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Archived Fishing Report

Fall Fishing Scene Holding Up Well

Written by Steve McCadams | Originally published 10/03/2013

Surface temperatures are cooling down and the fall fishing is heating up. It’s been a pretty good week for Kentucky Lake anglers as cloud cover and light winds have teamed to produce good fishing conditions. Lake levels have been falling slowly and things are pretty much on schedule as to the overall fishing scene.
Lake levels are projected to be in the 355.2 range at Kentucky Dam this weekend. Upstream around the New Johnsonville area elevation is expected to be in the 355.1 range. TVA has the reservoir resting at its normal range for this time of year as part of its annual drawdown phase.
It’s that time of year when anglers and boaters need to pay close attention to channel markers and resist the urge to take those shortcuts over shallow sandbars. You risk damage to your lower unit and boat when you avoid the buoys.
Cooler conditions are on the way for the weekend but surface temperatures have already cooled down this week into the 74 to 78 degree range. Water color remains clear across most of the Paris Landing and Big Sandy area with a slight stain in the main Tennessee River channel.
Crappie have been responding well to the cooler conditions and cloudy days. Some good stringers have been taken this week from the 9 to 13 foot depth range but more fish were moving up into 6 to 8 foot depths. I found a good grade of fish slipping into shallow water earlier this week. Some spots that were void of bigger fish last week were producing some dandies this week.
Tightlining jigs in the black/chafrtreuse, white/orange, white/green, and some shades of chartreuse with red or sliver glitter seemed appealing. However, strikes have been light at times as a lot of the fish are finicky biters, especially on days when mirror slick surface conditions put the fish in a sluggish mood.
Deeper main lake ledges are still holding on to some crappie too as depths of 13 to 17 feet have been productive at times. With cooler conditions on the way look for more fish to transition toward shallow areas by next week as the shad migrate to shallow flats and backwater bays.
Bass fishing has been fair with a combination of summer patterns still holding on for some. Boats continue to work the ledges with big deep diving crankbaits, Texas rigged worms, and some Carolina rigs.
Some fish moved up shallow when rainy days produced cloud cover and light winds helped push baitfish toward flats or up against gravel banks and points. Tossing shad colored crankbaits has worked well on gravel banks and points as have some Texas rigged worms and swim baits.
Grassbeds are still producing too and there is a lot of vegetation south of the Paris Landing area around the Danville islands and throughout the backwaters areas of the New Johnsonville sector. Tossing gold willow leaf spinnerbaits with blue/chartreuse skirts has worked well around the grass as have some jerk baits, floating worms, and some topwater such as buzzbaits, chuggers, and floating flukes.
With cooler conditions approaching watch for more bass to move up to gravel banks or start schooling over shallow flats in pursuit of shad. Watch for the gulls to help you locate those baitfish.
Catfishing has been fair along the main river channel this week. Depths of 35 to 40 feet have given up some decent stringers of blue and channel cats. However, crappie anglers have been tying into more catfish this week as well while fishing the shallow flats of 12 to 14 feet so catfish are moving up some.
October fishing awaits you. It has been nice out there lately with more good weeks ahead.

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White Egret
Photo by Melodie Cunningham

Commonly mistaken for a heron, egrets can commonly be seen wading in shallow water near the lakes edge.