Pumpkin Month Was Different for Anglers
Written by Steve McCadams - Published on October 27, 2021
October is about to fade away on the calendar as a cold front pushes the pumpkin month away. For Kentucky Lake anglers it was a month with more changes than usual. Traditionally it’s a month with a reputation for stability in terms of weather patterns and lake levels.
Yet this year October offered some unusual changes that ranged from heat waves to wind. Fishermen will close out the month wearing coveralls as a cool snap is now in progress in the wake of another one that blew in on Tuesday after storms and gale winds on Monday across the region.
Lake levels this week have risen slightly after falling to a low ebb two weeks ago. Projected elevation for the weekend in the Kentucky Dam sector will see the reservoir resting around the 355.5 range.
Surface temperatures this week continued to fall as cool nights had an influence. Morning surface temps started off in the 62 degree range and warmed to 65 by midday. North to northeast winds several days this week have kept a chill in the air.
Water color is in good shape across most of the reservoir. Both Big Sandy and the Tennessee River area are sporting a good color for fishing.
Crappie fishermen are landing some nice size fish lately with a few hefty ones exceeding the 1 ¼-1 ½ pound mark. Although some limits have been taken, most anglers are not landing limits but still finding enough fish to keep their coolers impressive.
Depths of 9 to 13 feet are giving up decent crappie. Some fish have been taken in West Sandy and Big Sandy in shallow areas such as 6 to 8 feet but down around the Paris Landing sector the fish seemed to prefer the deeper midrange depths.
Boaters working the deeper main lake ledges when the wind allows them have not managed to locate consistent numbers of fish relating to the deeper drop-offs.
Anglers using single pole presentations armed with both live minnows and jigs have managed to score decent stringers when stalking manmade fish attractors. As has been the case this fall they’re having to knock on a lot of doors as the fish have not been concentrated.
Other techniques such as spider rig presentations trolled slowly over structure and along secondary drops have done well too.
Some success has also been reported by a few anglers backing off from their beds and casting jigs. The technique has worked at times, especially if some areas had clear water and if light winds were calm for casting.
Bass fishing has been slow to fair as the bulk of anglers are struggling to catch limits. That has been the case for most of the fall.
Tossing shad colored crankbaits plus some swim baits and curly tail grubs has worked at times. However, the traditional patterns of shallow water structure where spinnerbaits, shallow running crankbaits and early morning and late afternoon topwater have not been effective.
It will interesting to see how the cooler surface temperatures now entering the picture will help the bass picture.
Nice stringers of catfish are still coming in for those anglers who know how to find the balls of baitfish out on the Tennessee River channel. The fall catfish bite has held up quite well but not a lot of boats have been out there participating in the active bite.
Late fall fishing may require anglers to don the raingear and coveralls at times but November can deliver some good fishing opportunities here on the big pond.