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Archived Fishing Report

Fall Transition Underway; Anglers Embrace Autumns Arrival

Written by Steve McCadams | Originally published 09/17/2015

It has been a beautiful week in the outdoors.  
Things are changing on the Kentucky Lake fishing scene as lower surface temperatures in the aftermath of last weekend’s cool snap seemed to have a positive effect.   
Fall officially arrives Wednesday. Anglers have already seen the early phases of some fishing patterns taking place as the recent cool snap helped jump start the transition.
Although a warming trend kicked in at midweek another cool spell is in the forecast and that should help the overall fishing scene by early next week.
Surface temperatures fell from last week’s 85 degree mark down into the 78 to 79 degree range earlier this week, a change of some five to six degrees. A few warm days saw surface temps climb a degree or two but anglers should see surface temps fall back into the mid to upper 70’s early next week as cool nights will help the whole scenario.
Lake levels have been falling slow and are down a few inches from last week at this time. Projections for the weekend will see an elevation of 355.5 at Kentucky Dam and 355.4 at New Johnsonville. The reservoir is approaching its low ebb of winter pool.
Water color remains clear across most of the reservoir.
Crappie seemed to perk up a bit this week as the cooler surface temperatures mixed with some cloud cover to provide nice fishing conditions. I found a better grade of fish the last few days in the 8 to 13 foot depth range compared to last week.
No doubt cooler surface temperatures improved the bite and sent a few more fish toward midrange depths. Several areas that harbored mostly small crappie last week seemed to have a few larger fish this week.
Tipping jigs with minnows is still paying dividends as are jigs tipped with Berkley power bait in the white and chartreuse colors.
A few boats are trolling deep diving crankbaits near drop-offs and even out over deeper zones and finding a few scattered crappie suspended in 12 to 15 foot depth ranges.
The overall crappie bite should continue to improve on a daily basis but days with cloud cover and light breezes will work in favor of fishermen as the midday bite seems to taper off when high skies and bright sun take over.
Fish are showing a tendency to transition toward shallow areas already. And, it seems more baitfish have moved up this week as well. Catch a rainy day with dreary skies and fish should really turn on.
Bass anglers are still beating the grassbeds with a combination of topwater baits in the early morning hours when a little fog has helped filter the bright sunlight. Buzzbaits and assorted jerk baits, along with some weedless frogs, have accounted for a few fish.
On the parameters of the thick grass located near deeper water bass fishermen are relying on Texas rigged worms, spinnerbaits, and Rattle Trap style lures.
Not everyone is relying on grassbeds as some boats are holding on to deeper drop-offs and summer patterns of jig and craw combos, swim baits, big deep diving crankbaits, and Texas rigged worms. The ledge bite has been inconsistent but most anglers report numbers have been down a bit in both grassbed patterns and ledges.
Both crappie and bass should become more aggressive as surface temps cool and some rainy or cloudy days enter the picture.
Catfishing reports have been ho-hum at best. Not many anglers are targeting catfish along the main river channel despite a slight current present this week along the main river channel.
Autumn angling officially arrives by the middle of next week. Most everyone is ready for the return of cool nights and crisp, foggy mornings where a jacket is standard attire before you ever start the boat.
Welcome fall. We’ve been anxiously awaiting your arrival!

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Fishing at Sunset
Photo by Sherry Bailey

So many childhood memories have been made on the banks of Kentucky and Barkley Lakes. These boys are determined to fish until the sun goes down.