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Archived Fishing Report

Fall Fisherman Embrace Indian Summer

Written by Steve McCadams | Originally published 11/03/2016

Can you believe this extended spell of nice weather? Not many fishermen are accustomed to wearing short pants and slapping on sunscreen during the first week of November but that’s been the case for several weeks running.

Some call it Indian summer. Whatever you call it better make the best of it and enjoy it while it lasts. And that’s just what several bass and crappie anglers on Kentucky Lake have been doing lately.

This week saw all-time record high temperatures recorded on both Monday and Tuesday. October lost its grip on Monday and ended on a hot note as temps climbed to the upper 80’s. November started out on the same note. It has been surreal.

Not only were September and October warmer than normal it appears nice weather will linger now that November has arrived. It may be little cooler as the weekend approaches but next week looks great for the Kentucky Lake fishing scene.

Surface temperatures this week climbed back up to the 70 degree mark on Wednesday, reflecting just how unusual conditions have been lately. The readings are about ten degrees above normal for this time of year.

Day time temps have been 12 to 15 degrees above normal at times. For fishermen it has been great as several days offered a little cloud cover and light winds that combined to produce ideal fishing conditions.

Watch for surface temps to fall back into the mid to upper 60’s by this weekend.

Lake levels continue to sleep at the low ebb of winter pool and some days the reservoir has dipped below normal due to a lack of rain throughout the region.

It appears low levels will remain too as not much runoff has entered the river system. TVA projects a reading of 354.1 at Kentucky Dam this weekend. Upstream at New Johnsonville the reservoir is resting at 354.

Low lake levels continue to draw the attention of anglers and pleasure boaters, many of which are intimidated by the exposed sandbars and mud flats. Some have fallen prey to the shallow areas and found themselves in harm’s way when running aground.

It’s imperative boaters follow the channel markers this time of year and throughout the approaching fall and winter months.

Water color remains clear across the reservoir, a scenario that’s unlikely to change anytime soon.

Crappie fishing has been good lately. Big numbers of fish have been caught by anglers working midrange depths of 8 to 13 feet. At times some good numbers have also been taken from main lake ledges where depths of 15 to 18 feet have produced.

Live minnows have been appealing to fall crappie but so have a variety of jig colors. Tipping jigs with minnows or various colors of Berkley power bait has paid dividends on a consistent basis as well.

Although anglers are culling a lot of crappie just shy of the 10-inch legal length limit, there are still plenty of fish out there eclipsing the threshold and making it well worth the trip. Several boats are landing in excess of 100 fish per day and while the majority are being released to bite again it makes for a great day of fishing when the action is that good.

From the bass department comes reports of more challenging conditions as several veteran fishermen are struggling to put together a consistent pattern. Numbers of keeper size fish have been down lately as anglers stalk shallow gravel banks, main lake ledges and anything in-between.

Several boats are still tossing big crankbaits, swim baits and Texas rigged worms out on main lake ledges as though it was mid-summer. Others are falling back to secondary flats and tossing shad colored crankbaits such as Rattle Traps or Red-eye shad style baits in hopes of covering a lot of water and perhaps finding some schooling fish.

However, not many schooling bass have been located lately. And, the shallow gravel points or exposed crappie beds have not given up their typical numbers of fish for fall.

A lack of grass along the reservoir has greatly altered this fall’s pattern but despite the lack of aquatic vegetation anglers are somewhat mystified more fish have not shown up in other venues of the reservoir.

Meanwhile the great fall weather has made it worthwhile to be on the lake regardless of the bite. Don’t let this great weather pass you by.

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Bison Herd
Photo by Libby Mundy

Visitors to the Elk and Bison Prairie in Land Between The Lakes can almost always catch a glimpse of some bison. They are most frequently seen early in the morning and in the late afternoon.