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Fall Patterns Will Dominate October

October 8, 2015

By Chris Erwin

It’s hard to believe that summer is in our review mirror. This season has been a strange one. With 18 straight day of rain in July and an even earlier period where some of our lake set high-water records, the rains killed off the weed growth and changed this summer’s fishing patterns for the rest of the season.

While most of our eastern lakes will remain without weeds this year as we head into fall there is a very good chance fishing will not be changed very much from years past. As waters continue to cool and forage like crawfish disappear you can count on fish patterns to become more normal.

 Scott Erwin holding a good bass caught on Cave Run Lake using a crankbait and fishing downed trees

Scott Erwin holding a good bass caught on Cave Run Lake using a crankbait and fishing downed trees

Every year in October, the Kentucky Outdoor Press Association holds its annual conference. Like the last few year it will be on Cave Run Lake near Morehead Kentucky this year.
I will be heading to the lake on the 8th of October. The conference begins on the 9th, and I will be on the water until the 18th. During this period, I hope to document fish patterns to help our readers to better understand just what to expect when fishing this time of the year.

One of the things on Cave Run Lake that I have noticed this year is the amount of trees that have been falling in the water in the Licking River system, which feeds Cave Run Lake. The continued rains throughout July softened the ground along some of the steep banks and with full foliage on the trees many of these trees up-rooted and fell into the lake.

While losing trees is not necessarily a good thing, it has had some beneficial effects. To begin with, it produced an extraordinary amount of crappie, many of them as large as I have seen in the river system.

All summer we caught bass from around these trees and while fishing for the bass, it became common to catch a good crappie or two with crankbaits — especially when we were fishing the very end of the trees extending out to the deepest water.

Many of these trees still have leaves on them, their uprooted trunks still holding soft soil helped the trees from instantly dying. It is going to be interesting to see if these trees hold fish this fall when fish are expected to move away from banks and suspend as they stage in areas to feed on shad.

They are two things that we usually see as we move into the fall fishing: Bass move away from the banks as they concentrate on shad and Muskie tend to move onto flats and creek heads as the water becomes cooler.

This is one of the decisions as a fisherman you must make if you’re fishing in waters that holds both species like the lake we will be fishing. If you fish the creek heads and shallow water flats you are more than likely not going to catch a lot of bass. However, you might catch Muskie. The reverse holds true. If you fish the standing timber, you are more likely to catch bass instead of Muskie.

Every lake is different, and the main lake at Cave Run is always different than the river system. That said this year has the potential to be different. With all these trees in the water, many extending into the deep water, compounded with the lack of weeds, we may find new patterns we haven’t discovered in the past few years.

As always, I invite your comments and anything you would like to see me cover in the future. Until next time keep your lines tight and please use CPR (catch, photograph, release).

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