CLOUD COVER/COOLER CONDITIONS HELPING ANGLERS
Kentucky Lakeís fall fishing scene seemed to benefit this week from
several cooler days accompanied by cloud cover in the aftermath of some
much needed rain that arrived early Tuesday morning. Rain throughout the
region was long overdue.
North winds have kept things cool the last few days, commanding a jacket
for anglers. Temperatures are expected to remain quite cool as the
weekend approaches with highs forecast to be in the low to mid 60ís.
More rain is also a possibility in the wake the cool snap now in
The fall weather should last into early next week when south winds
return and bring a warming trend to the region. By next week daily highs
are expected to return to the low to mid 70ís.
Surface temperatures were in the 75 to 77 degree range at midweek and
will likely fall another degree or two, if not more, by this weekend.
Thatís down slightly from last week at this time.
Water color remains quite clear as not enough rain has entered a thirsty
watershed to produce much runoff.
Lake levels are projected to be 355 this weekend at Kentucky Dam, which
is down slightly from last week at this time and resting at the low ebb
of winter pool. Upstream at New Johnsonville lake stages will be
slightly lower with readings in the 354.8 range.
Crappie activity showed some improvement during cloudy days but stubborn
north winds was a factor challenging fishermen who had hoped to work
open water flats and humps or ledges. Most of the fish are still
relating to main lake areas, choosing to stage there in favor of
A few fish have been taken in bays but numbers there have been down
compared to main lake flats and drop-offs. Cooler surface temps should
see more fish transition to shallow areas this week and move up into
bays in pursuit of shad schools.
The best stringers of fish have come from stakebeds and brushpiles in 8
to 12 foot depths, although some of the bigger fish were still lingering
out on main river channels, deeper drop-offs and main lake humps.
Anglers continue to struggle to catch big numbers of keeper size fish,
although the bite is improving.
I found a few good size fish scattered in stakebeds around the 6 to 8
foot range a few mornings. The bite was best when a light ripple and
cloudy skies teamed up.
Last weekís Crappie Masters two-day tournament out of Paris Landing
State Park had some nice stringers taken as some hefty weights for seven
fish limits were brought in but the overall field reported pretty tough
Some boats using spider rig presentations boated good numbers a few days
as did some single pole vertical style fishermen working manmade
Jigs tipped with either live minnows or Berkley power bait in
chartreuse, white or red with glitter have produced this week.
There are a lot of smaller fishing being caught that are short of the
10-inch minimum length limit. Although anglers would like to see more
big fish in their daily creel it appears a couple of pretty good year
classes of fish are coming on. That may not soothe todayís appetite but
it does bode well for next year.
Some nice bass were taken this week by anglers targeting grass beds near
deeper water where ditches or cuts along the parameter were holding
Several dandies were caught by anglers tossing topwater jerk baits and
some suspended jerk baits and fluke style lures. Texas rigged worms and
spinnerbaits have worked too as have chrome/blue Rattle Traps and Strike
Kingís Red Eye shad style baits.
Some boats are banging away at main lake ledges with big crankbaits and
jig and craw combos while rotating their presentation with swim baits.
Not many fish have moved up on gravel banks yet, which is normally
productive in the early fall pattern on Kentucky Lake.
Now that surface temperatures are creeping back into the low 70ís watch
for bass and crappie to move up toward more shallow venues and take on a
more aggressive attitude. For some bass fishermen the bite has been
quite good already while crappie anglers are hoping for improvement in
With lower lake levels across the reservoir boaters are urged to pay
close attention to channel markers and resist temptation to take those
shortcuts across open water sandbars and main lake flats. Boaters could
get away with that a few weeks ago but not so anymore!
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.