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October 11, 2012
COOL SURFACE TEMPS HEAT UP FALL FISHING
Kentucky Lakeís fall fishing scene said goodbye to a drastic cold front
last weekend that left about as quick as it came. In its aftermath have
been cooler surface temperatures that stimulated enthusiasm levels for
crappie and bass anglers.
It has been another good week for crappie fishermen who continue to rack
up some nice stringers from midrange depths. After last weekendís cold
northwest winds faded into light southern breezes the fish rebounded
quickly and resumed biting in that 9 to 14 foot zone where structure
such as brushpiles and stakebeds were appealing.
While a few fish were taken by boaters working main lake ledges in
depths of 15 to 20 feet the lionís share of consistent crappie catches
have come from midrange depths lately, which is pretty much the norm for
Surface temps this week cooled down into the 64 to 66 degree range. By
this weekendís warm up look for temps to climb back into the upper 60ís.
Water color remains clear.
Lake levels were changing slightly but hovered around the 362.2 range at
midweek at Kentucky Dam. Upstream at New Johnsonville the elevation was
362.1. A slow and gradual fall will likely occur the next week or so
barring any heavy rains as TVA is pretty much on schedule for its winter
Crappie should continue to move up toward shallow areas this week in
response to the cooler surface temps that likely pulled more shad to
bays and flats. Not many crappie have been taken in extremely shallow
water lately, choosing instead to linger near the mouth of bays or on
big flats and ledges in the main lake areas.
I found good numbers of fish this week occupying stakebeds and brush
near drop-offs. The 10 to 13 foot zone was quite productive for me but a
few fish were taken deeper at times with some shallow beds paying
dividends on cloudy days and later afternoons when lowlight conditions
seemed to help.
Jigs tipped with minnows have worked well as have jigs tipped with
various colored Berkley crappie nibbles. Popular color combinations have
been red/white, blue/chartreuse, black/chartreuse and some brown/red at
Several days have seen some three-digit catches while we culled down to
50 range of keeper sized crappie. While a lot of crappie are near the
10-inch minimum length limit there are plenty of keepers out there with
an occasional slab testing the tackle.
Expect to encounter a lot of yellow bass and bluegill around the crappie
beds this time of year as these feisty rascals are competitive and
sprint toward your bait with a vengeance. Sometimes you have to catch a
few and get them out of the way before you can get the jig down around
the structure where the crappie are holding tight.
The overall crappie picture is good so donít let this autumn angling
pass you by. It is beautiful on the lake these days as the hardwoods are
changing on a daily basis and a parade of colors await you.
Bass patterns continue to favor submerged grassbeds out on the main lake
where anglers are tossing spinnerbaits, Rattle Trap style lures, and
some Texas rigged worms and assorted jerk baits. There are some fish in
the thick grass mats too and working topwater and weedless lures around
visible grass has worked well.
Some decent numbers of bass have been taken in the submerged grass as
anglers find fragments of it on sloping sandbars near drop-offs.
A few boats are working main lake ledges with Texas rigged worms,
Caroline rigs and bit deep diving crankbaits and still finding fish as
though it were summer. However, bass are schooling at times once they
push schools of shad over the shallow sides of ledges and having a
topwater bait handy is a good idea, followed by some spoons and
suspending jerk baits once the fish go down.
Fall is always known for gravel bank fishing and tossing shad colored
crankbaits around big rock points, roadbeds, and pea gravel shorelines
has been productive. Finding baitfish is the key and there have been
some surface feeding frenzies at times in the early morning and late
afternoon periods or when some cloudy, rainy days enter the picture.
Seems Kentucky Lakeís fall bass fishing always has two or three
different patterns working at the same time. Meanwhile, nice stable
weather is in the forecast so this fall fishing gig is alive and well.
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.