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Brought to you by: Fishtale Lodge
September 16, 2010


Kentucky Lake’s fall fishing season continues to be overlooked and underrated by most anglers. The fishing has been good but not many people are on the lake, which is one of autumn angling’s many attributes.

Fall officially begins on Thursday but the fish have been in a transition for quite some time as cooler weather earlier in the month helped stimulate movement toward shallow areas for both shad and the bass and crappie that follow them.

A few warm days returned at midweek but cooler nights are in the forecast, which will help keep surface temps down, bringing more fish to shallow venues.

Surface temps are starting out in the 77 degree range each morning and warming to near 80 at midday. Water color remains clear as very little rain has fallen in the watershed so no runoff has occurred.

Lake levels are down slightly from last week at this time with readings of 355.8 at Kentucky Dam. Upstream at New Johnsonville Steam Plant the elevation was in the 355.6 range.

Crappie are hitting good in midrange depths as stakebeds and brushpiles in the 9 to 13 foot depth range are holding fish. I had some nice catches lately while tipping jigs with minnows and also applying Berkley Powerbait to just jig skirts to stimulate strikes.

Days when cloud cover was present and a light winds created some chop on the surface have made for nice fishing conditions and crappie reacted favorably. Some days it took a lot of stops but fish responded well and showed a preference for jigs tipped with live minnows.

The fish are relating well to structure and an occasional catfish and largemouth bass with an attitude were encroaching on the crappie beds where abundant shad appealed to them as well. Also, testing the strike meter were bluegill and aggressive yellow bass.

Popular color combos have been red/chartreuse, white/black, red/white, and orange/chartreuse. A few fish opted for blue/pearl at times but the live minnow seemed to enhance any color combination.

Watch for the crappie action to remain good in the weeks ahead as the stability in lake levels and weather should work in favor of anglers. Now is indeed a good time to go crappie fishing but many fishermen are “spring only” crappie anglers and miss out by not going this time of year.

Bass action was fair this week as some high skies and stagnant winds seemed to curtail midday activity by stubborn bass that were hitting mostly during the lowlight hours of early morning and late afternoon.

Like the crappie bite, bass action improved on days when cloud cover and light winds teamed up to stimulate baitfish movement.

Shad colored crankbaits tossed on shallow flats and gravel banks have produced as have spinnerbaits around shallow structure in the backs of bays where visible structure was present.

Topwater action was sluggish at midweek but will resume if rainy days and cloud cover return. Fish are still chasing shad on open flats at times where some schooling activity was scattered.

Boat docks and piers providing shade have produced a few fish as have shallow rip-rap levees and roadbeds.

Carolina rigged worms and lizards tossed around main lake ledges are still working too. The fish have shown a preference for Carolina rigs over some jig and pig combos and big crankbaits this week.

Current has been present a few days but inconsistent on the main river. Seems the main lake ledges are always holding bass this time of year and it’s trial and error as to what works best as to Texas rigged worms, deep diving crankbaits, jig and pig combos, swim baits and Carolina rigs.

Grass continues to evade bass fishermen in the Paris Landing area but is present south at the mouth of Birdsong and toward Perryville.

By the way, as lower lake levels enter the picture both pleasure boaters and anglers need to pay close attention to channel markers. This is not the time for taking shortcuts across sandbars or cutting corners around islands and sloping points.

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.

Gone Fishing