September Fishing Enjoys Cool Start
Written by Steve McCadams | Originally published 09/04/2013
A nice cool snap at midweek helped the first week of September get off to a good start for Kentucky Lake anglers who dodged thunderstorms last weekend but welcomed lower temps and decreased humidity in the aftermath. Light north winds at midweek were kind to fishermen working the open water areas for crappie, bass and catfish. A slow warm-up is in the forecast for the weekend. Lake levels have risen this week due to some heavy thunderstorms across the TVA valley during the Labor Day holiday period. The reservoir is up some 6 to 8 inches compared to last week at this time but watch for TVA to pull water by this weekend and drop the lake back to normal curve. Elevation is projected to be in the 356.8 range at Kentucky Dam and New Johnsonville as the weekend approaches. However, readings will likely be lower by early next week with increased current showing up in the main Tennessee River channel the next few days. Surface temperatures were lingering around the 82 to 85 degree range. Water color was clear throughout most of Big Sandy with a slight amount of stain in the main Tennessee River channel. The interest level for crappie improved at midweek with several fish showing up in the 11 to 13 foot depth where submerged stakebeds and brushpiles were attractive to them. The rise in lake levels coincided with the midweek cool snap and that likely influenced crappie to move up some from their deeper hideouts in last week’s heat. There are still fish relating to the deeper sides of main lake ledges too but the surge of activity toward midrange structure likely pulled some fish from their summer holding areas. Seems the late summer period always sees a few fish begin their early fall transition when helped by a cool snap. Jigs tipped with minnows were producing good as were jigs tipped with Berkley Power Bait crappie nibbles. Bass action is still holding up well for anglers casting crankbaits and big Texas rigged worms on main lake ledges. Working Carolina rigged craws and hopping a jig and pig combo is working too. Another pattern producing on a consistent basis has been the grassbed bite where anglers are working weedless frogs and rats around the thicker vegetation. Floating fluke style worms and topwater jerk baits and scored at times too. Around the parameters of milfoils grassbeds anglers are tossing spinnerbaits, Texas rigged worms, and buzzbaits. Some schools of shad are working around gravel banks and over shallow flats where a few bass have been busting them in the early morning and late afternoon periods. Catfish action slowed this week once the current backed off and lake levels started rising. Seems the fish just don’t feed or show much interest when stagnant conditions take over but watch for the catfish battle to resume quickly once current returns. Depths of 30 to 40 feet had been producing some pretty nice stringers late last week and watch for that to return as falling lake levels in the days ahead will stimulate baitfish activity. Once the shad start moving the catfish will go back on the prowl. Fall is about two weeks away but it’s already dropping hints of its forthcoming arrival.
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