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Brought to you by: Fishtale Lodge
September 2, 2009


Is fall arriving early? Sure seems so as the last two weeks have seen below average temperatures and low humidity with that fall feel. Almost everyone in the outdoors has been amazed and delighted with the weather.

Several mornings have required light jackets and shirt sleeve afternoons on the lake and that suits anglers just fine. Fall fishing is often overlooked and underrated and getting an early start on autumn angling is a bonus.

Kentucky Lakeís surface temperature responded to the cool snap too and dropped back down to the 78 to 82 degree range this week. It hasnít been that cool since back in May.

No doubt some warm days lay ahead but for now things are in pretty good shape for bass, crappie, and catfishermen stalking the placid waters.

Lake levels have fluctuated slightly this week but are pretty much on schedule for TVAís annual winter drawdown curve. At Kentucky Dam the elevation is in the 356.3 range. Upstream at New Johnsonville readings are in the 356.2 range.

After the Labor Day weekend water for lake levels to resume falling on a slow gradual basis. Water color remains clear over most of the reservoir.

Bass patterns continue to produce in a variety of ways ranging from shallow wood stickups to deep ledges on the main lake. Shad are beginning to migrate toward gravel banks too, especially in the late afternoon and early morning hours where shad colored crankbaits and assorted topwater presentations are working.

From jerk baits and buzzbaits to shallow crankbaits such as chrome/blue Rattle Traps, bass are relating to pea gravel and big chunk rock points, a transition that is typical of early fall activity.

Although milfoil grass has been scarce, some pondweed and spiny leaf vegetation has been holding bass and tossing a worm, spinnerbait, or weedless frog has produced. A lot of anglers are wondering where the grass has gone but biologists seem to think the extended spell of high water this spring curtailed growth for a variety of aquatic plants.

Some grass has been reported around Bass Bay and in the flats near Lick Creek but overall the milfoil beds are scarce.

A few anglers are still working jig and pig combos, big Texas rigged worms, swim baits, and deep diving crankbaits on ledges and finding fish still lingering in that summer pattern. A few smallmouth are showing up from ledges on the east side of the reservoir during the cool spell.

Crappie action was sluggish last week as the larger fish were reluctant to bite for most anglers stalking both manmade structure and natural cover in deep water. Several small fish were hitting but the larger fish were quite scattered with finicky strikes.

Watch for the crappie action to improve as surface temps continue to cool and north winds and high skies give in to the traditional southwest breeze and cloud cover. With the clear water now present shallow crappie will be finicky during midday but likely show more interest in early morning and late afternoon hours unless some rainy days enter the picture.

This time of year the crappie seem sensitive to bright sunlight due to the clear water. A chop on the water helps as it stimulates shad movement whereas those stagnant days make it pretty tough as the fish seem spooky.

Some keeper crappie were coming from 12 to 14 foot depths as anglers fished jigs in a vertical presentation over stakebeds. Tipping jigs with minnows or some scent attractant seemed to help. Expect to encounter legions of those feisty yellow bass this time of year as they have an aggressive appetite and constantly nag you with those machine-gun type bait stealing bites.

Catfishermen have been experiencing a little current lately in the main river as TVA has been discharging slowly and pulling water. Normally that helps the catfish bite but not many boats have been working the main channel this week.

Only scattered sightings of white bass have been reported with a few stripers showing up around the piers at Paris Landing bridge when current is present.

Some nice bluegill were biting around deeper piers and ledges where anglers were slowly crawling worms along the bottom and seeing consistent action from the powerful panfish that seemed to have dropped back to deeper areas but still sporting an appetite.

Fall fishing is about to kick into high gear as the Labor Day holiday period approaches and most of the pleasure boaters toss in the towel as their season draws to a close.

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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