July 18, 2014 - by Kentucky Lake / Lake Barkley Guide Dave Stewart
Kentucky Lake: Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 358.42 Surface Temperature - 82 Lake Barkley: Water Level at Barkley Dam - 358.50 Surface Temperature - 82
Both lakes are one half foot below summer pool and on a slow draw down. Expect both lakes to reach one foot below summer pool by the end of the month in accordance with the TVA River Operating System Schedule barring any unforeseen influx of water. Kentucky Dam has been generating at average rates of between 6,700 - 35,000 cfs today. Barkley Dam has been generating at an average rate of 8,000 cfs today. 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 .
NOTICE: This will be my last weekly report until late August as I will be undergoing an operation next week to correct an aneurism on my aorta at Vanderbilt hospital. I am expected to have a recovery period of 4 weeks so I will not be on the water again until late August. I am already chomping at the bit to get back on the water and it hasn't even started yet!
We woke up Tuesday morning this week to air temperatures in the low 50's and north winds. The past few days has felt more like October with morning low's in the 50's and high's of 70's in the afternoon. Certainly this break from the normal hot summer temperatures has been nice but it seems to have taken it's toll on the bass bite. I mentioned for the past 2 weeks that the ledge bite has been spotty, well since the unseasonably cooler weather moved in the bite has moved from spotty to slow. The forecast for tomorrow if for a high of 78 and low of 62 with high pressure east wind at 6. Saturday shows more high pressure with a high of 83 and low of 65 with wind east at 7. Sunday's forecast shows the beginning of a warming trend with a return to a high of 87 and low of 67, a 20% chance of rain with wind south southeast at 4. As you can see you can expect high pressure and flat water this weekend so it will be nice to be out there but I would also expect a slow bite on the ledges for bass. On the other hand, the cooler weather seems to have the white bass very active with suspending shad and the reports this week on white bass have been good. The extended forecast though next mid week shows a return to the 90's with humidity and chance of thunderstorms each afternoon with southerly winds.
LARGEMOUTH BASS: Largemouth are being taken on ledges on the main lakes as well as around the mouths of the deeper creeks and bays. These fish are being taken on deep diving crankbaits, spoons, swim baits, Carolina rigged creature baits, Texas rigged large worms and dragging football head jigs. Largemouth are also being taken on deep main lake points with Carolina rigged creature baits, Texas rigged large worms and jigs. Largemouth are also being taken on shallow flats in the creeks and bays near wood cover and around docks. These fish are being taken on topwater lures (early and late in the day), spinnerbaits, chatterbaits and Texas rigged creature baits as they are feeding on schools of small fry. Our best bite this week overall has been on Carolina rigged creature baits, Texas rigged large worms and dragging football head jigs on the ledges and on Texas rigged creature baits in the shallows near wood cover.
SMALLMOUTH BASS: Smallmouth are being taken on main lake ledges on jigs and Carolina rigged creature baits. The numbers of fish are not great but some quality fish have been taken. Smallmouth are also being taken at night on rocky points and banks on Kentucky Lake with dark colored spinnerbaits and tube jigs. Good Largemouth are also being taken on this night pattern.
Some of the more productive lures reported this week: Strike King Splash baits in shad pattens, Bag5 custom painted deep running crankbaits in blue glimmer and green gizzard shad, Big Hammer swim baits in sexy smelt and bay smelt, Stike King Sexy Spoons, Slong's spinnerbaits in blue glimmer, Charmer timber pups in green pumpkin and watermelon with purple flake, Charmer 10.5 inch ribbon tail worms in plum, D&L football head jigs in Cumberland craw and Oops patterns, Slong's football head jigs in mustard.
White Bass: White Bass are being taken along the river channel ledges and adjacent flats by verictally fishing with inline spinners and small spoons as well as by trolling with small spinners behind deep diving crankbaits.
Bluegill/Redear: Bluegills are also being taken around docks and on banks with overhanging trees early in the morning as they are feeding on Mayflies. The Mayfly hatches this week were spotty but those that found them reported a good bite.
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 night crawlers. The catfish bite reportedly picked up the past two afternoons with current draw.
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
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 .
Call me or drop me an email to book your fall dates now. The sooner you book, the more likely you can get the dates you want.