October 31, 2014 - by Kentucky Lake / Lake Barkley Guide Dave Stewart
Both lakes are slightly less than one foot above winter pool. Kentucky Dam has been generating an average of 53,000 cfs over the past 12 hours. Barkley Dam has been generating at an average of 17,200 cfs over the past 12 hours. The latest lake levels , current flows and forecasts for all the TVA lakes can be found at http://www.tva.com/river/lakeinfo/index.htm . With the lake levels down, everyone needs to be cautious when navigating the lakes. Use the navigation channels unless you know exactly where you are and if you are not sure, idle your boat until you are sure you are in safe water.
Unseasonably warm weather last weekend served to raise the water temperatures a couple of degrees but a cold front that passed through the lakes area on Tuesday brought with it some colder days and nights which resulted in a drop in water temperatures to present levels. Another strong cold front is passing through the area today which will result in some unseasonably colder weather this weekend including our first hard freeze and some high north winds. This will no doubt drop our water temperatures more which is a good thing as we are still running about 6 degrees above normal for the last week of October. This should get more of the larger shad and bass moving into the creeks and bays. I have observed that some schools of adult threadfin have moved into some of the creeks and bays over the past couple of days and the result has been more schools of bass feeding up on the schools of baitfish there and a more consistent early morning topwater bite. Expect more of this as the water temperatures continue to drop over the next week.
The forecast for today is for a high of 50 and low of 31 with NNW wind at 23. The forecast for Saturday is for a high of 50 and low of 29 with wind N at 13. Sunday's forecast is showing an improvement in the weather with a high of 56 and low of 37. The forecast through next midweek is showing a return to more seasonable temperatures with high's in the 60's and low's in the 40's.
LARGEMOUTH BASS: Largemouth are being taken on ledges on the main lakes and in the mouths of the deeper creeks and bays as well as on main lake points and on secondary channel points in the front halves of the creeks and bays. There is some early and late topwater bite on the points but it is scattered. The ledge bite is scattered as the shad and fish are moving around a lot and it is hit and miss. The ledge fish and the fish on the points are more consistent using slow techniques with smaller lures on Carolina rigs, shakey heads and jigs but some of the fall transitioning fish are starting to school on main lake points and it is opportunity fishing and not consistent but there have been a few good bags of fish taken. Largemouth are also being taken early and late on main lake flats near stumps on topwater lures, slow rolled spinnerbaits and square billed crankbaits.
We are taking some shallow topwater bass in the backs of the creeks and bays early in the morning and late evening on walking baits and splash baits. We are taking bass on lead in channel banks and on staging points in the creeks and bays after sunrise and during the day on finesse jigs, shaky heads, and light Carolina rigs with creature baits. Some bass are also being taken during late morning and during the day on flats in the creeks and bays where they are chasing schools of threadfin shad. These fish are being taken on spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, lipless crankbaits and slow rolled square billed crankbaits. The numbers of schooling fish on the flats has been increasing over the past few days and this should continue as the water temperatures drop to normal levels.
SMALLMOUTH BASS: Smallmouth are being taken on the primary points and secondary points and channel banks in the front halves of the creeks and bays.. The numbers of fish are not great but some quality fish have been taken. We are getting most of these fish on jigs and shakey heads. We have also taken some nice Smallmouth early in the morning on topwater lures on shallow flats on the main lake and in the creeks and bays.
Some of the more productive lures reported this week are: Strike King Splash baits in shad patterns and Lucky Craft Sammy in ghost pearl lemon, Bag5 custom painted lipless and square billed crankbaits in blue glimmer pattern, Strike King Red Eye Shad in blue/chrome, sexy shad and chrome sexy shad, Charmer timber pups in green pumpkin and watermelon with purple flake on Carolina rigs, D&L football head jigs in Cumberland craw and Oops patterns on the ledges and the baby advantage jigs in the same patterns on the points and channel banks in the creeks and bays,Chatterbaits in blue glimmer, Slong's spinnerbaits in blue glimmer, Charmer shaky head worms in green pumpkin blue and green pumpkin on Slong's shakey heads as well as Yum Dingers and Yamamoto Senkos in green pumpkin.
CRAPPIE: Crappie are being taken on staging brush piles on ledges around the mouths of the creeks and bays in 12-16 ft of water by vertical jigging with small curly tail jigs tipped with minnows. There are some reports of some Crappie being taken in the creeks and bays over brush piles in 8 - 10 ft of water off secondary channel points being taken in the same manner. The Crappie fishing reports I received this week is that the bite was slow in numbers but some nice fish have been taken.
White Bass: White Bass are being taken around the mouths of the creeks and bays as well as on the flats in the backs of the creeks and bays where they are feeding on schools or threadfin shad. These fish are being taken by fishing vertically with inline spinners and blade baits in the deeper water and with inline spinners, blade baits and curly tail jigs in the shallower water on the flats in the creeks and bays.
Catfish: Catfish are being on the main lake on river channel ledges in 20-30 ft of water by bottom bouncing shrimp and leach combinations and also on bottom rigs baited with cut baits with best bite during the current draw periods. We are also now catching some Channel Catfish now roaming the flats in the creeks and bays while fishing for bass where they are feeding on schools of threadfin shad.
If you are coming to the big lakes here to enjoy our great fishing, make sure you stop by these businesses for all your fishing and boating needs:
The Cabin Bait and Tackle is located in Kuttawa on U.S. 62 about one mile west of the I-24/U.S. 62 interchange. The Cabin Bait and Tackle has a great selection of the latest in rods, reels, lures for you bass anglers and also a great selection of tackle for the panfish anglers to include live bait. You can also find a selection of bows and guns for the hunter as well as personal handguns in the store. The Cabin also hosts the a website where you can order all your fishing needs with free shipping on all orders over 50.00. Be sure to check them out at www.tackleexperts.com . The Cabin has a great delicatessen where you can get that early morning breakfast sandwich or enjoy a delicious lunch. Phone: 270-388-6440.
FLASH: THE CABIN BAIT AND TACKLE will be hosting a Christmas Open House on Saturday, November 22nd from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. All guns will be offered at 10% over cost during this event and there will be store specials announced hourly. The Cabin Deli and Treasures located in the store will have breads and candies available as well as jewelry, clothing and gift items for Christmas! For more information you can contact the Cabin Bait and Tackle at 270-388-6440.
Fisherman's Headquarters is located in Draffenville at the U.S. 68/U.S. 641 triangle. Fisherman's Headquarters boasts a great selection of the latest in rods, reels and lures for bass anglers that are on the market, not to mention one of the best selection of high end lures and local custom lures we use here on Ky/Barkley lakes. You can find many of the custom lures you see in my fishing reports there including the Bag5 custom painted crank baits and jerk baits. Fisherman's Headquarters also has a really good selection of Crappie and panfish tackle featuring Wally Marshall "Mr Crappie" rods, reels, lures and line as well as live baits. Phone: 270-527-5938
Jet-A-Marina: If you have a problem with your boat while you are visiting our great fisheries, let me recommend you have the folks in the service department at Jet-a-Marina check it out. These folks have a well known reputation for trying to keep our visitors on the water while they are here if they can possibly do so, especially you tournament anglers. Hopefully you will not need this kind of assistance but if you do, you can find Jet-a-Marina located on U.S. 62 in Calvert City, just a couple of miles north of Kentucky Dam. Jet-a-Marina also has a great showroom for all your boating accessories and check out the new Ranger, Stratos and Triton bass boats too as well as bulk oil at rock bottom prices for your engine. Phone: 270-395-4030
ELIMINATING WATER CLASS: I will be offering my class on how to Eliminate Water again this winter during the months of January and February and I will also teach a few classes next month in November. These classes are limited to one or two people per class. The classes last approximately 8 hours. The cost of the class is 200.00 which covers one or two people. These classes have been very popular with my clients over the past few years and all the feedback I get is very positive.
Here is some examples of that feedback:
**Dave ... Harry and I took your "Eliminating Water" class and it has helped both of us like you wouldn't believe! - J. Harris
**In the past 3 tourney's I have managed to get a limit on 3 separate lakes. Old Hickory, Barkley, and Barren. Managed a 3rd place finish Sunday on Barkley with a 6lb kicker. I have a lot more confidence when I hit the water now. I no longer pull the old "that bank looks good, lets waste a few hours here". Thanks Dave - M. King
**Well worth the money - and probably the most valuable thing I have purchased in the terms of fishing. - K. Stephens
**The eliminating water class is without a doubt the best money I've spent on fishing in my life. - D. Page
Here is a short description of the Eliminating Water Class:
"How to Eliminate Water": This class is done in a classroom environment. In this class you learn the most important thing that you can learn as a bass fisherman, that is, how eliminate water to find the Bass by finding the highest percentage spots during all the different seasons of the year that will hold more fish, more often. In this class you will learn what information you need to know in order to eliminate water to find these high percentage spots during your preplanning for a trip and how to apply this information as well as current environmental conditions to make decisions on which techniques you should be using when on the water that day and how to adjust to environment changes that can move your fish or change the pattern from day to day, season to season.
Basically, what I teach you in this class is how to use knowledge of mother nature by using scientific knowledge, logic and common sense to develop a system to find your fish as well as make decisions before you get on the water and while you are on the water to be a more consistent bass angler. What I teach you in this class is what I do every day as a bass fishing guide when I am trying to find and catch bass with my clients. What you will learn in this class will apply anywhere you go bass fishing, this is not specific to just Ky and Barkley Lakes. Finding bass and making decisions as how to catch bass is not done solely by looking at electronics, it is accomplished with knowledge. There is no button on your sonar unit or mapping unit that says "Go Find Fish". Sonar units show you fish AFTER you find them.
Mapping units show you just that, a topographical map of the body of water you are on. The mapping unit allows you to mark spots on your electronic map where you have found fish and assist you in navigating back to those spots. Just as with a paper topographical map, you can scan over an electronic map and mark "places of interest" or as I call them "looks good" spots to go check out when you get on the water...but finding high percentage spots are not "looks good" spots. High percentage spots are selected by having the knowledge of what type spots have the highest percentage chance of holding bass during the different seasons of the year coupled with how to apply what is going on in the environment that will affect the fish.
Call or email me to book your class date while dates are still available!
For those of you that may not be familiar with my service: I am a full time catch and release bass fishing guide. I only guide for bass. I have been guiding for bass full time on these lakes for 18 years and bass fishing the lakes for over 30 years. I do not go out and fish panfish for 4 or 5 days and then try to guide on bass for one or two days. No one knows everything the bass are doing but one thing is for sure, if you only fish for bass day in and day out, you will have a lot better idea of what they are doing and also be familiar with all the different techniques it takes to be a successful bass angler. If you book with my service, you will have me as your guide and you will be guided in the comfort of a late model Z522 Ranger Comanche equipped with Lowrance HDS sonar and top of the line tackle. I provide just for fun bass fishing trips, tournament preparation trips, focused teaching trips and technique instruction. If you are in need of a bass fishing guide give me a call or drop me an email.
November: I have a number of openings available in November. November can be one of the most fun times of the season with the true fall bite in the creeks and bays with schooling fish taking topwater, crankbaits and spinnerbaits. If the extended weather forecasts are right we should be in for a good late fall bite this year. Book your trip now while I still have dates available. I am also taking bookings for next season now and the spring bookings are coming in so if you want a particular date for next spring, you should be booking now.