Muggy Days Challenge Anglers
Written by Steve McCadams | Originally published 08/21/2014
It’s late August and anglers are facing some muggy days this week as temperatures returned to the mid 90’s, reminding us that summer is still in charge. We’ve been lucky for most of the summer as all anglers knew those cool crisp mornings that slipped through the door back in July and early August wouldn’t last forever. It was, however, a nice reprieve from the dog days but fishermen have to sweat it out now as heat and humidity are dominating this week’s weather for the Kentucky Lake fishing scene. Surface temperatures have responded to the warmer days and are now in the 84 to 86 degree range, which is up slightly from last week at this time. Water color remains clear across the reservoir. Lake levels are down a few inches from last week but about on schedule for TVA’s drawdown curve. Projections for the weekend indicate an elevation of 357 in both the Kentucky Dam and New Johnsonville area. Lower lake levels continue to expose more aquatic vegetation and the summer bass bite has been pretty good around the shallow grassbeds lately. While most anglers have a tendency to go deep when hot weather arrives the bass still seem to follow their forage and endure the warmer surface temps if the baitfish are there. Several fish have been taken lately by anglers tossing weedless frogs, rats, buzzbaits, floating worms and flukes style baits around the vegetation. Around the parameters surface lures have worked well too as have spinnerbaits and Texas rigged worms in pockets and edges near deeper water. Thicker grass forms a canopy to provides both shade and cover so that appeals to summer bass and baitfish. A few fish are still lingering around some of the main lake ledges as that pattern always pays off this time of year, especially if a little current enters the picture. I found a few fish taking big deep diving crankbaits last week but action of fair at best and the fish were quite scattered. Typical summer baits such as jig and pig combos, big Texas rigged worms, shad colored swim baits, Carolina and Alabama rigs, and some spoons are still producing too. Summer crappie action has been mediocre this week as fish were scattered and sluggish in the 9 to 14 foot depth range. I did find a few fish taking jigs tipped with minnows, however, but bites were very light. No doubt the heat slowed activity but a few cloudy days or cooler weather will see action resume soon. Catfishermen are still landing a few fish but the overall bite has been off this summer along the main river channel as many veteran anglers are not catching big numbers in some of their favorite spots. A few catfish are still lingering in the midrange depths and that might be the answer as to why more for fish haven’t ventured toward the main river hideouts. Odds are this week’s hot weather will move more catfish toward their summer venues on the edge of the main river channel. Every day makes fall a little closer!
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