Brought to you by:
September 14, 2012
COOLER SURFACE TEMPS HELP ANGLERS JUMP START FALL
Kentucky Lake anglers got a dose of fall weather this week and it sure
felt good. After last Saturday’s drastic weather change when a gale
north wind blew through, dropping temperatures and lowering humidity,
the September weather has been sensational.
More fall weather is on the way too as chilly mornings are in the
forecast for next week as another cool front is fast approaching with
highs expected to only reach the mid 70’s. Better dig out the long
sleeve shirts and jackets.
Surface temperatures this week responded to the cooler conditions and
dropped back into the 78 to 79 degree range, which is about 10 to 12
degrees below readings of the past two months. A little fog lingered
over portions of the lake some mornings, painting a nice early fall
picture and perhaps a taste of more such mornings to come.
Lake levels have fluctuated a few inches recently, a likely result of
some thunderstorms that dropped significant rain upstream. After rising
several inches the reservoir is projected to be in the 356.8 range this
weekend at both Kentucky Dam and New Johnsonville.
Lake levels at the present time are up several inches from a week ago.
A slight drop in lake levels will likely occur by early next week unless
heavy rains return. Water color remains clear across the reservoir.
After Saturday’s cool front passed through, a high pressure system has
dominated the weather picture with clear blue skies and light winds.
Increasing clouds are expected as the weekend approaches with only a
slight chance of rain but the cloud cover should work in favor of
anglers. Often times the first few days after a cool front are beautiful
to be out but the high skies make it tough on fishing.
That seemed to be the scenario this week as activity showed some
improvement at midweek for both bass and crappie anglers. Winds returned
to a southerly flow and cloud cover entered the picture.
Crappie were showing signs of improvement this week as more shad were
venturing toward shallow flats in the Paris Landing sector and up Big
Sandy and into West Sandy. A few more keeper size fish were taken in the
9 to 12 foot depth range compared to last week.
No doubt the cooler nights and lower surface temperatures will enhance
the bite for crappie anglers working shallow structure in the days
ahead. The rising lake levels likely stimulated some movement as well
toward shallow structure the last few days. Even a slight cool down can
stimulate the sluggish mood of crappie this time of year. The fish might
have been in midrange depths for quite some time but just not showing
much interest. Watch for a more aggressive attitude in the weeks ahead
as the fall action continues to improve.
Baits of choice continue to be jigs tipped with minnows or just live
Bass action slowed some last weekend and earlier this week due to the
cool front and high pressure but rebounded some at midweek. Popular
patterns continue to be grassbeds, main lake ledges, and some gravel
banks where fish are moving up on structure such as shallow crappie
Schools of shad were meandering around gravel banks at times and while
the topwater bite was off earlier this week watch for that to improve
once cloudy days filter out some of the bright light and keep the
Once shad move up on gravel banks they often display a feeding frenzy in
lowlight conditions when feeding on midge hatches, a small insect that
emerges in the early morning and late afternoon hours. Working the
gravel banks with topwater can be productive as can shad colored
crankbaits when the fish are there but not surface feeding.
Aquatic vegetation continues to thrive as hydrilla and spiny leaf are
the dominant grass in many areas but some milfoil is out there too. Bass
will continue to relate to the abundance of grassbeds in the weeks ahead
and spinnerbaits, Texas rigged worms, and a variety of weedless frogs or
rats will be productive at times as will floating fluke style baits.
Buzzbaits and assorted jerk baits will be good choices at times if
schooling fish are encountered around schools of baitfish.
Some boats are still backing away from the thick grass and working
fragments of vegetation found in deeper water or on sloping points. A
few boats are working ledges altogether and avoiding the grass while
working deep diving crankbaits, Carolina rigs, and hopping a jig and
craw combo with moderate results.
A little current should be in the picture this week so that could work
in favor of anglers fishing near main channel areas.
Fall catfishing has been fair but inconsistent as some anglers were
struggling this week after finding fish last week. With more current
working in their favor boats along the main river channel this week
should see improvement as the fish congregate on the down-current side
of submerged creek channels or bends in the riverbank itself.
Another cool snap is in the forecast and will arrive by the middle of
next week. Although fall doesn’t officially arrive until September 22,
fall fishing conditions are already here.
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.