Fisherman Enjoy Good Week of Weather
Written by Steve McCadams | Originally published 10/21/2015
Although a chance of rain is in the weekend forecast anglers can’t complain if they have to wear a rain suit for a few hours. Autumn weather has been kind to fishermen this week after a frosty start. Fall’s first frost occurred Monday morning but after a frigid start the temperature roller coaster was at work and there was a 33 degree swing from morning to afternoon. I went from an overcoat that morning to a tee-shirt in the afternoon. Kentucky Lake’s surface temperatures reflected the cold snap and dropped several degrees as the week kicked off. The water temps this week have started the mornings off in the 62 to 63 degree range but rebounded to 66 at midday courtesy of warm, sunny days. Clear water is the norm across most of the reservoir as another week of dry conditions across the region lingered. A little rain this weekend won’t likely alter the color much as not much runoff will occur. Lake levels are slightly lower than last week at this time but overall the reservoir has stayed within a few inches of its winter pool mark. TVA projects an elevation of 354.7 at both Kentucky Dam and upstream in the New Johnsonville this weekend. Crappie anglers are still landing a lot of fish but the common denominator among the ranks is the abundance of small fish. Most of the fish being caught are short of the 10-inch minimum length limit. A lot of small crappie in the 8 and 9-inch plus range are eager to bite. However, it is abundantly clear in the opinions of most anglers the 1 1/2 and 2 ½ year classes are dominating the population. Biologists say it takes three year for a Kentucky Lake crappie to reach the 10-inch length range. There are a few larger fish coming in but numbers are down in the older classes of fish in the opinions of most anglers who have logged a lot of days out there this summer and fall. On the bright side perhaps the small fish are working their way up the ladder and might provide improved catch rates once late winter and spring rolls around. Meanwhile, depths of 8 to 12 feet are giving up most of the fish but a few reports have come in from anglers casting jigs and minnows beneath slip-bobbers in 4 to 7 foot depths up Big Sandy. Some anglers casting stakebeds in West Sandy and throughout Big Sandy’s Swamp Creek and Sulphur Well basin sector have managed to find a few shallow fish. Live minnows have worked well but so have a variety of jigs in the 1/32 and 1/16 ounce range. Tipping jigs with minnows and Berkley power bait has also paid dividends at times. Popular colors have been shad variations with red and blue sparkle and some black/red/gray bodies at times. Some boats continue to stalk the main lake ledges, working the drop-offs and tightlining jigs or minnows in the 14 to 18 foot depths but success has been minimal. There seems to be a lot of small fish wherever you go. And, the abundance of the aggressive yellow bass will keep you jerking throughout the day. They are feisty and schooling at times with a real vengeance for live minnows or any jig that enters their combat zone. Bass fishermen are pulling in a few from a variety of depths and areas with grassbeds still attracting a lot of attention. Tossing topwater jerk baits around the vegetation is still producing as are some spinnerbaits and Texas rigged worms on the parameters. Other patterns producing have been some main lake flats where bass are schooling at times. The early morning bite has been decent for topwater at times with such baits as Zara Spooks, Storm’s Chug-bug and other similar lures working well. Later in the day lures such as Strike King’s Red-eye shad and Rattle Trap style selections have helped anglers cover a lot of water and chase roaming schools of bass that are chasing shad. Some boats are still tossing big crankbaits, swim baits, jig and craw combos, Texas rigged worms and Carolina rigged craws out on main lake ledges. The cooler mornings this week have seen a few more shad surfacing along gravel banks in low light conditions. Watch for more bass to move up on the sloping gravel banks and points this weekend in pursuit of shad. It’s a great time to be out there as fall colors are nearing their peak so better take advantage of the moderate temperatures while they last.
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