Crappie Heats Up As Surface Temps Cool
Written by Steve McCadams | Originally published 09/25/2013
Kentucky Lake’s fall crappie action has been heating up as surface temperatures cool down. Fish have been moving up this week toward shallow areas when cloud cover and rainy days delivered low light conditions. The last week or so has seen the fall crappie bite improve, although last weekend’s cool front and gale north winds brought a temporary hiatus to the good fishing conditions. Since the weekend light winds and moderate temperatures have returned and things have improved. Good stringers have been taken this week by anglers working the 10 to 14 foot depth range. And, a few bigger fish have come from main lake ledges too where the deep sides of drop-offs are still holding on to a few slabs lingering in the 16 to 18 foot depth. Most of the fish are coming from submerged stump rows, brushpiles, and stakebeds where fishermen are using vertical presentations of 1/16 to 1/8-ounce jigs tipped with minnows or Berkley Power Bait crappie nibbles. Popular color combinations have been black/chartreuse, white/orange, green glitter, and some blue/chartreuse just to name a few. Good crappie fishing should continue for the next several weeks as more fish move toward shallow areas in pursuit of schooling threadfin shad that are now finding comfort zones away from their deep summer hideouts. Surface temperatures this week have stayed in the 76 to 79 degree range, which is cooler than the last two weeks. Water color has been in good shape across most of the reservoir. Lake levels rose a few inches earlier this week in the aftermath of some heavy rains but stabilized at midweek. Look for a slow fall as the weekend approaches. Elevation is projected to be in the 356.4 range at Kentucky Dam as the weekend approaches. A similar reading is projected for New Johnsonville as well. Catfish perked up at midweek once water levels began falling slowly as the increased current seemed to stimulate the bite. A few boats are working the cuts and dips along the main river channel using bottom bumping rigs in the 25 to 35 foot depth range. Nightcrawlers, skipjack, and chicken livers have been popular baits lately. Bass action has been fair with several small fish showing up in the creel of anglers working shallow grassbeds. Tossing gold willow leaf spinnerbaits with blue/chartreuse skirts have been popular as have shad colored jerk baits worked over the aquatic vegetation. Texas rigged worms have produced too around the vegetation as have some white fluke style jerk baits and chrome and blue Rattle Traps. A few bass have been schooling around shallow flats where shad are moving up. Watch for the gulls to help locate those schooling bass this time of year. As surface temps cool watch for more bass to move toward shallow gravel banks and points. Some surface action will take place on foggy or cloudy mornings when shad are up feeding on midge hatches along shallow shorelines. There’s some great fall fishing ahead but a lot of anglers miss the boat when it comes to autumn angling. Don’t be one of them!
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