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  1. #1

    Steve: Why Big Sandy area?


    We are beginning the planning for our next long term destination and are looking seriously at Kentucky Lake. We would look to put a camper on a spot a leave it parked year round. I'm wondering how you settled on the Paris Landing/ Big Sandy area.


  2. #2
    Years ago about all the crappie tourneys were being won from down there but these days it seams just good numbers of fish not many of those fish over 2 1/2. Plenty of nice fish though in the 12-15-inch range. These days I have to say three reasons I keep going back there. The people are great and I now know a bunch of locals. The Cajun restaurants Blues Landing and Meo Mio's are top notch anywhere down there. Blues Landing really has great bands every week to listen to. Some have big tour buses straight out of Nashville. Lastly I love to fish the winter months of December through March and since the water comes up from the south the Big Sandy is your best fishing area since it gets its water from Alabama. Most of the guides from up north make the drive down there so you know the fishing is better. I have seen plenty of days in January temps in low sixties and a three man limit of ninety in the boat. They lowered the limit this year so a three man limit will be sixty still plenty of fish.

    Drawbacks compared to further up north is that you are much more prone to wind but further up north is also very crowded once you hit May. Lots of resorts up there. A busy day on the Big Sandy is about twenty boats and you can see about five miles in both directions so plenty of room.

    You want to see big names in the bass fishing world that is the area since the Paris Landing State Park hosts the biggest. You will run into any of them at the restaurants. I have been at the FishTale Lodge when the whole Strike King team is there filming. They come every year in the fall and they bring everyone on the team. KVD, Denny Brauer, Shaw Grigsby you name it I have seen and talked with them all.

    Plus not many know this but Hank Williams Jr. lives right there and is at the local eating establishments all the time. The place my wife and I thought about buying would have made us neighbors or at least on the same short road. Unfortunately that will have to be on hold as we have family obligations up here.

    They can say all they want about Grenada Lake in Mississippi,been to that mud hole and I will take pristine and clear water Kentucky Lake.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Good question, Great answer

  4. #4
    Forgot to mention we have made several trips down and built our own fishing spots so as not to fish over the top of other guides. If you live there you just dance around the wind because they know a calm day is coming soon. All the fishing is done way off shore except for the spawn. Good electronics a must. If windy you just travel to one of the thousand or so boat ramps to get you out of the wind. One day I loaded and unloaded the boat seven times to jump from one bay to the next and avoid going out on the main river where it is not impossible to see six footers.

    A big boat with big horsepower is ideal down there but not needed if you don't mind driving your tow vehicle. You can put in at the dam in Paducah Kentucky and go all the way down to Pick Wick lake in Alabama, roughly a hundred miles with tons of bays off the main river.

    Twenty miles south of where I stay at New Johnsonville, it looks like Reel Foot Lake for all you bass fishermen with all the weeds and Cypress Trees. Tear them up with frogs or you can fish the ledges up by me on shell beds in deep water with the giant spoons and I mean giant eight-inch spoons for bass. Always see five fish stringers at the weigh-ins of over thirty pounds closer to forty on a good day. Have seen weigh-ins in March with five fish stringer of smallmouth that went thirty-four pounds.
    This past winter we encountered a bunch of huge white bass out off the drops so they are really coming back. The bluegill and redear fishing in May, there is no place better on this earth. Have a friend who just returned from a week of bluegill fishing and his catch averaged a hundred a day and didn't keep any under 9 1/2 inches. Just a ton of options depending on what you want to do.

    If golfing is your thing they have four locally, many do come down to enjoy them. The views are great with rolling hills and small mountains. Always festivities at Paris Landing State Park Lodge and fireworks from the water on the fourth. I have been and you will see a thousand boats or more that come up from Alabama in some of the biggest boats you will ever see. I saw one that year that took me six frames on my camera to get a picture of the entire boat. Must of been two hundred feet long,a converted barge entire thing done up in red,white and blue lights and well over a hundred people on board. Have seen cruisers big enough to put my twenty-foot walleye boat on the roof for a dingy. Saw one that had a Ranger 521 on top. Helo pads on top as well, big money.

    Also there are tons of places to just pull up your boat and go in a nice restaurant or out on their patio to take a lunch break as well. Most of them you can take in your cleaned fillets and get what they call a set-up which includes all your sides hush puppies, baked beans, onion rings, cole slaw, fries, drink and they will cook all the fish you bring in.

    For me it is the fantastic crappie fishing like nowhere else I have ever been. I have caught many pushing three pounds just like at Grenada but the numbers will blow you away here. But I will tell you it takes years and I mean years to get comfortable down there so if you are planning on putting a camper on a permanent spot and they have plenty to choose from, better plan on going a bunch. There are no trees you can just pull up to and start fishing. Everything is under the water so you must be comfortable fishing off shore a mile or so and good with your electronics and GPS is a must as well as mapping on your electronics to aid in navigating during draw down.

  5. #5
    Do you launch around New Johnsonville? That immediate area is actually closer to us than any, because we could run over from the Memphis area on 40, but it is still 4 hours total for us. Shelbyville was 3 hours for us.

  6. #6
    I never have simply because I really don't bass fish. My crappie fishing takes me from Big Sandy up to the Blood River and everything in between. I have been known to fish around the Kenlake area as well.


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