Anglers Get Good News: Reprieve from Hot Weather Coming
Written by Steve McCadams - Published on August 10, 2022
Fishermen and pretty much all outdoorsmen from pleasure boaters to campers have some good news coming our way.
According to the long range forecast we’ve got a reprieve coming from the long drawn out spell of heat and humidity that’s dominated the Kentucky Lake fishing scene now for about two months. Cooler days are coming!
By next week the weatherman is forecasting temps to fall into the mid to low 60’s at night with daytime highs topping out in the low 80’s. Some forecasts are even showing temps cooler than that!
A little touch of fall is long overdue. The fishing scene has been at the mercy of unruly hot summer weather that has dictated when and how anglers could fish. In fact, a lot of people have chosen not to go this summer, yielding to the high temperatures that take the fun out of fishing when it’s too hot to stay out there on the lake.
While there’s always a few die-hard fishermen willing to brave the elements, rising in the wee hours of the morning and logging a few hours of fishing before the sun rises high in the sky, the overall population and John Q. Public just can’t tolerate extended days of high heat.
That’s been the case this summer for a lot of folks who’ve opted to avoid the sultry conditions out there that made even late afternoon pontoon rides somewhat of a challenge. There have been a few opportunities but overall it has been a mean summer.
That’s why legions of anglers and recreationalists are anxious to see the forthcoming change. Even if it’s a rare visit in mid-August a touch of fall will be embraced by a multitude of lake dwellers.
Meanwhile, several days of rain have broken the drought cycle across the region. Thunderstorms and some gusty winds at times sort of upset the applecart for boaters and fishermen out on Kentucky Lake at times.
Lake levels this week are hanging around the 357.5 range, which is down very little from last week at this time. Water color remains clear across the reservoir.
Surface temperatures are holding around the 87 to 90 degree range.
Recent rains across the TVA valley have kept ample current in the main Tennessee River channel as TVA has been pushing some 39,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) of water through Kentucky Dam some days. That’s keep plenty of current out there for catfishing too.
Some nice stringers have been reported this week although the number of boats seen testing the water has been somewhat below normal.
A few catfishermen have reported finding some fish up on top of the main lake sandbars at times and catching them shallow but near deep water. Using slip bobbers they’ve scored decent catches at times out there. Several reported using hot dogs dipped in various marinades that enticed the bites from roaming catfish.
Nightcrawlers always seem to produce but there are veteran catfishermen who rely on their own concoctions to both add color to their bait along with garlic scents and other spices to draw the catfish to their hook.
With consistent current there are still some boaters playing the main channel areas and looking for balls of baitfish on their sonar units. Once they locate the shad then seem to find the catfish. Depths have varied and sometimes the fish are suspended in pursuit of their forage base.
Some target the deep confines of 40 to 50 feet or more but others just watch where the balls of shad are hanging out and adjust accordingly. Most will tell you that bumping the bottom is not always the most productive zone.
A few crappie have been taken by anglers testing brushpiles and stakebeds in 12 to 16 foot depths. The fish have been finicky according to most anglers.
Several boaters using Livescope sonar report seeing several fish at times relating tight to structure but unwilling to bite. Others report seeing the fish respond and chase a jig but just not willing to commit to biting.
Both live minnows and jigs have been producing a few fish but anglers have experimented with colors and there doesn’t seem to be any magic one working on the stubborn summer crappie.
From the bass fishing department comes a few success stories of anglers working main lake ledges on the east side of the lake as they target smallmouth. Some are resorting to night fishing throughout the hot summer months.
Seems the ledge bite has improved a bit the last week or so courtesy of additional current. That’s stimulated more movement from schools of shad and bass are moving with them.
There were some scattered reports of white bass schooling and busting the surface in pursuit of shad. When that’s observed odds are some largemouth or smallmouth are part of the pursuit.
Ledges that are near the main channel have been the most productive as to finding any chance of surface feeding frenzies and schooling activity.
Odds are a lot more pontoons, fishing boats and just overall lakers will be out next week partaking of the cool spell that’s likely to stimulate interest.