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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 06/30/2016

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 358.90  Surface Temperature - 85

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 359.0  Surface Temperature - 85
Both lakes are at summer pool.  Kentucky Dam was generating at an average rate of 37,000 cfs this afternoon.  Barkley Dam was generating at an average rate of 9,200 cfs this afternoon.  
FLASH:  The numbers of boats on the lakes is already increasing with folks coming in for the holiday weekend.  Expect a large crowd on the lakes this weekend.  Please drive your boat defensively and be courteous to all the other boaters and anglers out there.  Let's make this an accident free holiday weekend!
General Conditions:  This has been another good week for bass on the ledges.  We have had a number of 20lbs and plus 5 fish bags lately and multiple limits.  A couple of nice cold fronts came through the lakes area late this week and cooled the temperatures down making it nice and pleasant.  Today it was a slow bite though with the post frontal flat water and blue skies and our best 5 only went around 14.5 lbs but it was still nice to enjoy the cool down.  The slower approach on the ledges has still been our best producer of numbers and large fish this week (Carolina rigged creature baits, Texas rigged large worms and dragging football head jigs) but some other lures and techniques are producing.  The TVA has been cranking up the flow on Kentucky Lake around mid day thru the early evening hours and I have received a number of reports of a good bite late in the afternoon through the early evening.
The weather forecast could certainly be better for the holiday weekend but it is what it is.  The forecast for tomorrow is for a high of 89/low of 66 with wind NW at 7 and a 20% chance of thunderstorms.  Saturday's forecast is for a nice high of 77/low of 66 with wind NE at 10 but a 40% chance of scattered thunderstorms.  Sunday warms back up with a high of 91/low of 74 with wind SSW at 14 and a 50% chance of evening thunderstorms.  For the holiday on Monday, we have a forecast high of 86/low of 70 with wind SW at 14 and a 90% chance of thunderstorms.  The extended forecast shows a return to the upper 90's by midweek with low's in the 70's and chances of thunderstorms every day.
LARGEMOUTH BASS: Largemouth are being taken on the ledges with deep diving crankbaits, swim baits, Carolina rigged creature baits, Texas rigged large worms, drop shots and jigs. Largemouth are also being taken shallow in the coves and backs of the creeks and bays near vegetation on topwater lures early in the morning and late in the evening. Some bass are being taken near wood cover in shallow water during the day on Texas rigged creature baits and worms. A few bass are being taken around mayfly hathches early and late in the day near overhanging trees in the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on topwater lures, Texas rigged creature baits and jigs.
SMALLMOUTH BASS: Smallmouth are being taken on the ledges with Carolina rigged creature baits and jigs. Smallmouth are also being taken on main lake rocky points and banks as well as rocky banks and points in the creeks and bays. These fish are being taken on jigs, Texas rigged creature baits, tube jigs and shakey heads.  Smallmouth now being taken on the rocky points on the main lake and in the front halves of the creeks and bays at night on large dark skirted spinner baits and jigs.
PRODUCTIVE LURES: Some of the productive lures this week have been: Strike King XD 6 and XD 10 crankbaits in sexy shad and chartreuse sexy shad, Rapala DT 16 crankbaits in parrot, Bag 5 custom painted deep crankbaits in blue glimmer and green gizzard shad, Big Hammer swim baits in sexy smelt and bay smelt, Keitech swim baits in pro blue and pearl, Lucky Craft Sammy in ghost pearl lemon, Strike King splash bait in white, Slong’s football jig Cumberland craw, D&L football head jigs in Cumberland craw and Oops patterns, Slong’s shaky head jigs with Charmer shaky head worm in green pumpkin and bama bug as well as Yamamto senkos and Yum dingers in green pumpkin, Charmer timber pups in green pumpkin and watermelon/purple on Carolina rigs and Texas rigs, Charmer 10.5 inch ribbon tail worms in plum and green pumpkin on Texas rigs and Zoom pumpkin lizards with chartreuse tails on Carolina rigs.  
White Bass: White Bass are being taken along the old river channel ledges by vertically fishing with inline spinners and blade baits.  Some whites are also being taken near mayfly hatches early and late in the day near overhanging trees in the creeks and bays on small topwater poppers and inline spinners.
Bluegill:  Bluegills are being taken near mayfly hatches early and late in the day near mayfly hatches around overhanging trees in the creeks and bays as well as around docks at night.  These fish are being taken on red worms and wax worms fished under bobbers.
Catfish: Catfish are being taken along the old river channel ledges in 20-30 feet of water on bottom rigs baited with cut baits, shrimp and leach combinations and yellow tails. Some catfish are also still being taken in the mid depth ranges of 10-15 ft in the creeks and bays on bottom rigs baited with night crawlers.

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If you've dug this deep in our Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley fishing reports, you are probably just itching to come down and visit the South's biggest lakes.  Get started by finding that perfect place to stay!  Find a Kentucky Lake cabin or a Lake Barkley campground, a full-service resort or a marina.  Heck, there are even dozens of hotels off the water to choose from! 

Don't have a boat?  No worries!  Bank fishing is always an option for panfish. But if you're heart is set on largemouth or smallmouth, you can rent a fishing boat at many of our local resorts!

The perfect place to start looking for a place to stay at Kentucky or Barkley Lakes?  Right here on our main lodging page.

Honker Lake
Photo by Jennifer Dunnaway

In June these beautiful lily pads are in full bloom at Honker Lake in Land Between The Lakes. Honker Lake is a great place for wildlife viewing and hiking.