Late Summer Fishing Scene Fair; Fall Fast Approaching
Written by Steve McCadams - Published on August 28, 2019
Kentucky Lake’s late summer fishing scene hasn’t been too bad this week thanks to some cloudy days that help filter out that hot August sun. Actually, the mornings have been pretty nice and the weatherman indicates lower humidity is in the forecast as the Labor Day holiday period approaches.
Lake levels continue on a path of slow drawdown as TVA implements its schedule toward winter pool by late fall. Elevation this week has been in the 356.6 range, which is down a few inches from last week at this time but normal for this time of year.
Surface temperatures have stayed around the 83 degree range this week. Water color remains clear across most of the reservoir.
Catfishing along the main river channel banks has held up for a few anglers bumping the bottom in depths of 25 to 35 feet. Nightcrawlers have been the bait of choice but a few anglers have also reported using chicken livers and big minnows.
When a slow current is present the fishing has been pretty good. Most summer catfishermen depend on the current to stimulate baitfish activity as the shad move around feeding on zooplankton. Without the current the bite is usually below average.
Crappie anglers have scored a few catches lately by hitting the water early and tossing in the towel by midday. Some fish were taken in depths of 12 to 14 feet as fishermen worked submerged stakebeds and brushpiles in mid-depth range.
Live minnows have produced well as have some 1/16-ounce jigs tipped with minnows. Using some Berkley Power Bait tipped on jigs has worked at times but the fish seem to show a preference in late summer for live minnows.
A few boats were trolling crankbaits out over main lake sandbars while others targeted some deeper depths of 18 to 25 feet with mediocre success.
Bass fishing has been slow to fair at times. A few fish were taken recently in relatively shallow areas if schools of pin minnows were located around visible crappie beds and other stickups. Some boat houses and docks were holding a few fish too but finding the baitfish has been the key.
Summer patterns of main lake ledges have also produced at times. Boaters have tossed big deep diving crankbaits, big Texas rigged worms, jig and pig combos and swim baits along river bars.
Last weekend anglers reported some big mayfly hatches scattered across the reservoir. That always attracts a few bass to steep shoreline banks where bluegill, shad and all sorts of species come to partake of the natural buffet.
Cooler weather isn’t here just yet but every day makes the fall transition that much closer. Soon cooler surface temps will see more crappie and bass moving up. Hold on; fall is fast approaching!