Steve McCadams' Fishing Report
Cold Front Puts Brakes on Fall Bite
Report for December 2, 2020
Bitter north winds, snow flakes and falling temperatures pretty much put the brakes on what had been good fall fishing conditions on Kentucky Lake. Throughout most of November anglers enjoyed mild weather and light winds.
The honeymoon with unseasonably nice weather came to a halt earlier this week when frigid temperatures slipped in the door and put a real chill on the local fishing scene.
Anglers knew it couldn’t last forever. Last Sunday night the bottom fell out and winter weather has arrived and doesn’t seem to be in much of a hurry to depart. It appears the coveralls will now go on active duty status!
Temps dropped below the freezing mark several nights and have barely managed to rebound to the low 40’s while struggling to cross 50-degree threshold.
Currently lake levels are dancing around the 354.6 range. A minor rise in lake levels occurred earlier this week after some rain but nothing to speak of.
Water color remains clear across the reservoir. Reflecting the intrusion of frigid temps has been a drop in surface temps as well. Surface temps fell to the 48 degree range at midweek and dipped below the 50-degree mark for the first time this fall.
Riding a wave of success prior to the arrival of the cold spell were both catfishermen and crappie anglers. And, a few bass boats were tearing up the water and finding an occasional smallmouth testing their tackle.
Meanwhile, last week saw some hefty stringers of crappie taken all across the Paris Landing and Big Sandy region. Several boats were also testing the waters of West Sandy.
A few anglers reported catching limits while targeting the 8 to 13 foot depth range. Good size fish were caught too.
Crappie continue to show that a good forage base of shad is present this fall. The physiology of the fish indicates there’s ample food on the table as crappie are sporting bulging bellies and that’s good news for the fishery.
Catches were credited to both jigs and live minnows. Seems the fish were biting and both type bait presentations were paying dividends.
Warm days last week and calm winds saw a few foggy mornings dominate the fishing scene but the sun quickly warmed things up and the fog dissipated to reveal a calm lake awaiting the arrival of midmorning fishermen.
Anglers continue to stalk structure in the midrange depths such as stakebeds and brushpiles. Although activity has diminished this week once anglers surrendered to the inclement weather the fishing forces are riding it out on shore around the fire and anxiously awaiting a rebound in temperatures.
No doubt fall fishing conditions will soon resume. Until that happens throw another log on the fire, work on your tackle and prepare for nice fishing conditions to return.
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.