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Brought to you by: Fishtale Lodge
September 9, 2010


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 days ahead.

Water color remains clear across most of the reservoir due to a lack of rainfall.

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 producing.

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 at times.

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 fish!

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