Fall Colors Peak; Kentucky Lake's Shorelines Come Alive
Written by Steve McCadams | Originally published 10/28/2015
Waiting for the shorelines and hillsides around Kentucky Lake to peak with their awesome autumn display of colors before you plan your next fishing trip? Wait no longer; the time is at hand. Catching some fish is almost a bonus. The scenery alone around the lake is well worth the price of admission. After a soggy start this week’s weather improved and delivered good fishing conditions for fall fishermen. Temperatures moderated with daily highs resting around the 70 degree mark. Surface temperatures this week hovered around the 64 to 65 degree range. Water color remains clear across the reservoir. Lake levels haven’t changed much from last week despite some heavy rain on Tuesday in the aftermath of a wet weekend. A slight rise occurred early in the week but it was minute and TVA’s projection for the weekend will be 354.8 at Kentucky Dam. Upstream around New Johnsonville the reservoir is expected to be in the 355 range, which is up a few inches from last week at this time. Kentucky Lake’s fall crappie continue to keep anglers off balance. A lot of small fish have been taken but numbers of bigger crappie---those in the 10-inch plus range---continue to evade the hooks of fishermen. A few nice slabs have been taken but the ratio of small fish to keeper size ones is somewhat out of proportion for most anglers. Kentucky Lake guide Andy Hicks had a client land a hefty black crappie last week from the mouth of Big Sandy that tipped the scales at Buchanan Resort bait shop to the tune of 2 pounds, 10 ounces. Hicks said the fish came from eight feet of water but the hefty slab was a loner. A few boats are stalking some main lake ledges and finding scattered fish in the 14 to 18 foot depth range at times but the bulk of fish have been taken in 6 to 12 foot depths where manmade fish attractors are producing a few. Most anglers are vertical fishing jigs and live minnows around the submerged structures but having to make a lot of stops in order to accumulate a decent stringer. Still, it’s a lot of fun out there to as catching a lot of fish and tossing several back isn’t all bad. The assault of small yellow bass, commonly referred to as stripers by most anglers, continues to annoy crappie fishermen attempting to slowly present a bait around submerged structure. These little critters have an attitude and will slam a jig or live minnow if it enters their zone. Some success has been reported by anglers fishing Bobby Garland jigs in various shad colors around midrange structure. Consistency, however, has not been in the cards for the lion’s share of fall fishermen who are accustomed to warm days, light winds and hefty catches during late October. Bass anglers are also reporting tough times lately as the overall bite has diminished for some reason. The last couple of weeks have some veteran anglers struggling to keep a pattern going. Yet there are always exceptions with an isolated success story or two from boaters beating the grassbeds or slugging it out around main lake ledges where humps and some shallow flats have a few bass schooling at times. Tossing Rattle-Trap style lures and swim baits have been popular choices, allowing anglers to cover a lot of water in search of roaming bass in hot pursuit of shad schools. A few bass anglers have been hitting the gravel banks in the early morning and late afternoon hours tossing topwater lure presentations but action has been mediocre. The shallow pattern around gravel bars and flats back in larger bays has been sluggish to develop this fall. And, backs of bays choked with vegetation usually sees a lot of shad schools luring bass to such locales but that pattern has been off a bit. Warm weather will continue for anglers well into next week so nice conditions await you. Don’t let this fall fling pass you by.
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