Brought to you by: Fishtale Lodge
September 9, 2009
Kentucky Lake anglers are chalking up some pretty
good stringers of crappie and bass lately. Nice weather continues to
work in favor of fishermen who have seen light winds and moderate
temperatures linger as fall patterns arrive.
Lake levels began falling slowly after Labor Day and TVA will continues
its slow drawdown toward winter pool in the weeks ahead. A few recent
thunderstorms dropped a lot of water quickly in the region and after a
brief rise is lake levels the slow fall has resumed.
Presently, lake elevation at Kentucky Dam is 356. Upstream at New
Johnsonville elevation is in the 355.9 range. The reservoir is falling
slowly on a daily basis barring any heavy rains.
Surface temps have warmed slightly since last week and are in the 79 to
84 degree range. Water color remains clear across most of the reservoir.
Crappie action has improved with some nice stringers coming from the 10
to 14 foot zone. Anglers vertical fishing jigs in the 1/16 to 1/8-ounce
range tipped with either minnows or various scent attractant are
consistently catching fish.
Popular jig colors have been painted leadheads in the red, white, orange
and black armed with blue/pearl, orange/chartreuse, chartreuse with red
metal flake, and some light aqua blue with sparkle just to name a few.
Shad have really entered shallow flats and midrange depths and the
crappie are hot on their trail as recent cooling trends stimulated an
early fall transition toward shallow venues. That doesnít mean all the
fish have left deep drop-offs but there has been significant movement
toward midrange depths.
Some anglers were still using double-hook bottom bumping rigs armed with
minnows or jigs tipped with minnows on main lake drop-offs. Depths of 15
to 20 feet were giving up some scattered fish with an occasional catfish
adding a bonus to the cooler.
A lot of fish are in the 10 to 11 inch range with a few exceeding the
one pound threshold. Expect to measure a few fish and toss some short
ones back but hey, thatís a good sign as there are several year classes
There are some good weeks ahead for crappie anglers so donít overlook
the fall bite.
Bass have been chasing shad around shallow grassbeds and along some pea
gravel shorelines. A few were schooling on shallow flats near the main
river channel too where a combination of smallmouth, white bass,
largemouth, and even a striper or two were getting in on the chase.
Anglers were working the ledges with swim baits, Rattle Traps in the
chrome and blue color, big shad colored crankbaits and some spoons. And,
tossing a jig and pig or a Carolina rigged worm has worked too.
Some shallow grass it showing up as water levels fall and expose
vegetation in the back of bays. And, some lush coon tail moss and
pondweed is out here and barely submerged in some shallow areas.
Working topwater jerk baits and shallow running crankbaits over the
grass has yielded some strikes as have floating flukes and some
suspending jerk baits such as Smithwickís Rogue.
Tossing a blue/chartreuse spinnerbait around the submerged grass has
also delivered results.
As water temps cool watch for increased surface action along the pea
gravel banks in the late afternoon and just after daylight. The shad
will be there flicking as they feed on those tiny midges that hatch in
Other patterns producing have been some crankbaits worked around bridge
piers and rip-rap when current is present. The lower lake levels will
continue to work in favor of those gravel point patterns as well.
For The Lake Barkley Report
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.