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Archived Fishing Report

Late Fall Fishing Success Depends on Weather

Written by Steve McCadams | Originally published 11/15/2017

Kentucky Lake’s late fall fishing has held up pretty good this past week as crappie anglers had a few nice days with warm temps and light winds sandwiched between a couple of wet and windy ones. It’s that time of year!

Crappie fishermen chalked up some decent stringers although they’re still battling the small fish scenario. A few more keeper fish began to show up this week from anglers stalking some deeper water here in the Paris Landing sector.

Depths of 17 to 24 feet were holding several fish that seemed to back off the shallow and midrange depths last week and found their comfort zone on the deep sides of main lake ledges. Some anglers chose to stalk midrange and shallow stakebeds in 4 to 9 foot depths but fish there were somewhat scarce for most boats.

Producing has been live minnows fished on tightline bottom bumping rigs or jigs dunked deep around submerged structure.

Popular jig skirt colors have range from blue/chartreuse to electric chicken, lime/white and black/chartreuse just to name a few. Tipping jigs with minnows seemed to entice bites as well.

Lake levels this week have been falling on a daily basis after the reservoir jumped a couple of feet early last week. Since then the elevation has changed on a daily basis. Readings at midweek were in the 354.6 range at Kentucky Dam. Upstream at New Johnsonville the lake was projected to be in the 355.2 range this weekend.

Water color had been a bit dingy in some areas of the Tennessee River and upper Big Sandy but has cleared considerably this week.

Surface temperatures have fallen into the 52 to 54 degree range as some cold nights had an impact. Anglers can expect another cold snap by Sunday as the weatherman says one is on the way. Preceding the cold front could be a few rainy days as well.

Not to worry; some nice fall days will return soon. That weatherman has it tough this time of year as waterfowlers and most deer hunters like to see some nasty weather at times. Anglers are just the opposite!

Bass fishermen continue to find the road to hefty stringers somewhat curved and narrow. It has been a pretty tough fall overall for most local anglers who in times past scored big numbers during the fall months here on Kentucky Lake.

In the past abundant grassbeds seemed to produce and that was the destination for most fall fishermen. However, the last two years on Kentucky Lake have seen very few aquatic weeds showing up so that has thrown most fishermen a curve.

Some fish have been taken on shallow flats out on the main lake and along some located back in the larger bays. Tossing topwater jerk baits had been paying dividends as had some shallow running crankbaits, spinnerbaits and suspending jerk baits.

Gravel banks and rocky points have given up a few fish at times but have not been as consistent as they have in times past. Many anglers are concerned about the lack of shad this fall. The forage base appears to be down and that is a concern to both bass and crappie anglers.

The voices of concern over the Asian carp invasion are growing louder!

More Kentucky Lake Fishing Reports

Now That You're 'Hooked' on Fishing... Come See Us!

If you've dug this deep in our Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley fishing reports, you are probably just itching to come down and visit the South's biggest lakes.  Get started by finding that perfect place to stay!  Find a Kentucky Lake cabin or a Lake Barkley campground, a full-service resort or a marina.  Heck, there are even dozens of hotels off the water to choose from! 

Don't have a boat?  No worries!  Bank fishing is always an option for panfish. But if you're heart is set on largemouth or smallmouth, you can rent a fishing boat at many of our local resorts!

The perfect place to start looking for a place to stay at Kentucky or Barkley Lakes?  Right here on our main lodging page.


Eagle's Nest
Photo by Melodie Cunningham

This bald eagle keeps an eye out for it's mate from their nest high in a tree top in Land Between the Lakes. The average eagle's nest is five feet wide!