Late Fall Fishing Update
Written by Steve McCadams - Published on December 4, 2019
Kentucky Lake anglers have been playing the weather, watching and waiting for decent days when light winds and mild temperatures descend. Lately, they've been rewarded with a few nice days that allowed some pretty good fishing conditions sandwiched in-between and rainy and windy one now and then.
Lake levels at midweek were in the 355.9 range in the Kentucky Dam area as the reservoir has been rising slowly since some heavy rains across the region last week. TVA is pushing a lot of water through the system, resulting in considerable current now present in the main Tennessee River channel.
The reservoir had been down around its low ebb of winter pool in late November but has risen above that lately and is now almost two feet above the low mark. Water color is clear across the reservoir.
Surface temperatures are staying around the 47 to 50 degree range.
Crappie fishermen have scored some decent catches lately. Most report fish are deeper than they were a couple of weeks ago as anglers are backing off the deep sides of make lake ledges and working the 18 to 22 foot depths.
Bottom bumping with double hook rigs armed with live shiner minnows has paid dividends as have single jig presentations. The fish are relating to deep structure off the drop-offs and showing interest in jigs and jigs tipped with minnows.
Some of the more productive color combinations have been red/chartreuse, pink/pearl, black/chartreuse, blue/white and similar variations. Painted leadheads in the fluorescent green, pink and red have been appealing as well.
Guide Andy Hicks reported catching some good size fish last week in the mouth of Big Sandy while working main lake ledges. He said the grade of fish was good with several fish taken in the 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 pound range.
Elsewhere boats working midrange stakebeds and brushpiles were not finding big numbers in the 8 to 12 foot depths. That can change if mild weather returns and surface temps warm to the extent schools of shad move up to shallow zones and bring the crappie with them.
From the late fall bass fishermen comes little word of success. Not many boats have encountered consistent fishing lately but an occasional smallmouth has been taken now and then by anglers tossing grubs along rock bluffs and ledges.
There's been a lot of current present on the main river channel lately as TVA is pulling a lot of water through Kentucky Dam in an attempt to get the reservoir back down to normal winter pool elevation.
Anglers can expect current to remain present for another week or so.