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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 showing up.

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 lowlight conditions.

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.

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Also check out our past:
Kentucky Lake Fishing Reports

Steve McCadams
 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.
Gone Fishing