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October 7, 2010
NICE FISHING RETURNS AFTER MEAN COLD FRONT
Kentucky Lakeís fishing scene has had a potpourri of weather patterns
the last week or so, a scenario thatís more like spring than fall.
However, great weather has returned and by midweek normal temps and
light winds were the norm, giving fishermen those jacket mornings and
shirt sleeve afternoons.
A cold front last weekend really threw a curve to anglers who battled
gale force north winds and falling temperatures. For several days
whitecaps danced in the open water as the wind switch to the northeast,
bringing high skies and tough conditions.
Both crappie and bass action has improved since the cool snap but for a
few days fish were downright finicky. Those high pressure days with blue
skies and sunny conditions are great for walks in the park, picnics, and
visits to the zoo but not in the best interest of fishermen trying to
formulate patterns from stubborn fish.
Surface temps dropped earlier this week as the cold nights had an
influence. Readings were in the 67 to 69 degree range, which is down
several degrees from a week ago. Watch for a slow rebound this weekend
at the water warms back in the low 70s.
Lake levels remain low and are now resting at winter pool. It bears
repeating that close attention should be given to channel markers.
Unless you know the water avoid the shortcuts as even main lake areas
can be troublesome this time of year. Those shallow stumps and sandbars
are taking a toll on lower units and props lately as a lot of the
nonresident bass anglers fishing tournaments here are finding out.
Elevation is 354.8 in the New Johnsonville area. Downstream at Kentucky
Dam readings are in the 355 range. Low lake levels will remain for a
spell since no rain has fallen in the region.
Water color remains clear over most of the reservoir. About the only
stain exists where high winds have stirred up some shallow bays and
Itís so dry even fishermen want it to rain. Cloudy days have been rare
and a rainy, overcast morning is long overdue.
Crappie have been hitting pretty good for anglers working structure in 9
to 12 foot zones. Stakebeds and brushpiles in that depth range are
holding a few fish.
Iíve found a few fish this week in 7 to 9 feet but itís been a one-here,
two-there scenario. Some keeper fish are holding in the midrange depth
zones as a lot of baitfish are moving about.
Some deeper ledges are still holding on to a few fish too as brush and
stumps on the edge of drop-offs and favoring the deeper side of the
ledges have produced. I found some nice slabs in the 15 foot depth a few
days but action was inconsistent.
Jigs tipped with minnows have been the bait of choice. A few fish are
taking just plain jigs or skirts tipped with Berkley Power Bait but the
overall bite has been finicky and seems the live minnow has enticed some
stubborn crappie into biting.
Popular colors have been white, chartreuse, and dull red leadheads with
green or gold colored skirts. A few days just plain unpainted leadheads
have appealed armed with dull colored skirts, a likely result of the
clear water conditions.
Bass fishermen visiting the area this fall have been lost without the
aquatic vegetation that was present last year at this time. There is
very little grass in the Paris Landing area but some short fragments can
be found on shallow sandbars.
Milfoil and other vegetation is present south of New Johnsonville in the
Birdsong flat and on toward Perryville. Bassers in this area are pretty
much banging the banks with shad colored crankbaits and various
suspending jerk baits around sloping gravel points and shorelines.
Several fish are still relating to main lake ledges where bigger deep
diving crankbaits, Texas and Carolina rigged worms are working. Hopping
a jig has also been producing some fish as have some swim baits when
fish are schooling on open water sandbars and running shad.
Backs of bays have a lot of shad roaming and tossing chrome variations
of Bill Lewis Rattle Traps, Strike King red-eyed shad, and shallow
running Bandit and Rapala crankbaits have accounted for some strikes as
have gold, willow-leaf spinnerbaits hurled over mudflats.
Shallow roadbeds and shady boat docks were providing some cover for
shallow fish where anglers are pitching jigs, imitation crawfish, and
casting shallow running crankbaits.
Surface action has been slow to materialize as the high skies are likely
a contributing factor to the slow bite for topwater. Some foggy mornings
have lured some baitfish to shallow gravel; however, as midge hatches
have attracted a few fish in the early morning and late afternoon hours.
With low lake levels comes exposed stumps and manmade crappie beds along
many shallow shorelines and bays and some bass are holding on the
visible cover but those areas have been pounded lately by both fun
fishermen and tournament anglers that have been out in force.
Catfish remain along the main river channel in depths of 20 to 30 feet.
There has not been much current lately but some fish are still relating
to the bridge piers at Paris Landing.
A few crappie fishermen are tying into catfish on a daily basis as the
fish move up toward shallow water that has cooled considerably in the
last week or so.
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.