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October 31, 2013
PUMPKIN MONTH FADES AWAY ON STORMY NOTE
Kentucky Lake fishermen tipped their hat to October as it faded away on
a very stormy note Thursday but it appears normal fall weather will
return in the days ahead. Somewhat cooler conditions will enter the
fishing scene for a few days in the aftermath of Halloween wind and rain
that drenched the area.
Lake levels this past week were down to the low ebb of winter pool as
TVA really pulled the plug in a likely move anticipating Thursday’s
heavy rainfall. Elevation at Kentucky Dam going into the weekend was
projected to be in the 354.4 range. Upstream at New Johnsonville
readings were even lower with the elevation down around 354.2.
That’s some of the lowest readings of the fall and it merits another
reminder for boaters to use caution and pay close attention to the
channel markers. Taking shortcuts over those main lake sandbars is not
smart this time of year yet a lot of folks are unfamiliar with the
depth. Just because you’re a long way from shore doesn’t mean deep water
on Kentucky Lake!
Surface temperatures were hovering around the 59 to 62 degree range the
last few days. Water color has been quite clear but will likely have
some stain enter the areas in the upper ends of bays after Thursday’s
rain and runoff.
Crappie action has been fair this week and anglers had 3 or 4 beautiful
days where warm temperatures and light winds blended for nice fishing
conditions. A few foggy mornings faded away to placid waters and anglers
could fish anywhere they wanted on the big water.
Depths of 8 to 13 feet were giving up scattered fish this week as
stakebeds and brushpiles in that depth range were holding some fish but
fewer than last week at this time. After last week’s cold front it
seemed a lot of crappie backed off to deeper areas and occupied
structure in 15 to 20 foot depths at time and even deeper in some areas.
Fishermen stalking the deep drop-offs with bottom bumping rigs armed
with live minnows or jigs tipped with minnows or Berkley Power Bait were
finding success. And, a few bigger slabs were taken in the deep confines
Popular jig colors have ranged from white/chartreuse to shades of green
with some black and red mixed in. Some white/orange and blue/chartreuse
paid dividends at times too but fish have been somewhat finicky as to
their choices and mood swings. Strikes have been quite light as the
bites were not aggressive.
Bass activity seemed to back off somewhat since last week but there are
still some success stories coming in from anglers tossing spinnerbaits
over shallow vegetation. Popular choices have been white or
blue/chartreuse skirts with gold willow leaf blades.
Lower lake levels are exposing a lot of structure in the form of crappie
beds and various manmade cover. Grassbeds are now exposed in a lot of
areas too and fish are chasing shad there. Working Senko style worms and
various topwater jerk baits have worked too.
Some schooling activity was still taking place over shallow points and
flats where fish were pushing the schools of baitfish up over shallow
spots and hitting the surface. Casting shallow running crankbaits has
worked well in these situations and a few white bass are there too in
the feeding frenzies.
A few boats are still working main lake ledges using Texas and Carolina
rigged worms. Also in the arsenal have been some big crankbaits and jig
and craw combos. And, this time of year the shad colored crankbaits on
gravel banks and sloping points or roadbeds are always a good choice.
A few boats continue to work the main river channel for catfish where
depths of 30 to 40 feet are holding some good ones. Light current this
week in the main channel has been good for catfishermen who are using
chicken livers, nightcrawlers, and big minnows for bait.
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.