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October 17, 2013
SURFACE TEMPS FALL FOR FISHERMEN
Fall weather is in the process of returning in the aftermath of a cool
front that brought rain to the Kentucky Lake area at midweek. Most of
last week delivered above average temperatures after a cold front that
lingered into this week but things were changing fast as this report was
North winds entered the picture on Wednesday and brought cooler
conditions to the region as highs will only be 70 to 72 degrees by this
weekend with nighttime temps falling into the mid 40ís. Anglers will
have to dig out the overcoats for a day or two but it appears normal
fall weather will take over soon and some foggy mornings may be instore.
Lake levels have been falling slowly this week and were down to winter
pool on Thursday. Projected elevation for the weekend at Kentucky Dam
will be in the 354.6 and around the 354.7 range upstream at New
Johnsonville. Those readings are down a few inches from last week at
Boaters are reminded once again to pay close attention to channel
markers and resist the temptation to take shortcuts across open lake
sandbars and flats enroute to their favorite fishing holes. Itís that
time of year when caution is advised as there are still enough stumps
and shallow gravel bars to damage your boatís hull or the outboardís
lower unit and prop.
Surface temperatures have been in the 73 to 75 degree range most of this
week but will fall back into the upper 60ís and low 70ís by this
weekend. Water color remains clear across most of the reservoir despite
Bass anglers have been scoring some decent catches lately but struggling
somewhat as to the whereabouts of bigger fish. A lot of bass in the
2-pound plus range were showing up in a variety of areas but most all
patterns were having trouble putting big fish in the boat.
Good catches are coming in from anglers working milfoil grassbeds with
topwater, spinnerbaits, and Texas rigged worms. The lower lake levels
are exposing more patches of grass and weedless frogs, rats, and
floating fluke style worms have worked well.
Most of the aquatic vegetation is south of the Paris Landing area by
several miles and starts showing up around the Leatherwood and Lick
Creeks areas. From those bays further south toward New Johnsonville is
where most of the grass is showing up around river islands, flats and in
the backs of some bays.
Around the parameters of grass matts anglers were tossing spinnerbaits
and worms where baitfish were present and scoring pretty good. Buzzbaits
have worked well in lowlight conditions as have some jerk baits.
Other patterns producing have been schooling activity over shallow flats
in open water where schools of shad have been roaming. A lot of fish
have been busting on top at times and the gull activity will help you
find the surface feeding frenzies. Thereís a lot of Asian carp activity
on those shallow flats and grassbeds too but most of those flushing
sounds from big fish are coming from startled carp.
Popular choices around the open water schooling fish been shallow
running crankbaits, Rattle Trap style lures and some swim baits. A few
chugger style topwater plugs have also been producing.
Some boats are working gravel points and dropping back at midday with
Carolina rigged craws and crankbaits when high sun has pushed the fish
Still worthy of consideration has been the main lake ledge pattern where
big deep diving crankbaits, Texas rigged worms, and some Carolina rigs
and Alabama rigs were working. That summer pattern often lingers well
into fall as to dividends.
Crappie activity seemed to diminish late last week and earlier this week
as fish pulled out of some shallow areas. Warm weather and falling lake
levels likely contributed to that but fish took on a sluggish mood and
bites were light.
Fish had a finicky mood for several days and improved as cloud cover and
rainy conditions entered the picture at midweek. However, the back side
of the cool front may prove challenging for a few days if high skies and
northeast winds linger.
Depths of 14 to 17 feet were holding decent number of crappier earlier
this week. Anglers working the deeper sides of drop-offs were finding a
few fish relating to deeper structure. Popular bait choices have been
live minnows and jigs tipped with minnows or Berkley Power Bait.
A few scattered fish were relating to stakebeds and brushpiles in 9 to
13 foot depths but it appeared more fish were choosing deep water. That
could change as the cool front will lower surface temps and likely push
some fish back to shallow and midrange depths in the days ahead.
Most anglers were using bottom bumping double hook rigs or tightlining a
jig in the deep, submerged structure. However, a cloudy, rainy day will
see crappie action improve quickly around shallow structures this time
Catfish were hitting pretty good along the main Tennessee River channel
again this week. Depths of 35 to 40 feet were giving up decent numbers.
A slow current had been present for several days and that worked in
favor of catfish anglers working the river channel banks.
There some catfish moving up to shallow areas as well. Crappie fishermen
are tying into some nice ones on a daily basis while fishing midrange
cover as the cats love to prowl around stakebeds and brushpiles this
time of year.
Fall conditions have returned and cooler surface temps will enter the
fishing scene this next week. That will increase the comfort zone for
fish in shallow areas.
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.