Late Summer Fishing Scene
Written by Steve McCadams - Published on September 2, 2022
Fishermen across the Kentucky Lake fishing scene have managed to stay hot on the trail of catfish lately as that’s been the best thing going. Crappie and bass appear to be a bit sluggish for most anglers as of late.
There was a time when late August and early September offered prime time fishing for schooling white bass up and down the lake. Baitfish schools would roam over sandbars and occupy the surface of the water as they roamed about feeding on plankton.
That attracted the feisty white bass who busted the surface of placid water in the midst of a feeding frenzy. Like a pack of lions the white bass would bust up the schools that ventured out over shallow sandbars.
Finding white bass, or stripes as most people referred to them, in the jumps offered fast action. It was one of Kentucky Lake’s finest fishing hours as once surface activity was encountered the aggressive white bass would hit just about anything anglers tossed their way.
In the opinions of most anglers it was about as good as fishing could get. Unfortunately, schools of white bass are rarely seen nowadays by fishermen. There are a few now and then but not consistent enough for many boaters to target them as was the case in times past.
Anglers on the north end of the lake seem to still find a few schools show up but down in the Paris Landing sector and further south they are somewhat scarce.
Meanwhile, lake levels have been falling slowly as Tennessee Valley Authority continues its curve for a slow drawdown as fall approaches.
Lake levels are projected to be in the 356.2 range as the Labor Day holiday weekend approaches. Water color has been relatively clear across the reservoir despite a few heavy rains earlier this week. Surface temperatures have been in the 85 to 88 degree range.
As lake levels fall slowly it has kept decent current in the main Tennessee River channel. That’s sustained the bite for catfish too.
Several boats have been landing nice stringers of blue and channel catfish. Depth ranges producing have been anywhere from 35 to 45 feet but there are times when the fish have moved up as they follow the schools of shad.
Several anglers have mastered the art of finding balls of baitfish on their sonar screens and locating catfish right there with them.
Still producing have been nightcrawlers plus chicken livers and other bait concoctions where anglers used hotdogs soaked in a marinades of garlic and other ingredients that catfish seemed to love.
The bite should continue to hold up for several more weeks.
Crappie anglers report finding a few scattered fish but very few limits have been taken throughout the hot summer months. Depths of 18 to 25 feet where deep structure such as brushpiles and stumps could be located has held on to a few fish.
Most have been using live shiner minnows but jigs have worked at times too. Anglers report schooling crappie have been tough to come by this summer but there have been a few anglers finding enough fish to keep their interest levels pretty high.
Seems there always a few crappie lingering in midrange depths if anglers can located enough structure. Depths of 12 to 14 feet have given up a few scattered fish lately. It has taken a lot of stops to accumulate a mess of fish at times and a few reports indicate several small fish are showing up, which is not all bad as the fall season approaches.
Watch for more fish to begin moving up as fall approaches and cooler surface temperatures enter the picture.
Bass fishermen have continued to fight the battle and slug it out in the trenches. Not many anglers have scored limits as of late.
Those encountering a few decent size fish have been mostly working main lake ledges with a combination of big crankbaits, Texas and Caroline rigged worms, some big spoons and also tossing swim baits.
Putting a consistent pattern together has not been in the cards for most bass anglers lately.
For those keeping score of fall’s arrival the seasons officially change on September 22. Hold on as cooler days are coming.