November Fishing Off to Warm Start in Aftermath of Cold Front
Written by Steve McCadams | Originally published 11/01/2012
After last week’s brutal cold front that drastically changed the fishing conditions from the low 80’s to low 40’s overnight, temperatures have rebounded and November fishing on Kentucky Lake will get off to a good start it appears. Fall fishing the last couple of weeks has seen some roller coaster weather patterns as high winds dominated the fishing scene for about five days, whipping up the lake with whitecaps and sending anglers back to the coat closet for reinforcements. As the weekend approaches temps are forecasted to return to the 70’s before another cool snap arrives early next week when temps will fall back to the mid 50’s. However, the cool snap isn’t predicted to be as mean as last week when conditions were more favorable for duck hunting than bass or crappie fishing. Despite drastic changes crappie fishing has held up pretty good for those who braved high winds and found fish still clinging to midrange depths where brushpiles and stakebeds attracted them. Actually, fish have been holding in this fall pattern for several weeks running with a few mood swings at times but the 8 to 14 foot depths have paid dividends since early September. Fish have been taking jigs tipped with minnows and Berkley crappie nibbles with the most popular technique credited to vertical presentations where anglers kept the bait right smack dab in the face of finicky fish. Strikes have been light at times, especially on the cold front days when high skies were keeping fish tight to cover. At times high winds have made it difficult for anglers to hold the boat over their favorite areas and it has really been a test for trolling motors and batteries some days, not to mention the guy running the trolling motor and trying to keep the boat still. It appears decent weather may return after a cool start next week as early November normally delivers mild conditions. Crappie action should hold up well throughout the month as fish are likely to stay in midrange depths. Popular jig colors have ranged from red/chartreuse to some motor oil with red metal flake and blue/clear at times to black/chartreuse and red/clear sparkle. Lake levels have dropped since last week as TVA has pulled the reservoir down to winter pool levels. Elevation at Kentucky Dam is forecast to be 354.2 as the weekend approaches and 354.1 upstream at New Johnsonville. That is the lowest reading since late last winter and down a foot from last week at this time. Surface temperatures responded to the cold front and have fallen back into the 54 to 57 degree range for the first time since mid-March. Cold nights have influenced water temps that may change a degree or two by this weekend. Water color remains clear. Bass anglers battled low temps and high winds too this week and experienced a slowdown as the fall bite fell off for them in grassbeds , main lake drop-offs, and gravel bank patterns. A few fish were still relating to grass while most boats were attempting to find bigger fish on ledges. High winds have made it tough for main lake boaters to work the crankbaits and other presentations on drop-offs but that should improve as mid weather returns. And, some schooling fish were still chasing shad on sloping points and flats at times where anglers were casting chrome colored Rattle Traps and similar jerk baits. Other patterns producing have been shad colored crankbaits on gavel points and roadbeds or rip-rap at times. Falling lake levels have pulled bass nearer to deep water escape routes this week too. Seems a few fish are always relating to the grassbeds this time of the year as well and anglers tossing spinnerbaits and Texas rigged worms have continued to catch fish on a consistent basis. Although some bigger fish have been hard to come by from the grass patterns there have been some good numbers caught around the aquatic vegetation. With the mean cold front and high winds of last weekend and earlier this week now out of the picture, fishing will be more enjoyable for a few days but a cool snap now and then will require fishermen to keep the coveralls and raingear close at hand. Remember, you can always take it off if you don’t need it!
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