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
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.
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
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.
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
ABA Tournament Angler
By The Lake