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Jane and Tom from TN 2017
Kentucky Lake Crappie Fishing
"1 pole jig fishing"
WARM OCTOBER HAS FISHERMEN WISHING FOR REPRIEVE
There have been some hot ones out there lately! Kentucky Lake anglers
have been wiping away summer sweat in the middle of October and
wondering when fall conditions will return.
At midweek fishermen got a short reprieve from hot and humid conditions
but are still yearning for cool, crisp morning that might chase away the
lingering dog days of summer.
Despite the above normal temperatures these last few weeks crappie
anglers continue to catch some pretty good numbers of fish. Just this
week several fish returned to relatively shallow depths and were taken
in 5 to 7 foot depths.
Some limits have been taken and a few boats have reported landing
catches in excess of 100 fish some days. While they are culling a big
percentage of their catch itís still a lot of fun to encounter that many
crappie on any given day!
Surface temperatures this week have started out each morning around 73
degrees but climbed to 76 at midday. Thatís a bit warm for mid-October.
Hopefully cooler days are ahead which would help improve the shallow
bite and perhaps bring a few bigger fish into submerged stakebeds and
brushpiles. There are a lot of small fish there already.
Anglers vertical fishing shallow structure scored hefty numbers this
week but are still having to measure and cull a lot of small fish.
Thatís been the norm for several weeks as the weak four and five year
classes of crappie mean those big fish are hard to come by.
Thatís not to say a few slabs havenít been taken; anglers are just
having to catch and release a lot of small fish before adding keepers to
While shallow bit has been good there are still some fish lingering on
main lake ledges. A few decent stringers were taken by anglers
tightlining jigs or jig and minnow combos in depths of 14 to 17 feet.
Expect to encounter a lot of pesky yellow bass at times but theyíre
mixed right in with some decent crappie at times.
Meanwhile, popular jig colors are ranging from chartreuse with glitter
to combos of black/chartreuse, blue/chartreuse and some lime/white just
to name a few. Tipping jigs with minnows is working too. Some anglers
are also adding Berkley Power Bait to their jigs and enticing bites.
Other techniques producing have been long lining crankbaits and Road
Runners along main lake flats where crappie are parking in midrange
Many anglers are voicing concern this fall about the low numbers of shad
being seen. Traditionally schools of threadfin shad are seen throughout
the fall months as they meander across the lake on calm days. That has
not been the case!
Water color is quite clear across most of the reservoir. Some anglers
are dropping back and casting curly tail grubs or live minnows fished
beneath slip bobber rigs around shallow venues to keep from spooking
Lake levels this week saw some minor fluctuation. After sleeping at the
low ebb of winter pool the reservoir had a slight rise at midweek.
Presently the elevation at Kentucky Dam is 355.6. Upstream at New
Johnsonville lake levels are a bit lower and projected to be in the
354.8 range this weekend.
The bass bite has been sluggish lately as anglers struggle to establish
a consistent pattern. Some fish that had moved up shallow a few weeks
ago have chosen to pull back and move to main lake flats and midrange
Some scattered fish are on ledges in the main lake areas or occupying
structure in 7 to 10 foot depth zones. Crappie anglers fishing midrange
depths are tying into some decent size bass at time that are relating to
their submerged crappie beds, which shows how the fish have backed off
Tossing crankbaits and swim baits has been the best thing going. Some
Texas rigged worms have worked too.
There have been a few days when a slow current was present and that
helped the ledge bite for anglers tossing shad or chartreuse colored
Rattle Trap style lures.
On days when no wind was present both the crappie and bass have been
quite finicky. Whenever cloud cover or wind was present the bite
Also check out our past:
Kentucky Lake Fishing Reports
Steve McCadams is one of the nation's best known Crappie Fishermen
and a full time resident of Paris, Tennessee. Steve is also a
professional hunting and fishing guide here in the Paris Landing area.