Kentucky Lake

The reality of big-time tournaments can be much different, as the events often go on despite unruly weather.

by Big Jim Napier


To those of you who don’t know me. I am Big Jim Napier. I am a Pro Bass Angler and host of “Fishing with the Stars”.


I moved to Tennessee about two and a half years ago to be near family and the largest manmade lake east of the Mississippi. Yes, Kentucky Lake.


I heard so much about this lake being the greatest challenge for bass anglers that I just had to take it up myself. So after packing up all of my possessions I moved from Florida to Tennessee and I started fishing.


I fished so much that I was ready to say I was starting to understand the lake and then reality hit. TVA lowers the water. A lot.


I wanted to know why. The answer I got was, “Kentucky Lake was built for flood control and not a fishery or to enhance wildlife”. I felt like the last time I checked a lake has many purposes and flood control should not be the only reason to develop it. If that’s the case, why do we hire so many wildlife officers, Park Rangers, police to collect so many millions of dollars in license fees and bed tax at our hotels?


Why open to the public as a fishery and camping ground if all it really is for is flood control? Why build boat ramps and state parks?


By talking with other fishermen in the area, I’ve collected thoughts and questions we have about enhancement to help the fishery and wildlife.


What was the “real reason” for the Federal monies when they built Kentucky Lake? My research seems to come up with more questions than answers. I would think that when they received the Federal monies they would have included wildlife enhancement.


Why can’t TVA do a study to find the effects on the hatchery of fish and wildlife because of the changing water levels? The changes are drastic from day to day and effecting the summer and winter pools.


What are they doing to remove sludge and soot from the areas that are back filling over time?


Are the fish having enough time to spawn and reproduce?


Are the much needed fish filling a full life cycle to feed the wildlife in the area and produce fish for the other wildlife that depend on them, like the Bald Eagle? And that is another concern all together. This affects the vast array of other birds and animals that depend on the fish to survive as well.


I would like to say that I understand bass fishing and the habits of largemouth bass. I am from Florida and fished Florida waters for 40+ years. In those years, I learned that in order to keep fish healthy and reproducing, they need the same place to spawn year after year.


When fish return to spawn and can’t because there is no water, the fish have lost an entire cycle of fish and that destroys the wildlife.


As John Anderson says in the song Seminole Wind, “… Progress came and took its toll. And, in the name of flood control, they made their plans and drained the land…” Now Florida is spending millions of dollars eradicating what the Army Core of Engineers erred years ago.


With today’s technology we should be harnessing the wind and using better resources, not mothballing it.


I am finding a whole lot of questions that seem to have no answers. Tell us what you think. Write in and give your thoughts. Let’s bring light on this situation. Maybe we will find some much needed answers for the wildlife, the fish, and the fishermen.


Author Bio

Big Jim Napier suffered a huge football accident in Miami. Feeling frustrated, Jim went fishing all day and felt God was telling him that he should become a professional Fisherman.


He decided to become a pro fisherman and built Big Jim Pro Bass Angler as a family owned and operated business. Jim treats sponsors and customers as part of his extended family and their services come with a personal touch. Jim did not just start fishing when he received his injury. Jim has been fishing since he was 4 and his mother has a raft of pictures to back that up. In fact, Jim credits his mother for him being where he is today. But he is no slouch. Jim fought and beat cancer at the age of six-months old. His passion for fishing runs deep and extends to his love to educate. Jim loves to teach children how to fish. We welcome Big Jim Napier’s contribution to Bass Fishing Gurus.