Brought to you by:
September 27, 2012
FALL CRAPPIE ACTION HEATS UP AS SURFACE TEMPS COOL
It was the first week of fall and Kentucky Lake crappie anglers got off
to a good start with a mixture of weather conditions confronting them.
Seasons officially changed last Saturday and this week’s autumn angling
saw some calm days and cool mornings followed by a windy warm up at
midweek. The overall fishing scene has been a good one with some hefty
stringers of crappie coming from the 9 to 14 foot depth range.
Good numbers of fish were showing up for anglers working jigs and jigs
tipped with minnows over manmade fish attractors in the midrange depths
but there have been some good fish taken on the deep side of main lake
I found some good numbers of keeping size crappie relating to structure
in the midrange depths this week and cooler surface temperatures likely
pulled more fish to shallow venues at midweek. Rising lake levels late
last week probably influenced some fish to move up to shallow flats as
lots of baitfish were present.
Surface temps this week were in the 72 to 75 degree range, a slight cool
down from last week at this time. Water color remains clear.
Lake levels have been falling slowly this week after a slight surge in
elevation last week. The reservoir was changing several inches each day
as TVA was pulling a lot of water and attempting to get lake levels back
down to normal curve for early fall elevation.
Projected elevation going into the weekend for the Kentucky Dam area
will be 356.3, which is down almost a foot from last week. Upstream at
New Johnsonville the elevation will be in the 356.2 range.
Current has been present all week in the main Tennessee River channel so
that has helped catfishermen and even some bass and crappie anglers
Crappie improved throughout the week and showed increased interest
levels. There are good numbers of 2 ˝ and 3 ˝-year classes out there
right now so you can catch a lot of fish. Several fish require
measurement as to the 10-inch minimum length limit but there’s no
doubting the hefty number of fish sporting an appetite.
Popular jig color combinations have been black/red, red/white, and some
blue/chartreuse just to name a few. Adding minnows to jigs has enticed
bites when fish were finicky and Berkley crappie nibbles have helped
Watch for action to hold up with for the next several weeks as more fish
move up shallow in response to cooler surface temperatures that pull
shad toward shallows. This fall crappie gig is a good one so don’t let
this great season pass you by. Weather has been great and there aren’t
many people on the lake so it’s quite pleasant out there.
Bass fishermen continue to find fish around submerged grass on the
shallow sides of sandbars. The fragmented grass patches seem to be
holding good numbers of fish that are chasing shad up into the shallow
areas but hanging around the drop-off in-between feeding sprees.
Tossing spinnerbaits, Rattle Traps, and fluke style jerk baits has
worked well around the grass patches in 4 to 6 foot depths.
Some shallow sandbars are also appealing to schooling bass that are
running shad in the early morning and late afternoon. Shallow running
crankbaits have worked well for this pattern and watch for the presence
of gulls to help you located the baitfish and overall activity.
A few boat continue to hold on to the summer pattern of main lake ledges
where tossing big crankbaits and Texas rigged worms continues to produce
fish. Hopping a jig and craw has worked there too.
Gravel banks in Big Sandy have given up some bass this week too as
casting shad colored crankbaits and tossing some topwater at times has
paid off. Some suspending jerk baits have paid off too as the fall
season often sees good bass move up on the gravel shorelines in pursuit
of shad that feed on the midge hatches that occur in the early morning
and late afternoon periods.
There have been some decent stringers taken in shallow water the last
week or so.
Catfishing has been decent this week courtesy of the current present in
the main river. Boats have been drifting slowly along the edge of the
main channel but those feeder creeks that empty into the main channel
have been popular places as the fish often hang in deeper holes and wait
for the current to wash baitfish their way.
Fall has gotten off to a good start for bass and crappie anglers with
several good weeks ahead. The nice weather and good fishing are a tough
combination to beat. Kentucky Lake shorelines are starting to show a
little color in the trees too so the scenery is yet another reason to
get out and about.
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.