SEPTEMBER START REMINDS ANGLERS SUMMERíS STILL HERE
Kentucky Lake anglers turned the calendar pages this week, saying
goodbye to August but it appears Septemberís start reminded anglers
summer is still in charge.
Warm weather remains in the forecast as the long Labor Day weekend
arrives, which is good news for a lot of recreational boaters, swimmers,
and skiers wanting one last fling before summer loses its grip. The warm
weekend ahead should be to their liking.
A look at the big weather picture shows the jet stream jumping back to
our north, which is why warmer conditions have dominated. Back in August
we got a reprieve with fall like conditions for a few days. Not to
worry, however, as cooler days will return soon.
Surface temperatures this week have been in the 80 to 83 degree range.
As days grow shorter and another cool spell enters the forecast anglers
will see the water fall back into the mid 70ís soon and that will
stimulate fall fishing patterns.
Lake levels have fallen slowly this week after a slight rise of a few
inches earlier in the week and are back down around the 356.1 range at
Kentucky Dam. Upstream at New Johnsonville elevation is forecast to be
in the 359.1 range this weekend. Water color remains clear.
Aquatic vegetation is abundant in the shallow flats and backwater bays
up and down the Tennessee River. Not as much vegetation is present in
the Big Sandy embayment.
Bass anglers are targeting the massive grassbeds and searching for
baitfish. Most anglers hitting the water during the early morning hours
or late afternoon are tossing topwater such as weedless frogs, floating
fluke style worms, jerk baits and buzzbaits.
When the sun is up and lowlight conditions fade away most are turning to
Texas rigged worms, spinnerbaits, and ripping rattle trap style baits
around the parameters where submerged grass mats are deeper or near cuts
A few boats are still banging away at main lake ledges with the typical
summer menu presentation of swim baits, big Texas rigged worms, deep
diving crankbaits, jig and craw combos and Carolina or Alabama rigs.
Warm surface temps and slow falling lake levels seemed to help the ledge
bite a few days.
Crappie have been caught this week in midrange depths of 11 to 14 feet
by anglers using vertical presentations of jigs and jigs tipped with
minnows or Berkley power bait. The overall bite has been fair although
big numbers are not being reported.
Most anglers are working stakebeds and brushpiles in the midrange depths
but having to make several different stops in their quest to find a few
scattered keeper size fish. Others are slow trolling crankbaits over
main lake drop-offs and finding a few fish taking chartreuse colored
deep diving plugs.
The fish have been a bit sluggish at midday once the sun rises and winds
die down. Once cloudy days and cool weather returns watch for activity
Schools of shad have begun to move up toward shallow flats already and
the crappie will be hot on their trail with a surge in interest levels
during the weeks ahead as surface temps fall back a few degrees.
The shallow bite hasnít taken off just yet but be patient; itís coming
with the next cool front.
From the catfish department have some mediocre reports. Not many anglers
have been scoring big stringers as of late. A slight amount of current
has been present too in the main river channel, a scenario that usually
stimulates the bite.
Fall fishing patterns have yet to materialize but all it takes are a few
cool days and chilly nights to start the transition.
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.