Steve McCadams' Fishing Report
Cold Temps Curtail Fishing Scene; Warm Up Coming
Report for November 13, 2019
That screeching sound you heard earlier this week was Mother Nature slamming on the brakes to the Kentucky Lake fishing scene.
Bitter cold days followed rain and sleet earlier this week and in the aftermath of it all came a white landscape when snow covered the countryside. Temps dipped into the teens a few nights and daily rebounds were slow to regain a hold above the freezing mark at midweek but it appears a warmup is in the forecast.
Anglers were thawing out on Wednesday afternoon by this weekend temps continue a slow climb back toward the normal range with highs in the mid to upper 50's. Next week should see decent fall weather with highs forecast to reach the upper 50's and eclipse the 60-degree mark by Tuesday.
It has been another week when the region experienced a bit of all four seasons in a one week time frame!
Also falling this week have been Kentucky Lake's elevation levels. TVA projects the reservoir to fall back to the 354.4 range by this weekend, which is down about a foot or so from a week ago at this time in the Kentucky Dam area. Similar readings are also reported from upstream in the New Johnsonville sector.
Surface temperatures have dropped to the 42 to 45 degree range as bitter cold conditions have lingered for several days. Frigid nights have really influenced surface temps the last few days. Watch for a slight increase in temps by next week. Water color remains clear across the reservoir.
Most anglers yielded to the wrath of winter weather this week and tossed in the towel for a few days. North winds, sleet and snow added to drastically falling temperatures did not make for favorable fishing conditions. Wind chills have been brutal!
Last Sunday and Monday allowed decent days for crappie anglers to move about and work main lake areas where they found fish awaiting their arrival in the 8 to 13 foot depth ranges.
Some decent catches were taken by anglers stalking structure in the midrange depths. The fish seemed to bite pretty good on the leading edge of the cold front as a low pressure pushed in ahead of the dramatic weather change.
Anglers were having to make several stops as fish appeared to be a bit more scattered. Crappie were biting but seemed a bit more finicky last weekend but turned on pretty good Monday as winds switched to the west during the day before turning to the northwest by as the front approached.
Since Monday fishing conditions have deteriorated. Anglers retreated to the arm chairs and fireplaces, opting to stay ashore until southwest winds return and warmer days enter the forecast.
Fishing fever took a back seat and anglers were treating the symptoms as best they could. Watching a few fishing videos, reading a few magazines and riding it out as best they could.
Not to worry as the roller coaster is now swinging in favor of fishermen. Already underway is a warming trend that will bring anglers out of hibernation by this weekend.
With lower lake levels in the aftermath of the bitter cold front crappie may fall back to some deeper depths for a few days but slowly return to midrange depths as surface temps warm back toward the 50 degree range.
Odds are the bass and crappie fishing will be tough for a few days but improve slowly as the weather moderates. Fall fishing could see significant improvement by early next week if not sooner.
Report Information & Archives
Steve's reports cover Kentucky Lake from Paris Landing to New Johnsonville.
You can access Steve's previous fishing reports in our Fishing Report Archives.
About Steve McCadams
A member of the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame and Legends of the Outdoors, Steve McCadams is a professional guide and outdoor writer from Paris, Tenn.