Cooler Days Descend; Overdue Fall Weather Finally Arrives
Written by Steve McCadams - Published on October 2, 2019
Bet you thought fall weather would never arrive! You weren't alone in your thoughts as Kentucky Lake anglers have been sweating it out for weeks now, anxiously awaiting a weather change.
Looks like a cool spell will escort the weekend's weather and finally chase away this hot and humid drought that has outworn its welcome across the TVA valley.
Temps are expected to fall for the next few days. Cool nights and rain are also part of the forecast. That's music to the ears of bass and crappie anglers.
Jackets and long sleeve shirts will now enter the picture for early morning fishing trips.
Surface temperatures lately on Kentucky Lake have risen back to the 82 to 84 degree range but will fall dramatically in the days ahead. By early next week readings should drop back to the 75 degree range. Consecutive nights of temps in the mid to upper 50's should have a positive influence.
Record high temperatures were recorded in many areas this week as September faded into October. Drought conditions have lingered as well.
Lake levels have dropped slightly since last week and are now resting at a low reading of 354.7. That low level is exposing several sandbars and stumps while also exposing shallow crappie beds for bass fishermen who love to target a shallow pattern.Water color remains clear as very little rain has fallen.
Despite the extended spell of hot weather since fall's arrival crappie fishing has held up well for anglers working midrange depths. There have been several good reports from anglers scoring limits of fish this week.
Depths of 9 to 12 feet are giving up some good crappie. That midrange depth zone appears to be holding a lot of baitfish activity and that's luring the crappie to their locale.
Productive patterns have ranged from anglers slow trolling crankbaits out over main lake areas in search of suspended crappie to those targeting stakebeds and brushpiles using a vertical technique where live minnows and jigs have paid dividends.
Most anglers are rising early and hitting the lake at daylight, getting in a few hours of fishing before the midday sun takes over and dictates the day.
Once this week's hot weather is in the rearview mirror anglers should enjoy some nice cool days with pleasant afternoons. Spending all day on the lake these last few weeks had not been an attractive thought. That's about to change!
Crappie fishing should continue to hold up as the fish have pretty much settled into that midrange depth range. There might be a few days of north to northeast winds due to the cold front but watch for nice stable weather to dominate the fishing scene by next week.
The last few weeks have been productive for crappie fishermen throughout the Big Sandy River area and around Paris Landing. Catches have been much better than last year at this time and the fish continue to display a healthy appearance.
The overall physiology of the crappie indicates a good forage base is present. That's good news for anglers, many of whom were not catching decent numbers back in the spring and early summer.
If you've been waiting for the fall crappie bite to turn on then wait no longer. Fishing has been good and now the weather will start cooperating it appears.
Bass anglers have been facing tough conditions but they too will benefit from the cool snap once surface temps fall back into the 70's.
Some of the better stringers of fish have been coming from anglers sticking to a summer pattern as they work main lake areas. Depths of 9 to 12 feet have been holding decent bass that are relating to structure on main lake ledges and flats.
Finding brush piles and other manmade structure in that midrange depths has been the most productive pattern. Tossing Texas rigged worms and crankbaits has paid off best.
The shallow bite has been sluggish but that comes as no surprise due to the hot weather and high surface temps.
Watch for more activity to occur in the days ahead around gravel banks, stickups, boat docks, roadbeds and rip-rap rock levees.
Increasing opportunities should start occurring for topwater enthusiasts too. Those endless gravel banks will start seeing fish move up as more schools of shad begin working the rocky areas in lowlight conditions.
Tossing Rattle Traps and Strike King's Red-Eye Shad style lures will help anglers cover a lot of water in search of some baitfish activity and schooling fish.
Extended hot weather has delayed the early fall pattern of shallow bass activity but that's about to change.It appears the jacket mornings and shirt sleeve days are finally here. May be time to dust off the raingear too!
Even if we have a few wet and cool days no one is likely to complain! Practically every angler on Kentucky Lake has had it with the summer doldrums
.Let the delayed days of autumn angling begin!