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October 4, 2012
ANGLERS BRACE FOR WEEKEND COLD FRONT
Kentucky Lakeís fall fishing scene has enjoyed a few days of nice
weather this week after a rainy start on Monday and while fishing has
been quite good for bass and crappie, anglers are bracing for a drastic
Fall has a reputation for pleasant, stable weather but it appears a cold
front will descend this weekend, bringing a dramatic change in
temperatures pushed our way by strong north winds on Saturday. The
unusual cold front may bring a temporary hiatus to the nice fall fishing
anglers have been enjoying for quite some time but watch for a quick
rebound by early next week.
Once this weekendís weather change loses its grip, watch for a high
pressure to dominate with high skies for a day or so until south winds
return, bringing moderate temps back into the picture. In the aftermath
of the cold front will be drastically cooler surface temperatures that
should see increased activity for shallow areas.
Surface temperatures this week had already begun to cool and dropped
back into the upper 60ís at midweek. Most mornings the surface temps
have been starting off around 67 and warming to 72 at midday. By next
week look for surface temps to fall into the lower 60ís and camp there
for quite some time.
Water color has remained clear despite some rain earlier in the week.
Lake levels had been falling slowly since last week and had a minor
fluctuation for a day or two but TVA projects a reading of 356.3 at
Kentucky Dam this weekend. Upstream at New Johnsonville readings are
expected to be 356.2.
Lake levels are down about a foot from a week to ten days ago but pretty
much on schedule at this time for TVAís curve for winter drawdown.
Crappie fishing has held up well this week with some hefty catches
coming in from anglers working midrange depths with some movement toward
the 7 to 9 foot depths, especially on cloudy days. In the Paris Landing
area most of the fish are relating to stakebeds and brushpiles in the 10
to 14 foot zones but have been moving up toward shallows when lake
levels are stable or rising.
Last weekend during falling lake levels some good numbers of crappie
were caught on the deeper sides of drop-offs in depths of 16 to 18 feet.
Not all the crappie have left deeper venues but anglers can expect
increased numbers to migrate toward more shallow structure by next week
as fish take on a more aggressive attitude in pursuit of shad that are
Popular bait choices have been jigs in the red/white, red/chartreuse,
blue/chartreuse, and some orange/white combos just to name a few.
Tipping unpainted leadheads with minnows has worked well at times, as
has tipping jigs with Berkley crappie nibbles.
Some days the fish have been finicky with very light strikes but the
overall crappie picture has been quite good with some bigger fish
beginning to show up. Itís not unusual to catch a lot of fish this time
of year that are in the 10-inch range so expect to measure a few.
However, itís good to see the numbers out there as several year classes
are well represented.
Bottom line is the fall crappie fishery is alive and well. You can catch
some big numbers of fish right now and cull out plenty that qualify for
Mixed in with the crappie have been aggressive yellow bass that will
test your tackle and patience at times. These feisty rascals always seem
to have an appetite and attitude, not to mention being annoying. And, a
few good catfish are lingering around those crappie beds too.
Also putting on a feeding spree have been bluegill that are competing
for those crappie jigs, live minnows, and Berkley crappie nibbles. Those
machine gun strikes are courtesy of some hungry bluegill that have been
attacking jigs and minnows with a vengeance.
The yellow bass and bluegill are indeed masters of deception when it
comes to stealing your bait this time of year but they will sure put a
bow in your rod as they dart about.
Catfish action has been fair this week and a few boats continue to work
the edge of the main river channel, drifting slowly with the current.
There have been some nice ones taken around the submerged feeder creeks
that empty into the river itself.
Bass fishing is still getting good grades from anglers working both
aquatic grass patterns and some gravel banks or points. Tossing
spinnerbaits, shallow running crankbaits, and some fluke style jerk
baits over submerged grassbeds has continued to produce.
Many of the long shallow sandbars have patches of grass that are holding
fish. While the grass is not visible on top, it is just below the
surface in many areas.
Some boats continue to toss weedless lures around thick, matted grass
and some fish are still holding in that habitat, especially if it is
near deeper water. At the same time the grass patterns are working a few
anglers are favoring gravel points and banks where shad activity has
attracted some schooling fish.
Some shallow gravel banks and sloping points are attracting schooling
bass this time of year and some surface activity has been underway at
times. One key to finding the schooling fish has been to observe the
gull activity as they will lead you to the baitfish.
Main lake ledge fishing is not off the radar screen just yet. Casting
crankbaits and jig and pig combos is still appealing to some fish that
are staying out away from shorelines and relating to drop-offs. At
various times during the day the fish are pushing shad out over the
shallow sides of ledges where some surface activity has taken place.
With falling surface temperatures next week there should be some surface
opportunities taking place as bass will be more aggressive once the
front passes through and stable weather returns. Roadbeds and big rocky
banks should be appealing to crankbait fishermen next week.
The approaching cold front should be a minor bump in the road for fall
fishing. After a few days of heavy coats watch for shirt sleeve weather
to return soon. Trees are fading to beautiful colors on a daily basis so
once the cold front passes make plans to get back out on the lake.
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.