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October 19, 2012
MIXED WEATHER PATTERNS CONFRONT ANGLERSÖBASS AND CRAPPIE ACTION
A mixture of weather patterns have dominated the fishing scene this week
across Kentucky Lake as anglers had a few nice days sandwiched
in-between some windy cool mornings. Normally mid-October weather
patterns are quite stable with cool starts and warm finishes as to the
daily routine but a dose of March madness slipped in with some gale
force winds that upset the apple cart a few days.
Despite some cool snaps that whipped up the main lake with whitecaps a
few days the overall fishing scene has been a pretty good one for both
bass and crappie anglers. Fall colors continue to change and beautiful
shorelines are parading colors as the hills are coming alive with
yellows, reds, and oranges that provide a nice backdrop to this autumn
Since last week lake levels and surface temps have changed slightly but
some recent heavy thunderstorms drenched the area and provided
significant runoff, erasing a few inches of declining lake stages from
late last week.
As the weekend approaches lake levels will be in the 356.2 range at
Kentucky Dam, which is up several inches from last weekend when TVA
dropped the reservoir down to 355.9. Upstream at New Johnsonville
projections indicate elevation will be in the 356.1 range.
Surface temperatures said goodbye to the 70ís last week and have slept
in the 62 to 64 degree range most of this week. At midweek the daytime
air temperatures climbed near 80 degrees but slightly cooler conditions
are in the forecast the rest of the week but expected to be near normal
Crappie continue to hit good this week and have shown signs of more
movement toward the 8 to 12 depths. A few fish were caught in the 7 to 9
foot range as well and more fish were making a transition from the main
lake into some of the larger bays, a likely result of slightly cooler
surface temperatures that have given shad a bigger comfort zone in these
areas this week.
While a few mornings saw crappie action start off sluggish when high
skies and touches of west to northwest winds were switching, fish seemed
to improve later in the day. Itís not unusual for fish to be finicky in
the aftermath of a cool snap when high barometric pressure robs the sky
of clouds but the fish slowly rebound once weather settles and winds
work their way back from stubborn easterly directions to southerly
Some mornings this week I found fish quite reluctant to bite as strikes
were extremely light from moody fish that were not in a feeding mode.
After a few hours of slower paced presentations things gradually worked
out of the sluggish spell but it took a lot more stops to accumulate
Tipping jigs with either minnows or Berkley Power Bait such as crappie
nibble or gulp seemed to entice reluctant crappie into biting better.
Itís been a trial and error approach at times as to which colors are
working best with various shades of chartreuse working well.
Some red/white combos have also appealed as have blue/chartreuse and
some red/white/blue hair jigs and even pink and chartreuse at times.
A variety of patterns have been working ranging from some boats shooting
the docks, a technique popular on some lakes where anglers use light
action rods to thrust jigs up under low hanging boat houses where both
shade and structure hold crappie this time of year, to the popular
vertical presentations over manmade fish attractors.
There have been a few boat slow trolling crankbaits and others
spider-rigging while moving slowly with the multi-pole presentations
over midrange depths and finding fish too.
Some fish continue to come from deeper main lake ledges where brushpiles
located drop-offs were attracting a few but it appears more fish moved
up to shallow venues within the last week or so.
Bass patterns are holding on to gravel banks, submerged grass beds, and
some ledge fishing again this week. Nothing drastic has changed for bass
fishermen the last few weeks as all three of these patterns have worked
well with an occasional report of some shallow fish hitting spinnerbaits
and shallow running crankbaits around crappie beds, shallow stumps and
some roadbeds and boat houses.
There are still some schooling fish on shallow flats as throughout the
day they make a blitz in pursuit of shad schools that meander over the
deeper areas but get pushed shallow by the feeding frenzies. Some fish
have taken topwater jerk baits when schooling but most are being caught
by anglers tossing Rattle Trap style lures in shad colored variations.
Hitting the gravel points and sloping sandbars with deep water close by
has been paying dividends as have some roadbeds and rip-rap areas.
Grass beds are still abundant and holding bass as anglers work
spinnerbaits, Texas rigged worms, and some weedless topwater at times.
Some grass is beginning to break up and floating off in fragments which
is the result of cooler surface temperatures but there are still plenty
of thick grass areas holding fish in the parameters.
Several weeks of great fall fishing remain on Kentucky Lake as this
underrated and overlooked season is worthy of consideration..
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.