Brought to you by: Fishtale Lodge
September 9, 2010
SURFACE TEMPS FALL AS FISHING FEVER RISES
Both the fish and the fishermen welcomed cooler conditions earlier this
week that put a touch of fall in the air. Long sleeve shirt mornings
have returned to the fishing scene.
No doubt the crappie and bass responded by moving to some shallow areas
after leaving their summer hideouts in deep water.
Surface temps dropped this week thanks to cooler nights and returned to
the upper 70ís for the first time since late spring. Readings at midweek
were in the 78 to 81 degree range, which is some ten degrees cooler when
compared to a month ago.
Lake levels continue a slow but gradual fall as TVA advances its curve
for winter drawdown of reservoirs to create additional storage capacity.
Elevation at Kentucky Dam will be 356.1 this weekend. Upstream at New
Johnsonville readings are a bit lower with projections of 355.8 in the
Water color remains clear across most of the reservoir due to a lack of
Crappie action improved lately in midrange depths, a likely response to
both cloud cover and cooler conditions. Depths of 9 to 13 feet were
giving up fish as more shad have entered shallow zones and the fish
arenít far behind.
Stakebeds and brushpiles in the midrange zone were giving up crappie
this week whereas last week the areas were pretty much void of keeper
size fish. Baits of choice have been jigs tipped with minnows.
Several fish were taking just jigs in a variety of color combos ranging
from blue/pearl to red/white, chartreuse with red sparkle, motor oil
with gold glitter, and some orange/chartreuse, just to name a few.
Adding Berkley Power Bait to jigs seemed top stimulate some strikes too.
Deeper ledges in the main lake were still holding on to crappie too as
the 17 to 20 foot zone harbored fish that were relating tight to stumps
and brush. Live minnows fished on double hook bottom bumping rigs were
It appears crappie have already begun their fall transition toward
shallow areas and will linger there for several weeks. The cloudy days
will help the shallow bite, especially when mixed with a little chop on
the water as light breezes seem to stimulate movement of algae and
plankton, which stirs up baitfish activity.
Bass are on the move too as more fish are chasing shad on shallow flats
and gravel banks. Some fish have been schooling and showing periods of
surface activity as they blow up on the shad in shallow areas.
Tossing chrome colored Rattle Traps, Rooster Tails, and shallow running
shad colored crankbaits have produced as have some topwater jerk baits
Gravel banks are beginning to hold bass too as that early morning and
late afternoon midge hatch will trigger some surface activity. Such
lures as Stormís Chugg-Bug and Rebelís Pop-R are two popular choices.
Main lake ledges are still paying dividends as tossing Carolina and
Texas rigged worms are working well as are some big deep diving
crankbaits. A little current has been present and that helps ledge
fishing around the main river channel.
Grass patterns continue to evade anglers as there is not much aquatic
vegetation visible in the Paris Landing area but some Eurasian
watermilfoil and spiny leaf is present down south of New Johnsonville
near the mouth of Birdsong. Further south toward Perryville anglers will
also encounter more grass in shallow areas.
Meanwhile, shallow patterns such as visible crappie beds, boat docks and
piers, and roadbeds are now appealing to fish since lower lake levels
have left shoreline habitat high and dry.
Catfish were being caught around Paris Landing Bridge this week and
elsewhere along the Tennessee River channel as current was working in
favor of anglers. Depths of 20 to 30 feet were producing. Baits of
choice were large shiner minnows, nightcrawlers, and chicken liver.
Fall is knocking on the door and while a few more warm days will come
and go, the cooler nights will help the disposition of everyone. Now
that Labor Day has come and gone the recreational boat traffic will
subside and crowds at the boat ramp will disappear.
It is indeed a good time of the year to be on the lake. Quite and
peaceful are two attributes that blend well with a good stringer of
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.