Fishing Scene About to Take on Frigid Feel
Written by Steve McCadams - Published on November 8, 2022
Time to dig deep in the closet and come out with some insulated coveralls, toboggans, sweat shirts, insulated underwear and dust off those thick gloves. Winter weather is in the process of kicking down the door!
Kentucky Lake’s fishing scene has experienced a long honeymoon with unseasonably warm weather that delivered wonderful fishing conditions the last two to three weeks. Light winds have been part of the equation too, with the exception of last Saturday’s nasty gale that passed through rather quickly.
Looks like the weather is in the process of showing us just how quick things can change. Fishermen have grown complacent lately with fall’s nice fishing conditions. However, we all knew it couldn’t last forever.
Dramatic change was expected to begin on Friday as strong winds were escorting a cold front that’s forecast to send temps plummeting below the freezing mark on both Saturday and Sunday nights.
The weekend highs were only expected to reach the low 40’s. Frigid temps will call the shots both nights. Cool conditions are expected to linger throughout next week too. So the cold spell will be in no hurry to leave, which will curtail the fishing scene for bass, crappie and catfishermen for several days.
On Tuesday temps climbed to the 80-degree mark across much of the Kentucky Lake region. Winds were stagnant and the big pond had placid waters all over.
Crappie and catfishermen have been reporting decent catches too all across the reservoir. Bass fishing has been a bit sluggish.
Lake levels have remained stable as very little rain has fallen across the region these last few weeks. Readings forecast for the weekend indicate the reservoir will remain around the winter pool elevation of 354.5 in the Kentucky Dam sector.
That reading has been the norm for several weeks now. Water color remains clear.
Surface temperatures for the first week to ten days of November are above average. At midweek surface temps were hanging around the 61 to 63 degree range.
Watch for a dramatic decline by early next week as nighttime temps are forecast to fall below the freezing mark.
Crappie anglers have chalked up some pretty good stringers the last week to ten days. Winds have been nice to anglers for the most part and allowed them to venture about. A lot of boats are working the open water areas of the main lake which are often vulnerable to high winds.
Depths of 9 to 12 feet have given up decent numbers recently and have paid dividends above what most anglers were seeing in September and most of October.
Some boats were reporting a few good size fish taken in deeper structure such as the 18 to 20 foot zone.
Overall the bite these last two weeks has been good from a variety of depth ranges.
Most anglers are tightlining jigs over manmade fish attractors such as brushpiles and stakebeds. Live minnows have been part of the equation too.
That midrange depth zone of 9 to 12 feet usually begins to pay off starting in early September. However, this fall the shallow to midrange bite seemed sluggish at times as fish chose to stay in a deeper comfort zone. Just recently anglers have seen significant improvement in that midrange zone.
There have been a few boats casting jigs over shallow to midrange structure and catching enough to keep them well satisfied. However, most of the successful anglers are crediting their technique to vertical presentations of both jigs and live minnows.
Catfishermen have managed to catch enough to keep them interested despite a sluggish flow in the main Tennessee River. Most of the time current is the key to an aggressive catfish bite as it stimulates shad activity.
Depths of 30 to 45 feet have been giving up decent stringers this fall. The late fall bite should continue but it will be interesting to see how the approaching cold spell alters the catfishing scene as well as all the other fishing.
Bass anglers have been tossing variations of shad colored crankbaits with mediocre results. Gravel banks and rip-rap rocks along roadbeds have given up a few scattered fish.
A few anglers are still targeting fall smallmouth and fishing sloping ledges and sandbars on the east side of the reservoir with everything from hair jigs to small grubs and crankbaits. A few nice ones have been taken but overall numbers have been low.
Anglers may have to endure some cold days and north to northeast winds for a few days along with some high skies. That high pressure could be challenging for everyone for a spell.
Meanwhile, cold days may deal the cards for a few days but hang in there. Mild weather will soon return.