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Archived Fishing Report

Cool Mornings Stimulate Anglers

Written by Steve McCadams | Originally published 08/22/2012

Nice cool mornings have greeted anglers lately with a touch of fall in the air at a time when hot and humid conditions are the norm. In fact, below average temperatures lingered last week and most of this week giving fishermen a lucky break as August isn’t known for cool spells.
    
Surface temperatures reflected the cool snap and have fallen into the 81 to 83 degree range this week, which is down several degrees since last weekend. Water color remains clear.
    
Lake levels have been falling slowly the last few days after sleeping somewhat above normal the past two weeks. Observed elevation going into the weekend will be 357.6 at Kentucky Dam, which down several inches from last week at this time. Upstream at New Johnsonville lake levels will be in the 357.5 range.
    
Overall fishing conditions have been pretty good this week as crappie seemed to perk up compared to last week’s sluggish mood. A few more fish were hitting in the 9 to 14 foot depth range.
    
Boats working live minnows and jigs tipped with minnows around submerged stakebeds and brushpiles experienced improvement, a likely response to cooler conditions that may have seen more schools of shad moving up to midrange flats.
    
There were some crappie taken on the deeper sides of main lake ledges too as the 18 to 20 foot depth range gave up more fish this week as well.
    
Mixed in with crappie on the deep ledges have been some pretty good numbers of bluegill too. A few boats have learned to catch the decent size bluegill too while tightlining redworms or waxworms on those deep ledges.
    
Bass action has been fair this week and the increasing acreage of aquatic vegetation continues to offer bass fishermen an abundance of visible structure. Most areas with five feet of water or less along the Tennessee River area from Paris Landing south are covered with a combination of pondweed and spiny leaf naiad, not to mention the lush green Eurasian watermilfoil.
    
Finding minnows working the grass has been the key to finding bass as all the vegetation looks fishy. A variety of presentations have paid dividends such as weedless frogs and rats fish over the thicker matts of grass while chartreuse and blue skirted spinnerbaits worked on the parameters have been popular choices.
    
Topwater has worked well at times such as Rebel’s Pop-R, Heddon’s Zara spook, and Storm’s Chugg-Bug. Floating worms and fluke style baits have been good choices too, not to mention buzzbaits.
    
Texas rigged worms have paid off around some deeper grass or near breaks in the grassbeds where shallow and deep water are close together.
    
Several boats are avoiding the grass patterns and targeting drop-offs with the likes of big Texas rigged worms, deep diving crankbaits, some drop-shot finesse presentations and jig and craw combos. The ledge anglers are also tossing Carolina rigged worms and craws with moderate success.
    
Catfishing showed some improvement at midweek once current picked up in the main river channel. Last week the catfish were slow most days as anglers were not seeing any current but that changed earlier this week when TVA began pulling more water.
    
Boats working the edge of the main river channel this week were tying into more fish. Depths of 20 to 35 feet were producing and baits of choice ranged from chicken livers to nightcrawlers and big minnows.
   
Will fall come early this year? That would suit anglers just fine and the last week or so with cool mornings and low humidity sure made it feel like fall was fast approaching.

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Fight!
Photo by Melodie Cunningham

September and October marks prime rutting season for elk. Elk rut to defend their territory and females (known as cows).