Winter Officially Begins Next Wednesday
Written by Steve McCadams - Published on December 14, 2022
Winter doesn’t officially begin until next Wednesday on the calendar but it has a way of slipping in the door early at times. Now is one of those times as a drastic change in weather conditions is already in progress across a large portion of the country and a cold front is indeed dipping deep into Dixie.
Everyone here in Tennessee will be putting another log on the fire for the next several days as cold temperatures will dominate the long range forecast. The weatherman is even mentioning the word “snow” as a strong possibility in there somewhere!
The forecast is going to curtail activity for Kentucky Lake’s fishing scene to some degree. For the last two weeks or more fishermen have had almost ideal conditions for late fall outings. Light winds. Warm days.
So the honeymoon with abnormally warm weather and stagnant winds lately is about to draw to a close. Fisherman, cannot complain, however as the bite has been good. Crappie fishermen have racked up some pretty impressive stringers these last couple of weeks.
Seems when the fishermen excel the duck and deer hunters’ luck sort of diminishes. Warm foggy mornings with no wind are not a friend to waterfowlers but somewhat of a blessing this time of year for anglers hoping to fish the open waters of Kentucky Lake where wind deals the cards.
Meanwhile, lake levels have seen minor fluctuations recently in the aftermath of overdue rains. The reservoir did rise a few inches last week but quickly fell back to a low ebb of winter pool. However, rains the last few days have put more water back into the system and the reservoir started back up slowly to a 354.7 level.
Tennessee Valley Authority has been pushing a lot of water through Kentucky Dam these last few days. Discharge rates have been around 122,000 cfs (cubic feet per second) and has put a lot of current in the main channel area.
Water color has been relatively clear despite the rains. Surface temperatures have been around in the 49 to 51 degree range. Watch for that to change dramatically in the days ahead as night time temps are expected to be below freezing with day time highs reluctant to climb past the upper 30’s and low 40’s in the long range forecast.
Crappie taken the last few weeks have come from a variety of depths with midrange water accounting for the bulks of fish taken. Depths of 9 to 13 feet had given up decent numbers but so had some deeper structure in the 17 to 20 foot depth range at times.
Most credit their catches to vertical presentations of jigs but there have been a few success stories coming in from anglers who opted to cast jigs and the slow retrieve techniques seemed to work well.
Both tube jigs, hair jigs and twister tail grubs have paid dividends for those casting.
Tightline techniques for those bumping bottom and double hook rigs using both jigs and minnows have accounted for fish too.
During the long spell of calm days out there boats had the freedom to slowly work main lake areas and put the bait right in front of finicky fish, which resulted in stimulating bites from some pretty good size slabs.
Pictures circulating helped confirm the bragging rights of successful anglers. Both nice size and decent numbers were coming in from the Paris Landing sector and elsewhere up Big Sandy.
With the arrival of nasty weather now entering the picture odds are the number of anglers braving the elements will greatly diminish.
The transition of seasons will take place next week as winter plans to show up with a vengeance. Mild days will return sooner or later but looks like winter weather will take charge for a spell.