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September 8, 2011
RISING WATER/FALLING TEMPS HELP EARLY FALL FISHING
Kentucky Lakeís fishing scene has seen dramatic changes in both
temperature and lake levels since last week at this time. Lake levels
have been rising while the temperature was falling.
A significant change in temperature arrived earlier this week courtesy
of strong north winds that really put a chill in the air and curtailed
the Labor Day holiday activities for most anglers and pleasure boaters.
Air temps at midweek were below normal and either set or tied record
lows in some areas.
Cool nights and below average highs during the day have influenced
surface temperatures that should work in favor of anglers who were glad
to say goodbye to hot and humid conditions last week that approached the
On Wednesday air temps were in the upper 50ís at night and struggled to
reach 70 during the day, which saw surface temps fall back into the 75
to 77 degree range for the first time since mid-May.
As temps dropped drastically this week lake levels have surged due to
heavy rains and flooding across portions of the TVA valley such as
northern Alabama and southeast Tennessee where runoff entered the
Tennessee River system that had been enduring drought conditions.
Although not much rain fell in the Paris Landing area or Kentucky Dam
region lake levels have risen fast for three days and are expected to be
in the 358.9 range at the dam as the weekend approaches. Upstream at New
Johnsonville lake levels will be slightly higher with projections for
359.1 range, which is above summer pool and some three feet higher than
last week this time.
The reservoir was in need of some new water and the flushing now taking
place should see water conditions improve. Up until this week there had
been a long stretch of hot and dry conditions that were beginning to
have a negative impact on the overall fishing scene.
Both bass and crappie anglers should see increased activity toward
shallow water in the days ahead. The combination of cooler surface temps
and rising lake levels this time of year should stimulate movement of
baitfish toward shallow flats and backs of bays.
Crappie anglers should see significant improvement in midrange depths of
9 to 14 feet in the days ahead as fish follow their forage toward
shallow areas, leaving some of the deeper venues that have held sluggish
fish for the last several weeks during the hot weather and stagnant
No doubt a few fish might move up even more and occupy some structure in
the 5 to 9 foot zone, especially if cloud cover is present. Stakebeds
and brushpiles should begin to give up more fish.
Look for crappie to improve and show increased interest in small jigs or
minnows fished in their locale as the fall transition phase may well
occur ahead of time thanks to the recent cool snap.
Bass were already showing signs of moving up toward shallow gravel banks
as schooling shad were working along pea gravel shorelines in early
morning and late afternoon periods. Tossing shad colored crankbaits and
some topwater jerk baits such as Stormís Chug-Bug, Rebelís Pop-R, and
Bomberís Long-A were producing as were chrome colored Rattle Traps and
Strike Kingís Red-Eye Shad variations.
Spinnerbaits and shallow running crankbaits will likely appeal to
shallow bass relating to wood structure and docks or roadbeds. At the
same time some main lake bass may move up to topsides of ledges and
begin running shallow schools of shad.
Seems there are always a few bass relating to the main lake ledges where
so not all anglers will turn their back on the drop-offs where the jig
and pig combos, big crankbaits, and Carolina or Texas rigs still have
Some dingy water was present up Big Sandy but the overall area is clear.
High winds had stirred up some shallow shorelines adding a bit of dingy
water to certain areas.
A few boats were working the main river channel and beneath the Paris
Landing bridge for catfish with moderate success.
Odds are current will enter the picture in the days ahead as TVA will
likely begin pulling water as soon as the reservoir crests. Next week
should see significant current on the Tennessee River and around island
rims as TVA attempts to draw the reservoir back down for storage
capacity and that may work in favor of bass and catfish anglers.
Fall fishing conditions are here and seemed to arrive almost two weeks
early as fall doesnít officially arrive until September 23.
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.