must have permission to hunt on private property

there are many other laws to know, so as always I recommend to read the hunting guide, which is available at all license agents, walmart, hunt’s outdoors, bud’s market, casey’s general stores.

The next Hunter Ed class will be October 11,12th at the Humphreys Co Sherriff’s range off Scepter Rd from 8am-4pm each day, you must attend both days!  register at TNWildlife.org

 

Humphreys Co. Outdoor report for week of September 14th

Lake levels continue to fall towards the winter pool elevation of 354ft, with lake levels at NewJohnsonville at 355ft. Due to the extreme lack of rainfall in our area, the Duck and Buffalo river are low as well, with the Duck at Hurricane Mills, at 1ft, the Buffalo at Lobelville at 3.4ft.  Water Temps have been on the rise due to the heat wave, with surface temperatures,on Kentucky lake, in the mid to upper 80’s. flow rate on Kentucky lake have backed off a bit, with average flow around18,000cfs.

The fishing has continued to be tough; bass, catfish and crappie continue to allude fishermen, undoubtedly due to poor water conditions brought on by the drought and heat.  Hopefully cooler weather is shortly coming, with some of the best fishing coming with the drop in water temps. 

Outdoors-men still have plenty to keep themselves busy with, squirrel, dove(till Sept 28) early Goose(till Sept 22nd) and starting Saturday, Sept. 14th, wood duck and teal season open.  Sept. 14-Sept. 18 wood duck and teal will be open, with limits at 6 duck/day no more than 2 wood ducks/day.  Teal only season starts Sept. 19th and continues until Sept. 22 with daily limits of 6 teal/day. and as always, consult the current hunting guide for further information.

 

Humphreys Co. Outdoor report

TVA is prediction for the lake at NewJohnsonville to go below the 356 ft mark by mid week, current lake levels are 356ft with flow rates bumped up to around 40.000cfs.  water temps remain in the mid to upper 80’s.  Fishing has seen a small improvement, with Bass tournaments taking around 15lbs to win.  fish remain scattered, with a few fish starting to hit on top water. 

Crappie remain deep, in the 20ft range, with a slow presentation producing the most fish.  Minnows fished close to cover are producing a few good fish.

Catfish remain slow, but a few good numbers of eater sized fish continue to be taken around the river drops on worms and liver.

Dove season will open Sept 1st, at noon with the limits 15 birds per hunter per day.  Here are a few items to remember before heading out to the field this Sunday;  make sure you have the proper license.  each hunter needs at minimum a small game license(type 01) and a migratory bird hunting permit.  also your gun needs a plug in it, making the shotgun incapable of holding more then 3 shells.  a big issue each year has to do with baiting. Federal and state laws  prohibit anyone from hunting migratory birds over an area where bait has been placed.  examples of baited areas are fields which have had grains placed as an incitement to attract migratory birds. Placing any agricultural grains on an area to attract doves is bait!  if a crop is grown on the field, it is legal to manipulate (bushhog) the crop, and hunt doves over it, as long as no new grains are added to the field.  planting wheat in the fall for a food plot/cover crop and hunting doves is ok, as long as the field is only planted once (we’ve seen fresh wheat and sprouted wheat on the same field, which is an an indicator that the field has been planted more than once, making it illegal to hunt)  All a hunter has to do is ask the landowner or person who fixed the field if the field was baited, if it was don’t hunt it!  as always, refer to the newest hunting guide for rules and regulations pertaining to any hunting activity you may have any questions about.

 

Humphreys Co. Fishing report for week of August 18th

This has been a week of excuses, hot temps, warm water, too much current , no current, etc.  Most fishermen have been unsuccessful at catching any species of fish.  As fishing goes, summer can be the most difficult season to fish.  Hot water temperatures can cause water be low on oxygen levels, lakes can stratify, depleting any remaining oxygen, and fish can become stressed causing the bite to be slow.  

Water levels continue to fall towards winter pool, with levels in NewJohnsville area around 356ft, and should continue to fall towards winter pool over the next few weeks.  Water temps remain in the upper 80s to low 90s.  flow rates this week are predicted to be averaging 30,000cfs.

Bass fishermen have been having a hard time finding feeding fish, deep fish seem to have been suspended, indicating  inactive fish, and the shallow bass bite has been off as well.

Catfish have been slow as well, with most fish still holding up in the deeper water on the river channel in the current.  a few cats have been coming off the ‘Drift’ bite.  drifting baits with the current suspended 2-6ft off the bottom. 

hopefully cooler weather and some much needed rain will help improve the bite, fall often can be one of the most productive fishing times of the year as fish ‘fatten up’ on shad before the winter sets in.

Hunting season start this next weekend, with the archery ‘velvet’ deer hunt beginning this Friday and continuing through Sunday.  Squirrel also starts Saturday, which is also free hunting day, where everyone can hunt small game without the need to have a hunting license.  Before hunting, make sure to consult this years hunting guide to make sure you are complying with all the regulations and limits. 

Humphreys CO. outdoors

Lake levels have remained stable this past week, and TVA is predicting the same for the upcoming week.  Lake levels at NewJohnsonville have been around 357.5ft, and will only fall back to the 357ft mark by mid week.  water temps continue to be in the mid to upper 80’s with flow rates averaging around 45,000cfs.

Not much information on the fishing front this past week, hot weather and blistering sun have kept most fishermen off the water.  Bass still have been taken around wood cover in shallow water when the current has been present, but overall the bite has been slow.  Crappie has been slow as well, but a few anglers are coming up with some decent slabs in 15-20ft depths on slow presentations with minnows.  Catfish are typically scattered this time of the year, and it shows! most fishermen have been ‘drifting’ to come up with any fish, but as August continues, the heat and warming water will push the larger cats deep, targeting deeper holes in the TN river can net some fun fishing for large cats.  Eater sized catfish continue to be taken with red worms, night crawler and liver baits fished along the river drops

Coach Bradford will be having a HUNTER ED FIELD DAY   event on September 7th, you must complete the online portion to attend this event, for more information, go to TWRA’s web site WWW.TNwildlife.org. or call Mr. Bradford at 931-264-0049

I’ve gotten a few questions on hummingbirds of late, one is; can I make my own nectar?           Of coarse Hummingbirds eat the nectar from flowers, and many people enjoy feeding the hummingbirds.  there are many commercial mixes out there, but it is easy and cheap to make your own!  The basic mix is:  1 Part sugar with 4 parts water (for example, 1 cup sugar with 4 cups water) heat water/sugar mix in a pan until all the sugar is dissolved and let cool before filling feeders!  and never use red dye!!!!!!! it can hurt the hummingbirds, and is unnecessary. you can store extra sugar water in the refrigerator.

Kentucky lake fishing report for week of August 4th

Not much has been happening on the fishing front this week, Hot temperatures, rain fronts and school beginning, not many fishermen have been braving the conditions, instead patiently awaiting the arrival of  fall weather.  A few bass continue to be taken in and around wood cover fairly shallow, as the bass are moving looking for the plentiful shad schools around the shoreline.  Top water has payed off for some early in the morning, and a few good sized bass are still being found around the stumps and wood cover out deeper as well.

Crappie fishermen have taken a short break from the oppressive heat, awaiting cooler fall days when the crappie will move into the mid-depth ranges of 10-15ft. Again chasing shad minnows as the shad migrate out towards the lake as water cools in the fall.

Catfish continue to be found in abundance around the main river drops, especially the eater sized cats.  bait of choice seems to be night crawlers and livers fished at the bottom of the drops, in around 35-45ft depths.  larger cats seem to be scattered, with most being found in the river channel in the deeper holes. most are being taken by drifting, bumping in the current, covering water seems to be the ticket for the larger cats.

TWRA news, the duck blind drawing were held this past weekend, with most satisfied on the new procedure for drawing the blinds.  most WMA’s had crop issues with the flooding that took place earlier this year, with Camden WMA having only about 25% corn crop that made it.  Hunting season is just around the corner, with the opening of the squirrel season on the forth Saturday this month. Stay tuned for upcoming hunting events and other news!

Humphreys Co Fishing report for the week of July 28th

TVA has began the normal draw-down this fall, bringing Kentucky Lake down to the mid to low 357ft mark. TVA normally starts dropping the lake levels just after the 4th of July weekend, and will have the lake at or near winter pool of 354ft, by the first week in September. Lake levels are predicted to stay around 357.4ft all week, with flow rates backed off from last weeks 80.000cfs, to the mid 30.000cfs.  Water Temps remain in the mid 80’s, but with some warm days on tap, expect the surface Temp’s to increase over the next few days. 

Fishing has been tough for almost all species of fish this week, with falling water levels, changing water conditions (temps, flows, etc), but expect fishing to improve as water conditions stabilize this week.  Bass continue to be found on the ledges where bait fish are present, but fishermen have been having to search for the schools of bass, not all ledges and humps have been holding fish.

Catfish have been somewhat slow of late, but some good eater sized cats have been found on the main river drops in good numbers. most have been taken on nightcrawlers, livers and catalpa worms.  Bigger fish seem to be holding in the deeper haunts of the main river channel, by fishermen using cut bait fished a few feet off the bottom.

The big day for Duck hunters looking for a WMA blind is this first Saturday in August, August 3rd.  This years drawing has been re-designed, with a 2 part drawing. The first will be for the hunt parties (person drawn and sign-on’s), the second drawing will be for the blind sights which only the party’s which were drawn in the first drawing will be entered.  Changes were to combat the buying and selling of the WMA blinds.   Kentucky Lake (Camden Units 1 and 2, Harmon’s creek, Big Sandy, and Gin creek) will be held at the Big Sandy Little League Park, and Dover (Barkley WMA) will be held at the Stewart County High School.  all on-site registrations will begin at 7am-10am with drawings afterwards.

Humphreys co fishing report for the week on July 19th

Lake levels rebounded somewhat this week, with levels at NewJohnsonville at the 359ft mark.  Normally we should be around 358ft, but no doubt the added rainfall across the TN river valley has added some to the increase in water levels.  Flow rates have increased as TVA attempts to keep the lake levels on par with where we should be this time of year.  Flow rates have averaged around 60,000cfs to 75,000cfs this week. normal flow rates are around 20,000-30,000cfs.  Water temps have dropped as well, with surface temps in the mid to upper 80’s, but expect a increase in water temps with the looming heat wave predicted this week. 

Bass continue to be found out on the main lake ledges and humps, with bait present.  the shallow bite is still working for some, especially where shad and pin minnows are found around tree tops and boat docks. Running spinner baits along the surface in and around grass beds have produced some exciting action early in the morning. 

Blue gill have started to spawn again, and panfish anglers targeting know bluegill beds have come up with some good catches.

Catfish action continues to improve, with most good catches coming from the main river drop in 30-45ft depts. Use that dept finder to locate the large schools of cats, usually hiding on the down current side of points along the main river channel.  baits of choice include nightcrawlers and livers for eater sized fish, but if looking for the larger cats, fresh cut bait like, shad or bluegill and even Asian carp have produced some really nice catfish.

Crappie fishermen have found a few good stringers, mostly in the mid depth to deeper ranges of 18-25ft.  most have been taken around drops where the current is broken up, creating areas where bait fish can be ambushed by the crappie.

TWRA’s new 2019-2020 hunting guides are now out, make sure to pick one up with the hunting season just around the corner!

Fishing report for week of July 15th

Water levels in the NewJohnsonville area have been 358.8ft, with TVA  predicting a slight fall to 358.0ft by next weekend.  Water temps have been around the 90 degree mark, with flow rates averaging 50,000cfs this week.  The increased flow rates are TVA’s attempt to drop the lake levels back toward winter pool levels by mid-September.  TVA normally starts the draw-down the week after the 4th of July weekend and reaches winter pool levels (354ft).  With the Mississippi river levels near record levels, we might see TVA hold some of our water back to help elevate some of the flooding on the rivers downstream. 

The good flows have been great for fishing, with better flow, fish become more predictable as well as improving water quality.  When water temps exceed 90 degrees, and flow slows or stops for a few days, the lake can ‘stratify’ , causing poor water conditions in the lake system.  The strong flow rates help keep the lake ‘mixed’ and keep the lake from separating into different temperature levels. Warm water cannot hold as much oxygen as cool water, and often this time of year the cool bottom layers of a lake have very low oxygen levels (due to decomposition of dead stuff), and the lake can ‘turn over’ where the bottom layers of a lake can mix with the upper layers and create low oxygen levels.  One sign of ‘lake turnover’ is a brown, or coffee colored water.

Bass fishing has picked back up, with most heavy stringers coming from the ‘ledges’ by fishermen throwing large crankbaits and creature baits.

Crappie fishermen have been absent of late, due to the heat and increase of boaters out on the lake for the holiday.  Crappie can still be taken by fishermen targeting deeper haunts, looking for schools of fish in the 20ft depts range out close the the main river.

Catfishermen are doing much better this last week, with most quality size fish coming off the main river along the drops, in 35-50ft of water on cut bait.  I’ve seen some good fish taken on cut asian carp, which seem to work well in the hot water.

fishing report for June 28th

The big news on the fishing front has been the sudden rise in the lake level for Kentucky lake.  Lake levels at NewJohnsonville started last weekend at normal summer pool, at a level of 359ft.  Today, Friday June 28th the lake has risen over 3 ft to a level of 362.1ft with a crest predicted by TVA, of 362.61ft by Sunday afternoon.  Flow rates on Kentucky lake are ‘slight’, with Pickwick dumping around 60,000cfs and Kentucky dam only releasing 25,000cfs.  Water temps have been around 80 degrees, but expect water temps to rise with the current heat wave in our area. 

Bass fishermen have been finding the ‘ledge bite’ to continue spotty, with a few areas producing fish.  the pattern seems to be having to hit quite a few spots to find the fish.  with the rising water this weekend, expect the bass to move shallow and feed on the newly available feeding areas on crawfish, insects, and the extremity abundant shad minnows along the shoreline.

Crappie are still being taken, mostly by spider-riggers and long line trollers. seems like covering a lot of water is the ticket to finding numbers of fish.  water depths that have been producing have been in the 12-20ft range.

Catfish have now came off of bed and have been showing up in better numbers, most still have been the channel cat, but a few good blues have been taken in the main river channel along the river drops in depths of 25-40ft on cut bait.  channel cats have moved up with the rising water levels, and have been taken on nightcrawlers  fished on floats

Fishing report for week of June 21st

Kentucky lake levels have been ‘up and down’ this week, with levels today(Friday), at 358.9ft. with TVA predicting a rise this week to a crest of just under 360ft by next Thursday.  Flow rates have been ranging from 35,000cfs to 60,000cfs in the NewJohnsonville area.  water color has been clear across most to the reservoir with average water temperatures around the 80 degree mark. 

Bass fishermen have been seeing some improvement in ledge bite, but many fishermen have still been hitting the bank line where shad have been present. with the rising water, expect many bass to head shore-ward, but if the lake starts falling back to summer pool we expect to have the bass move out to the humps and ledges.  The shad are still along the shallow shoreline, with what looks like a enormous spawn, and expect the ledge bite to improve, as these fry to head out to the open water of Kentucky lake over the next few weeks.

Crappie fishermen have continued to have a hard time getting out in the deeper areas due to the strong winds.  Crappie fishermen usually head out towards the open water and the river flats this time of year, finding 15-20ft depths the being the most productive.  

Catfish continue to be taken by crappie fishermen, in depths of 10-25ft, most cats should be done with spawning by the first week of July, with an improvement in the catch rate as fish return to the river channel.

mayflies hatches have continued to be seen across the lake, with bluegill and other fish taking full advantage of the bounty.

 

Humphreys Co. fishing report for week of June 14th, 2019

Current Kentucky lake level at NewJohnsonville is at 360.34ft.  lake levels are reported to rise over the weekend to a crest of 360.8ft with an average flow rate of 30,000cfs.  Kentucky dam is predicted to open up Saturday, bumping up the flows to over 60,000cfs through Sunday. Surface temps on the lake have been upper 70’s in the morning, rising to the low 80’s by late afternoon. 

the Buffalo river is up some, with the current level at Lobelville at 4ft with flow rates at 723cfs. The Duck river is up and somewhat muddy, with levels around 3 ft with a flow rate around 2100cfs.

fishing has been tough with all the strong winds. this week has not seen many days without a brisk breeze keeping most fishermen off the main lake.  Bass have moved out to the summer spots on the main lake ledges, making it difficult for many fishermen to be able to fish on the ledges.  With rising water levels predicted this weekend, the shallow bite should see improvement.

Crappie fishermen have been experiencing the same issues with strong wind, making is hard to fish out in the deeper areas and  the main lake flats where many crappie spend their summer.

Catfish are still being taken shallow, with the vast majority being channel cats taken by fishermen using floats and nightcrawlers.  

A few rockfish are starting to show up in the  Duck river around cool water places, by fishermen using live shad or large crankbaits.

The STRIKE KING tournament last weekend was won by Eric Shelton and Gary Singleton with a 3 fish limit weighing in 13.38lbs, big fish was taken by Team. Jammy McCloud and Ken Little with a fish weighing 6.39lbs

 

Humphreys co. fishing/lake report

lake levels are on the rise, current levels in the NewJohnsonville area are at 358.8ft with a slight rise and fall over the week, but remaining somewhat stable for the week.  flow rates have been below normal (18,000-25.000cfs) but with the precipitation this week entering the Tn river valley, expect the flow rates to increase as TVA tries to maintain normal lake levels.  TVA is predicting flow rates over the weekend to be around 45,000 cfs.  water surface temps are in the low 80’s.

fishing has been tough for most all species, most Bass tournaments are seeing only the top spots with 15-20 lbs for a 5 fish limit, with the next few places seeing only single digits. 

Crappie have been tough as well, although a few fishermen have been finding limits on drops in 15-20ft depths, although most fishermen have been having a tough time finding any fish.

Catfish are now spawning, meaning the bite on blue’s and flathead’s has been tough while the spawn is going on. channel cats are the exception, with many fishermen doing well around rip-rap and banklines where channel cats are on the prowl for food.  fishing with nightcrawlers on floats seems to be the ticket for finding them.

Bluegill/shellcracker have been on bed, and are doing well, shellcracker mostly have finished spawning, and a lot of fishermen had great success this year, the shellcracker have now moved back out to their normal areas, out on the river flats looking for mussel shells on hard bottom shallow areas adjacent to the old river channel.  Bluegill are still on bed and can be found close to the bank around protected areas where wind and wave action doesn’t affect their beds.  moving with a cricket or worm fished on a float along the shoreline is the best method to find bedding bluegill.

Mayflies have entered the picture this week, with a multitude of insects clinging to trees and objects along the shoreline, often all species of panfish can be found feeding on the bountiful crop of mayflies along the shoreline, making for some great sport

Free fishing day is this Saturday, June 8th, where everyone can fish for free without a fishing license, also kids under 16yrs may fish all week without a license

 

 

 

Kentucky Lake Report–May 15, 2019

Water temp’s mid 70’s

Flow rates have been around 70.000cfs but predicted to slow by this weekend

Water levels 359.7ft, predicted to fall over the week to 359ft

Fishing Report for Kentucky lake and duck river

Shell cracker (Red-eared sunfish) action has been picking up, a cold front which dropped water temps has slowed the bite up.  Most fish have been  taken in 2-5 foot of water in backs of bays around grass, limits are 20/person/day

Crappie–  fish remain hard to find, most are being taken by ‘spider rigging or trolling’ seems covering a lot of water is the key as crappie seem to always be on move

Bass– Bass still seem to be avaiding fishermen, a few good catches are coming from fish moving off bed, with a few coming off river Islands with grass, a few fishermen have found some better size fish off the summer pattern of fishing ledges, but haveing to fish a lot of ledges to find the fish

Catfish– smaller catfish are being taken in numbers around shallow rocks on nightcrawlers, many of the larger fish have been eluding fishermen here on Kentucky lake as well as the duck river, Blue cats have entered into their spawning activites making them difficlult to find