Kentucky Lake’s fishing scene was the beneficiary of decent days this week, a scenario that was long overdue for fall fishermen here on the big pond.
Finally, fall fishing felt like it ought to; cool mornings with a little fog at times that melted away at midmorning only to reveal light winds and pleasant temperatures.
Anglers have been out in force this week, too, partaking of the nice fishing conditions and hoping to put together some patterns for both bass and crappie. Last week not many fishermen braved the nasty weather as boat ramps were all but vacant most days and popular fishing areas up and down the lake were void of boats.
It’s amazing what a few pretty days will do to the attitude of fish and fishermen. Several anglers seemed to rebound from their woes and found fish playing their game.
Lake levels this week were stable after falling slowly all of last week. Elevation this week is expected to stay around the 355 range at Kentucky Dam and elsewhere on the reservoir.
Water color is in pretty good shape up and down the reservoir too. Surface temperatures have slept in the low 60s lately, which is the norm for late October.
With stability returning to the fishing scene have come a few more success stories from weary crappie anglers. A few decent stringers have been taken on main lake areas by anglers stalking some deep ledges and brushpiles in the 16- to 18-foot depth range when the wind let them fish open water.
Also producing have been midrange stakebeds and brushpiles in the 8- to 13-foot zones. Up Big Sandy and West Sandy, a few anglers reported finding some shallow crappie in 4- to 7-foot zones but fish were scattered there.
The shallow to midrange bite has been best when cloud cover was present to help filter out some of the bright sunlight.
Around the Paris Landing sector, there are always a few anglers searching the main lake ledges out on Big Sandy while other boaters target shallow to midrange structures at the same time. Sometimes crappie are found in both areas, too.
The fall bite improved this week for anglers who were vertical fishing jigs and live minnows over manmade fish attractors. It seemed a few more fish had moved up to midrange depths, likely because of more shad entering those areas.
Crappie anglers were also seeing more shad activity on their sonar units these last few weeks. That’s a positive sign in and of itself.
Popular jig colors have ranged from blue/chartreuse to chartreuse with red glitter. Other grubs sporting shad colors with sparkle seemed to appeal as well.
Live minnows have worked well all fall and at times tipping a jig with a minnow has worked as good as any choice. Tipping jigs with Berkley Power Bait in the white and chartreuse colors seemed to entice bites at times.
While the overall fall bite has been off this year, action definitely improved this week thanks to a little help from the weather and wind. Hopefully things have settled down and this fall crappie gig will now live up to its reputation.
Bass fishermen seemed to like the return of stability, too, as some better stringers were showing up this week. Gravel banks and rocky points were holding bass, and anglers tossing shad-colored crankbaits were catching several.
Some topwater was still on the menu as buzzbaits and shad-colored jerk baits fished along sloping gravel banks accounted for a few fish in the early mornings and late afternoons or when cloud cover helped out.
Shallow stickups such as exposed crappie beds or boathouses and roadbeds were holding some bass this week as anglers tossing spinnerbaits managed to find a few.
There are still a few boaters targeting the main lake flats or long submerged points in big bays where some bass are chasing shad at times. Rattle Traps and Red-eye shad style baits have been productive if you can locate some schools of baitfish.
Watch for the gulls and they will help you find the forage.
Autumn angling is well worth the price of admission. Trees are beginning to change colors, providing a great backdrop for a fine outing on the lake. The pumpkin month is fast departing but there’s plenty of good fall fishing left.
STEVE McCADAMS is The Post-Intelligencer’s outdoors writer. His email address is email@example.com.