Still Time For Fall Fishing Trips, But Don't Delay
Written by Steve McCadams | Originally published 11/10/2011
Don’t let cold winter weather get here before you plan another fall fishing trip. Kentucky Lake’s early November fall fishing scene continues to hold up well for bass and crappie anglers. This week saw another mixture of weather where a few days of above average temperatures, light winds, and beautiful sunny days delivered ideal fishing conditions. At midweek a cool snap pushed open the door and saw winds shift from the south to northwest, bringing a dramatic change in temperatures that will moderate back to mild conditions by late this weekend, according to the forecast. Cold weather on Thursday and Friday will begin to lose its grip as temps are expected to climb back into the upper 50’s and low 60’s by Sunday. Strong winds brought a temporary halt to nice fishing conditions for a day or two but anglers cannot complain as the last week to ten days have been pretty nice. Surface temperature this week has been in the 56 to 58 degree range. Expect that range to fall off a few degrees by this weekend as cold nights will have an effect. Water color remains clear across the reservoir. Lake levels have fluctuated slightly this week with a slight rise in elevation for some unknown reason. Very little rain has fallen in the region. Observed lake levels at Kentucky Dam will be in the 355 range in the days ahead, which is up a few inches from last week. Upstream at New Johnsonville the elevation will be in the 354.8 range. Rain is in the forecast for early next week as warm weather returns on Monday and Tuesday. Watch for a slight rise in lake levels if heavy rains arrive. Crappie fishing has continued to hold up to its fine fall reputation as consistent action has been reported from anglers working both deep ledges and midrange flats and drop-offs. Seems a few more fish were moving toward main lake ledges last week and the pattern continued this week as nice stringers were caught in 15 to 18 foot depths at times. Anglers were tightlining jigs on bottom bumping rigs or just tightlining 1/8 to ¼ ounce jigs and sometimes tipping with minnows or Berkley crappie nibbles and enjoying success. Manmade fish attractors were still producing too as a lot of fish are lingering in the 8 to 12 foot zone and moving up to shallow cover in the late afternoon or lowlight periods during the day if cloud cover is present. Some fish were taken from 6 to 8 foot depths in places. Popular color combinations have been blue/chartreuse, black/chatreuse, red/white, dark green/sliver, and some red/chartreuse variations at times. Kentucky Lake crappie have put on the feed bag this fall as a lot of fish are now exceeding the minimum 10-inch length limit. Earlier this fall several fish were just shy of the legal keeping size mark but a hefty appetite combined with what appears to have been an abundant forage base, namely threadfin shad, have combined to produce good growth rates the last two months. Bass fishing has held up pretty good as those gravel banks continue to attract fish that love to jump on shad colored crankbaits. The rocky points and gravel banks have been holding fish pretty good. I found some good numbers and a few chunky largemouth taking Root Beer colored Bandit crankbaits recently but most any Tennessee Shad variation color was producing. There have been some huge drum hanging on those gravel banks too that fool you for a few seconds as that initial strike is aggressive. Landing a few in the 7 to 10 pound range sure puts your tackle to the test. Other patterns have been shallow flats where schooling shad have attracted both white bass and largemouth to the areas. Several fish were hitting topwater and busting jerk baits or any Rattle Trap style lure tossed their direction. Watch for the gulls to help you locate the shad and schooling fish activity. Other popular lure choices have been a jig and craw fished in a swimming motion, along with some spinnerbaits and suspending jerk baits at times. Carolina rigged worms were still working too when fished on sloping gravel bars and some main lake ledges. Although a lot of anglers have missed out on the fall fishing scene, those of us who have pursued this overlooked season have enjoyed good fishing overall. There have been a few cool and windy days but the majority of fall outings have been the beneficiary of nice weather. I’m changing hats this week and addressing the demands of an approaching duck season. My hunting hat will now be standard attire for the next few months but that fishing hat will return as soon as duck season ends. My fishing report will now be updated about twice a month until late February when it will resume on a weekly basis.
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