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  Sep 30, 2016

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Doug Emerson
Paris Landing TN


Paris Landing, TN
Entrance to some of the best fishing Kentucky Lake has to offer!

by Doug Emerson

Paris Landing State Park, located in Henry county Tennessee, is beyond doubt a great choice to host such an event as the American Bass Anglers national championship. The park itself has some great facilities; the campground sits within walking distance to the water, the ramps are ample and well maintained and the marina store offers ice and other necessities as well as fuel. The park also offers a hotel located just across the street from the ramps, the rooms are large and most offer a view of the lake. The restaurant located inside the hotel offers great buffet style dinners at very reasonable prices. The landscape surrounding Paris Landing is outstanding and justly describes its setting. The road leading to the ramp, U.S. Highway 79, is a strait shot to downtown Paris and is dotted with many stores and tackle shops along the way, as you get into Paris there is an abundance of restaurants motels and gas stations. Enough about the area, the important thing is the Fishing!

Kentucky Lake is one of the largest man made lakes in the world, at 184 miles long and over 160 thousand acres of water KY Lake offers an immense range of angling opportunities. Its shoreline covers over 23 hundred miles, or to put it into perspective, it would stretch from California to Massachusetts. The coves and tributaries that feed this lake are endless. The main lake itself has numerous points, cuts and pockets that often hold fish year round, the lake is known for its Smallmouth population and regularly fish over 5 pounds will make their way to the scales at the many tournaments held throughout the year. The Largemouth fishing on Kentucky Lake is outstanding; tournaments held here repeatedly produce 20 pound plus bags of fish.

Navigation on the lake can be difficult; however the main channels are well marked as are most of the major bays and tributaries. With a good chart and a little caution anglers should be able to avoid any hazards and explore this vast waterway safely. As you leave the channel from Paris Landing you have many choices, take a left and head north and there are countless areas to fish.

Approximately 2 miles north on the western bank you will find Cypress Bay, a large body of water that offers many areas to fish. It has numerous bluffs, points and pockets and often produces some large fish. Travel another 7 or 8 miles further north and you will find the Blood River, a huge body of water that fishes like a lake of its own, many tournaments have been won from this area. Continue north another 10 miles or so and the Ken Lake marina will be on the west bank just before crossing under the 68 bridge and offers at times some great fishing.

At this point you are about half way to KY Dam. For those of you that want to venture further, continue on north a few miles and Jonathan Creek is yet another area that produces large fish and is a spot that local fishermen favor. Other great choices such as, Malcoln , Little Bear and Sleed Creeks will line the western bank approaching the dam area, all in all around 40 miles north of Paris Landing. The eastern shore also has many areas that should not be overlooked, while not as large as some of the bays on the western bank it offers many areas that produce fish,, such as Dry Fork, Byrd, Duncan, and Pisgah Bays just to name a few. District 32 has one more tournament this season out of Paris Landing and their two day going out of KY Dam, all this water is accessible launching from either location.

If you decide to take a right and head south up river, (The Tennessee River is one of the few rivers in the country that run south to north) the first thing you will need is a TN fishing license, the Highway 79 bridge is the limit for the reciprocal agreement with KY. When you enter this area you soon have to make a decision to what part of the lake you want to explore. As a note, the area immediately to your right as you pass under the 79 bridge can be treacherous, you will see locals run along the rip-rap and then head south in front of the State Park Hotel, without local knowledge this can be tricky, the best bet is to follow the main channel south and then follow the secondary channel in, once again. a good chart of the lake is recommended.

The area to the right or west, will fork off to the Big Sandy River, it offers miles upon miles of fishing grounds. Stay to the left or east and the Tennessee River continues south with many coves and pockets to fish. One of the favorite areas on this side of the lake is Leatherwood Creek it is a mile or so on the east bank after passing under the power lines, continue on to Hurricane, Cane and Whiteoak Creeks, they all produce good numbers of fish. While I myself have not ventured beyond Whiteoak many do, and reports are the further you go the better the fishing. District 40 will hold several tournaments at that end of the lake including their two day, and will launch out of New Johnsonville TN, a great way to explore the southern end of the lake.

October fishing on KY Lake, if patterns hold true, should produce some good stringers. Depending on the weather and water temps fish should be able to be caught both shallow and deep. Smallmouth will be on main lake points around gravel bottoms and ledges, the Largemouth should be transitioning from there deeper summer holding grounds and following the shad up into the bays.

Current will play a big role as to what the fish want this time of year. Remember Kentucky Lake is a river system, and depending on how much water the TVA is pulling at this time will make a difference as to what the fish want. When the water is being pulled the main lake often produces some good fish, the fish that have moved into the bays seem to pull back off the banks a little and can be found just a little deeper. During times when little to no water is being pulled the main lake or river fishing seems to slow, fish can still be caught but you will have to adjust your fishing accordingly. The fish in the bays will move up the banks into shallow water. Keep in mind this process can change several times throughout the day. The key will be to find the bait in and around the deeper water and the fish should be close by.

The Baits you use this time of year will vary. The Largemouth that are on the humps and ledges on the main lake and near the mouths of the bays should hit deep running crank baits, slow rolled spinner baits and Carolina rigged creature baits. The fish that have moved into the bays should be on secondary creek channel banks and points and chasing crank baits, spinner baits, and top water lures. Largemouth should also be near the flats in and around vegetation and wood cover and can be taken on top water lures early and late in the day, spinner baits, soft jerk baits and lip less crank baits all would be good choices. The Smallmouth on the main lake and creek channel ledges can be caught on Carolina rigged creature baits and jig and pig combinations. Some Smallmouth can be taken on the flats early and late in the day on top water lures and spinner baits. The colors you use will depend on water clarity and conditions.

Paris Landing is truly a great location to host the nationals this year. The location will give anglers miles upon miles of water to explore; the Southern end of the lake has always been believed to produce big bags of fish. The 2003 National Championship was won fishing this area and I believe 2006 will be no different. There are several web sites available for more info on Paris Landing and the surrounding area, as well as up to date fishing reports and conditions. Mid America Outdoors offers a great site with information updated often. You can check them out at

Doug Emerson
ABA Tournament Angler
Sponsored by: Inn By The Lake



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