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October 20, 2011
SUMMER, FALL, AND WINTER WEATHER GREET ANGLERS…ALL IN ONE WEEK!
Kentucky Lake’s fall fishing scene has seen a mixture of
summer, fall and winter weather this week. Anglers started the week in
short sleeve shirts but a nasty cold front with brisk winds arrived at
midweek, sending folks deep in the closet for coveralls and heavy coats.
After three days of below average temperatures and a little rain the
weatherman is forecasting a gradual warming trend that should see nice
fall conditions return by this weekend. Autumn anglers rarely have to
battle cold fronts and gale winds but sometimes a front slips in the
door and has a short but miserable stay.
Despite the inclimate weather at midweek the fish actually hit good as
the low pressure and cloudy skies stimulated the bite of both bass and
crappie. Often times the front edge of changing weather---when rain and
cloud cover precede temperature changes---will see significant
improvement as the entire food chain comes to life.
That was the case this week as those of us who endured high winds and
falling temperatures managed to log good catches of crappie. The fish
were aggressive and had a definite mood swing, taking the bait with more
interest as opposed to a day or two earlier when clear days and stagnant
winds had the fish sluggish at times.
I had some hefty stringers this week as stakebeds and brushpiles in the
8 to 14 foot depths were producing good numbers. The fish were showing a
preference for loud colors of chartreuse combinations on the dull,
cloudy days whereas some white/orange, chartreuse/red, and some neutral
colored jig heads with sliver/chartreuse sporting sparkle were the
ticket earlier in the week.
Crappie continue to show a preference for jigs tipped with Berkley Power
Bait crappie nibbles in the chartreuse, white, gold or silver with metal
flake. A few fish were taking a minnow now and then as well.
The overall fall crappie season has been good as some nice size fish
have been taken in-between catching big number of short fish at times.
Odds are the action may slow for a day or so in the aftermath of the
cold front once clear skies and northeast winds arrive but watch for
slow improvement by the weekend or early next week once rising temps and
south winds resume. Temps are expected to be back in the 70’s by Monday.
Lake levels have been relatively stable this week. Elevation at Kentucky
Dam will in the 355 range as the weekend approaches. Upstream at New
Johnsonville lake levels will be in the 354.9 range.
Surface temperatures have dropped dramatically in the last few days.
Earlier this week surface temps were in the 72 degree range but by
midweek had dropped into the 64 degree range. Anglers can expect
readings to fall into the low 60’s as the weekend approaches.
Water color remains clear across the entire reservoir with the exception
of a few areas of dingy water due to high winds stirring up shorelines.
Bass action has been fair with a lot of small fish being caught. The
bigger fish continue to evade the hooks of anglers looking for heavy
stringers in tournaments. Several events have been won recently with
5-fish limits weighing in the 14-pound range.
Fish have been chasing shad in the backs of big bays and along shallow
gravel points, road beds, and shallow flats on the main lake. A few fish
have been schooling at times and anglers were landing a lot of fish
while casting chrome/blue Rattle Traps, Red-eye shad, and assorted shad
Prior to the cold front some fish were hitting topwater at times but
that pattern may fall off for a few days if clear skies return.
Crankbaits fished off gravel banks and points are still producing as are
some jig and craw combos, suspending jerk baits, and some floating fluke
style baits. Even some Carolina rigged craws and worms were working at
times on ledges and sloping gravel points.
Watch for the bass bite to improve in the days ahead as stable weather
returns and schools of shad resume their shallow water routes.
A few frosty mornings are on the horizon but watch for warm afternoons
to stimulate fish activity. Next week should see a significant change in
the color of hardwoods as this week’s cool snap and frosty mornings are
likely to influence the parade of change.
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.