COOLER SURFACE TEMPS STIMULATE SHALLOW BITE
It has been beautiful out there this week. A few foggy mornings faded
away to pleasant afternoons as Kentucky Lakeís fall fishing scene
changes daily as to the parade of colors.
Scaly barks are screaming yellow and black gums are fading fast to a
dark red. The hillsides mirror their changing image when placid waters
allows. Geese are honking overhead with pleasure.
Fall fishing has been pretty good this week for crappie anglers who were
beneficiaries of light winds that allowed boaters to fish anywhere they
desired. Stalking the open water areas is always at the mercy of old man
wind but heís been kind lately.
That may change as the weekend approaches with the weatherman
forecasting northwest winds and another annoying cold front. Fallís
first frost could occur on Sunday or Monday morning as temps are
expected to dip.
It appears anglers will have to return to the coat closet for a day or
two, although the cold nights ahead will no doubt influence surface
temperatures to fall into the low 60ís.
Surface temperatures the last few days have started the mornings out
around 66 to 67 degrees and climbed to 71 at midday. Water color remains
quite clear across most of the reservoir.
Lake levels this week had a minor change and are expected to return to
the 354.9 range at Kentucky Dam. Upstream in the New Johnsonville area
the elevation is forecast to be in the 355 range this weekend.
Some larger crappie have moved up this week and occupied stakebeds and
brushpiles in the 6 to 8 foot depth range. Structure in the 9 to 12 foot
range is still the most productive, however, in the Paris Landing area
while the upper Big Sandy and West Sandy area were seeing an increase in
activity in shallow areas.
Another bonus for crappie anglers this time of year is tying into some
hefty catfish that are finding a comfort zone in the midrange stakebeds
and brushpiles. Battling a big channel catfish will sure straighten the
kinks out of your line too!
A lot more baitfish schools were roaming shallow flats and moving up
this week. The shallow bite should improve once this weekendís cold
front passes and normal temperatures return with some southwest winds
and cloud cover.
Most anglers are reporting an abundance of small crappie in their daily
catch, along with a flurry of annoying yellow bass that are aggressive
this time of year. The yellow bass are masters at bait stealing.
Itís pretty clear the year classes of 8-inch crappie and several in the
9 ĺ-inch range are much more abundant than the 10-inch plus size fish.
However, there are a few good fish mixed in with the small fish so it
keeps the outing quite interesting but somewhat challenging.
Popular bait choices have been live minnows and jigs tipped with minnows
or Berkley power bait. Productive jig colors have ranged from black
leadheads with dark red and gray bodies to shad variations sporting
silver or blue glitter. The crystal clear water is a factor in color
choices as the fish can be finicky in such conditions.
Bass fishermen have been struggling to find good stringers around the
aquatic vegetation this week. Several tournament anglers have been
pounding the visible grassbeds but the bright sunny days havenít been
kind to most bassers tossing spinnerbaits, shad color jerk baits and
Texas rigged worms.
Some boaters continue to stalk main lake ledges and humps with jig and
craw combos, Texas rigged worms, Carolina rigged worms and Alabama rigs.
Deep diving crankbaits have produced a few big bites at times.
A few bigger bass have been taken in deeper depths as the bright days
and clear water may have pushed some of the bigger fish to deeper
venues. Although many of the lakeís gravel points and grassbeds are
attractive, a deeper pattern might be worthy of consideration.
Kentucky Lakeís shorelines and hillsides will peak in their parade of
colors in the next week or two so donít let this great time of year pass
you by. There may be a day or two of nasty winds and cooler temperatures
but the good days far outnumber the bad ones during autumn angling.
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.