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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 05/05/2016

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 359.0  Surface Temperature - 67

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 359.15  Surface Temperature - 68
Both lakes are at summer pool.  Kentucky Dam was generating at an average rate of 22,000 cfs this afternoon.  Barkley Dam was generating at an average rate of 20,400 cfs this afternoon.  
General Conditions:  This week finds the bass with some on the nests, some still staging and some post spawn fish.  The bite still seems somewhat scattered but we are managing to put some keepers in the boat but numbers of larger 4 lbs plus bass are still elusive.  The TVA has played with the water levels all week...pushing them up 4-6 inches and then lowering them all in the same day.  Today the TVA lowered the lakes 6 inches between this morning and this afternoon.  This plays havoc with the shallow fish bite.  Our best producing pattern on both lakes this week has been fishing staging/post spawn banks and points off the shallow spawning areas.  We are also getting a lot of pick ups and drops of our soft plastics and jigs in 4-7 ft of water in these areas indicating there are a number of fish bedding deeper this year.  I have been checking a number of early ledges and finding some fish there but these fish are of the same size that we are taking on the staging/spawning banks for the most part.  
Rain and scattered thunderstorms along with south winds earlier in the week have given way to post frontal cooler temperatures and north winds the past two days which dropped the water temperatures a degree or two.  This is expected to continue tomorrow but a nice warming trend is set up for the weekend with higher temperatures and warmer winds from the south quadrants.  The forecast for tomorrow is for a high of 75/low of 54 with wind NNW at 10.  The forecast for Saturday is calling for a warm up with a high of 84/low of 60 with wind WSWat 16.  Sunday's forecast is calling for a high of 85/low of 63 with wind WSW at 10.  The extended forecast into mid next week is calling for highs near 80/low's in the mid 60's with south quadrant winds and a chance of scattered thunderstorms each day.  Keep an eye on the sky for approaching storms.  These storms we have been having have been producing some really nasty lightning and localized high winds.
LARGEMOUTH BASS: Largemouth are being taken on secondary channel points and banks inside the creeks and bays on Carolina and Texas rigged creature baits, jigs and shaky heads. Largemouth are also being taken shallow in the coves and backs of the creeks and bays near vegetation on spinner baits, chatter baits, Texas rigged creature baits, whacky rigged worms and jigs.
SMALLMOUTH BASS: Smallmouth are being taken on main lake rocky points and banks as well as rocky banks and points in the creeks and bays. These fish are on a post spawn feed and are being taken on jigs, Texas rigged creature baits, tube jigs, shaky heads and grubs.  Although the numbers are low, some nice fish have been taken this week.
PRODUCTIVE LURES: Some of the productive lures this week have been: Slong's spinner baits in white/chartruese, Picasso FX shock blade chatterbait in white and blue glimmer, Zman chatterbaits in white/chartruese, Slong’s football jig Cumberland craw, D&L baby advantage jig in Cumberland craw and Oops patterns, Last Cast jigs in green pumpkin, Slong’s shaky head jigs with Charmer shaky head worm in green pumpkin and bama bug as well as Yamamto senkos in green pumpkin, Charmer lizards and timber pups in green pumpkin and green pumpkin/blue, Zoom super hawg in green pumpkin, Zoom trick worms on whacky rigs in green pumpkin, green pumpkin blue, green pumpkin purple and watermelon purple.
CRAPPIE: Crappie are now on post spawn patterns with majority being taken by vertically fishing with jigs and minnow/jig combinations over brush in 10-15 feet of water.  There are a few still being taken shallow around vegetation with jigs and minnows under bobbers but these fish are scattered.
Bluegill/Red Ear: Some bluegills and a few red ears are starting to show up in the shallows and are being taken on red worms and crickets fished under bobbers and on small jigs tipped with worms on split shot rigs. The bluegills are being taken on shallow flats near vegetation and the red ears are being taken on gravel bars near the shallow flats, especially those with vegetation.  This fishing should be getting hot over the couple of weeks.
Catfish: Channel catfish are now being taken on rocky points and banks on night crawlers fished both under bobbers and on bottom rigs. Some nice catches of numbers of these fish are now being reported.  

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Photo by Jennifer Dunnaway

This shy little turtle visited our campsite recently in Land Between The Lakes. There are several different species of turtles that can be seen near Kentucky Lake.