COOLER TEMPS HEAT UP FALL FISHING SCENE
Practically everyone had an attitude adjustment this week. Anglers and
hunters had more pep in their step thanks to an overdue cool snap that
finally made it feel like fall had arrived.
Thanks to cooler days and nights surface temperatures have fallen back
into the 75 to 77 degree range for the first time since back in
mid-April. Those readings are down about eight to ten degrees from last
week at this time.
Lake levels continue to fall slowly on Kentucky Lake and elevation at
midweek was in the 354.8 range at New Johnsonville. Downstream at
Kentucky Dam the elevation was 354.9. The present levels are down a few
inches from last week at this time and close to the low ebb of winter
Lower lake levels throughout the fall and winter months are normal here
as TVAís curve prepares the reservoir for more storage capacity.
Water color remains clear across most of the reservoir. Not much rain
has fallen across the watershed this week.
Crappie showed improvement this week. Actually, activity began improving
last week during the hot spell but should be even better later this week
and into next week as cooler conditions should improve the overall bite.
Several fish are occupying midrange brushpiles and stakebeds in the 8 to
13 foot depth range. A few fish have been taken deeper as well,
especially since falling lake levels likely pulled fish out of shallow
venues earlier this week.
Although fall is known for stable weather and light winds, there have
been a few days on the front edge of the cold front where high winds
hampered crappie anglers attempting to work main lake areas. The
annoying winds were short lived as calm days and some cloud cover
returned to provide nice conditions.
Stable weather is in the forecast for the next several days. That should
help keep anglers in a good mood.
A lot of crappie are showing interest in live minnows and jigs tipped
with minnows too. Also, jigs in the black/chartreuse, chartreuse/red and
similar variations have also been appealing, especially when tipped with
Berkley power bait.
The fall bite should continue to improve but there are already pretty
good numbers of fish showing up. Anglers can expect to encounter a lot
of fish just shy of the 10-inch minimum length limit but there are also
some keeper size fish hanging out right in there with them.
The present population of crappie on Kentucky Lake is dominated by the
2014 year class. It takes approximately three years for a crappie to
achieve the 10-inch length as to growth rates here. Thatís why anglers
are seeing so many fish just shy of the 10-inch threshold.
The good news is that a lot of fish are coming on strong so by next
March and April anglers should see a lot more keeper size fish out
A few boats are working deeper ledges with jigs and bottom bumping
minnow rigs and landing some fish out of deep structure located in the
17 to 20 foot depth range.
Bass activity has been off a bit this week but may improve with the
cooler surface temps as more fish move shallow.
Several boats continues to fish ledges and main lake flats. Others are
targeting gravel points and shallow roadbeds.
Despite lower lake levels this week no grassbeds are showing up. The
aquatic vegetation pattern is must not part of the bass fishing picture
Just why the grass disappeared in somewhat of a mystery to most. Odds
are the high water earlier this year played a role in its demise but the
jury is still out on why some fragments of vegetation havenít returned.
Ledge fishermen are still tossing shad colored crankbaits and a few swim
baits. Some are hopping a jig and pig combo or using Texas rigged worms.
Other patterns producing have been chartreuse and blue skirted
spinnerbaits with gold willow leaf blades. Tossing spinnerbaits around
some shallow crappie beds, stumps and along open sloping flats has
produced a few fish as well.
There havenít been many reports coming in from successful topwater
patterns lately. Perhaps the cooler surface temps could also enhance
that presentation soon.
As always itís important to pay close attention to channel markers this
time of year when lower lake levels arrive. Itís best to avoid the
shortcuts across those open water flats and follow the buoys enroute to
your favorite fishing spot.
Resist the temptation to throw caution to the wind. Follow the marked
channels and youíll get there safe and sound without damage to you or
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.