Your Kentucky Lake fishing report for October 17, 2018 From the deck of Captain Rich Bay and the Kick’n Bass pontoon.

WOW! In the matter of 7 days our weather went from 88 to 62 degrees for the highs each day…quite the drop. What that does for fishing crappies is fantastic. Crappies are moving and schooling up finally into their fall pattern of deeper bays in and around brush piles and stakebeds. Crappies were starting to school up prior to the cool weather but are on the fall pattern big time now. Water is very near winter pool so follow the map on your Lowrance fish finder. The marker buoys are NOT always in the right spot on the water so be careful. Even though we target crappies we still catch just about anything that swims in the lake.

Lake conditions

The water level is still on a slow drawdown. We are at 355.0 and dropping some each day. Be careful. You can check the link below for more info. TVA has a phone app also.


Crappies have been scattered this fall so far, but this drastic weather change has them schooling up in the bays and around main lake points.

We have had a whole bunch of good solid 14-inch fish and topped it off with a 16-inch fish this week. Plenty of shad to go around and the crappies are plumping up for winter. We have been pulling Jenko and Arkie crankbaits—no true color pattern has stuck out. Always pink is good but gray/chartreuse and white/orange and plain white have stood out of the bunch. Always experiment with colors and depths until a pattern emerges. Most fish have come from 12 to 18 feet of water about ten foot down. When cranking I will adjust our poles to different lengths of line out to try deeper and/or shallower depths in the water column. 1.8 mph has been my best speed but with water temps dropping fast I will probably slow to 1.6 mph. A slight change can mean a big difference.

Whitebass and Yellowbass

We haven’t been fishing much lately for whites and yellows, but we have caught a bunch while cranking. Seems they will eat just about any color combo we troll with. Everyone that we have caught has been feasting on shad and had full stomachs….and are still eating! (Reminds me of my firehouse days)!!


We have not fished for cats exclusively, but we have caught a bunch fishing for other species. We have caught cats trolling cranks and it has not been uncommon for us to catch 6 to 8 on each trip. Mostly channels but some sweet blues in the six-pound range. Reeling in a cat on a 14-foot cranking rod can be a very nice battle. I would imagine that you could drift in the bays with a crawler and catch a whole bunch targeting them.


We have been catching largemouth occasionally while cranking too. We have caught some up to about 3 ½ pounds this week. It is always a mixed bag of fish on the KnB pontoon!

Bluegills and Redears

I did not get the chance to fish for gills and redears lately but have caught some nice gills while pulling cranks. Did see a group that had a pile of nice gills caught on crawler pieces.

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