April 17, 2014 - by Kentucky Lake / Lake Barkley Guide Dave Stewart
Kentucky Lake: Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 358.41 Surface Temperature - 60 Lake Barkley: Water Level at Barkley Dam - 358.50 Surface Temperature - 60
Both lakes are about one half foot below summer pool. Kentucky Dam has been generating an average rate of 60,000 cfs over the past day. Barkley Dam has been generating an average rate of 34,000 cfs over the past day or so. 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 . Kentucky Lake is clear with only a little stain in the backs of some creeks. Lake Barkley is stained but definitely fishable.
After the nice warm up period we had at the end of last week, we got hit with an arctic front early this week. Base water temperatures went from 64 on Sunday to 59 by Wednesday morning. As one would expect this drop in water temperatures slowed the bass bite some but we still managed to get some very nice fish and a lot of buck bass on Wednesday. The only tough day of fishing we had this week was this morning as cold wind and high pressure slowed the morning bite way down although we did manage some buck bass and one or two keepers. Wednesday was a good day with some numbers of fish in the 3-5 lbs class and lots of bucks. The warm up last weekend tuned the fish on until the cold front hit. Our best bass last weekend was a nice 8lb prespawn female. Too add to the up and down of temperatures, the TVA has raised the lakes 6 inches, dropped the lakes 6 inches and then brought them back up 6 inches all within the past 4 days...and if the TVA's forecast is right, they are going to lower it 6 inches again by midnight tomorrow night. All this has kind of frozen the Largemouth on the staging points and lead in staging banks off the spawning areas. Our best bite again this week was on jigs, Texas rigged lizards and tube jigs although lipless crankbaits, chatterbaits and spinnerbaits have produced some fish. The good news is that the extended weather forecast looks great and I expect to see the water temperatures rise fast over the next week which going to move some active feeding late prespawn bass into the shallows. The Crappie reports this week indicated that the cold front took its toll also on the shallow spawning Crappie and that they had backed off and were suspending and scattered. Since the frontal passage, the Crappie being taken were being taken by folks trolling long lines on the deeper flats in the creeks and bays and by others spider rigging over brush piles in 8-14 ft of water in the creeks. Again, I expect the rapid warm up we have coming will move a lot of these Crappie back to the shallow banks for spawning.
LARGEMOUTH BASS: Largemouth are being taken on secondary creek channel points and channel banks in the creeks and bays. These fish are being taken on medium running crankbaits, jigs, tube jigs and Texas rigged lizards. Largemouth are also being taken on shallow banks just off the spawning areas and on flats adjacent to spawning areas in the backs of the creeks and bays during the warmer part of the day with lipless crankbaits, shallow running crankbaits, chatterbaits and spinnerbaits. There is a lot of buck bass activity and numbers of smaller Largemouth are being taken but we are also getting some nice early female Largemouth too.
SMALLMOUTH BASS: Some Smallmouth have been taken on main lake gravel banks and also on gravel creek channel banks in the creeks and bays on medium running crankbaits, jigs and tube jigs. Although the numbers are few, some nice fish have been taken.
Productive lures: Rapala Shadraps in orginal crawdad and black/silver and also in rootbeer painted by BAG5 Baits. Spro Little John in spring craw pattern. Strike King Red Eye Shad in chrome sexy shad, Slong's spinnerbaits in blue glimmer and white/chartreuse, D&L baby advantage jigs in Cumberland craw and "oops" patterns. Last Cast Hairy Bug jigs in green pumpkin. Charmer lizards in green pumpkin and watermelon/red, Charmer tubes in green pumpkin with orange and purple flake, green pumpkin and road kill.
CRAPPIE: Crappie for the most part are being taken on staging brush in 8-15 ft of water over brush piles in the creeks and bays. These fish are being taken by vertically fishing with curly tail jigs and jigs tipped with minnows on spider rigs and by long line trolling. Expect the Crappie to be getting more active this weekend with the warming waters and look for some numbers of them to move to spawning banks in 4-6 ft of water.
If you are coming to the big lakes here to enjoy our great summer 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 .
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 16 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 2 Lowrance HDS 10's 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.
Call me or drop me an email to book your dates now. The sooner you book, the more likely you can get the dates you want. I also will take bookings for the rest of the season. I am also taking bookings for my Ledge Teaching trip. The Ledge Teaching trip consists of both classroom and time on the water. This trip not only teaches you how to find the highest percentage ledges but also what you are looking for on your sonar and how to interpret what you are seeing, how to search the ledges, set up on the ledges as well as making decisions on what type lures you should be throwing depending on enviromental conditions.