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Archived Fishing Report

Anglers Facing Cool Front After Wonderful Week of Weather

Written by Steve McCadams | Originally published 10/25/2012

Kentucky Lake’s fishing scene has enjoyed several days this week of great fall weather with cool mornings giving in to warm afternoons. Temperatures have been in the mid to upper 70’s most days with a day or two eclipsing the 80 degree mark, a significant contrast to some of the cool, windy days of last week.
It appears anglers will have to trade in the sunscreen for overcoats this weekend, however, as another cold front is fast approaching and expected to blow in. Just how much change occurs to the nice fall fishing scene remains to be seen. Saturday’s high is expected to struggle to reach the mid 50’s as a northwest wind will deliver a significant change but rain is expected to move out of the area by late Friday night.
The extended forecast shows several dry days after the cold front with a slow warm up beginning early next. Fishermen can expect a few days of high skies in the aftermath of the cold front as a high pressure will likely follow the initial change but action should resume in a few days once things settle down.
Surface temperatures this week climbed back into the 64 to 67 degree range in response to several warm days back to back. Watch for cooler conditions this weekend to pull that back down into the low 60’s soon.
Lake levels haven’t changed this week as TVA indicates the discharge rates and inflow have been about the same for several days. Elevation at Kentucky Dam will be 356.2 going into the weekend. Upstream at New Johnsonville lake levels will be in the 356.1 range. Water color remains clear.
Crappie and bass anglers reported some decent stringers again this week, although there were a few days when fish were sluggish and reluctant to bite in the mornings when mile high skies likely had a negative impact on shallow fish.
After some slow starts fish seemed to rebound in the afternoons once light south winds entered the picture and lowlight conditions stimulated action.
Crappie had been hitting good lately in the typical midrange depths of 9 to 14 feet but appeared to back off deeper the last few days. More fish were taken in the Paris Landing area at midweek by anglers working main lake ledges in depths of 13 to 19 feet.
For some reason the shallow and midrange structure that had been holding good numbers of fish for several weeks running lost its appeal as fish backed off toward deeper areas at times. Only a few scattered fish were taken in midrange areas the last few days.
The transition of fish back toward deeper areas is somewhat puzzling but all it takes is a cloudy day or two to stimulate the shallow or midrange activity. Most days this past week have been quite clear and some stubborn winds were factors at times for anglers attempting to work open water.
Crappie were taking live minnows and jigs tipped with minnows at times. Tipping jigs with Berkley Power Bait continues to work well but expect to encounter some pesky bluegill and yellow bass at times.
Popular jig colors in the clear water have ranged from dark color shades to some blue/clear, motor oil, and red/blue/white variations.
Bass fishermen seemed to struggle a few days this week with finicky moods from stubborn bass that were not cooperating. Several days anglers reported low numbers of fish being caught despite testing the water in several different areas and with a potpourri of presentations.
While a lot of anglers have been flogging the grassbeds with everything from spinnerbaits to weedless topwater and Texas rigged worms or fluke style jerk baits, others were backing off and working main lake ledges and sloping points with crankbaits and Carolina rigs.
Other popular patterns at times have been tossing shad colored crankbaits and Rattle Trap style lures on mud flats where some schooling fish observed chasing shad.
Schooling bass are often found in the backs of larger bays this time of year, especially on the east side where big patches of aquatic grass is located. Meanwhile, cooler surface temperatures are beginning to see some grass fragments dislodge and floating away.
Gravel banks are always popular during the fall season and some fish have been relating to the rocky banks, roadbeds, bridge piers, and boathouses.
Despite several days of nice weather it appeared both bass and crappie took on a sluggish mood and that confused several anglers who anticipated more aggressive fish behavior.
No doubt the approaching cool front will come with some north winds and that will likely stall the rebound for a few days as fish seemed to improve after midweek. Hopefully the weather change will be short in duration and mild conditions will return quickly as the late October and early November time frame is usually quite pleasant for Kentucky Lake anglers.

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Honker Bay
Photo by John Mahler

Honker Bay, located near The Nature Station, is a great place to hike or simply stop to observe a beautiful sunset.