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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 07/14/2016

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 358.98  Surface Temperature - 86

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 359.05  Surface Temperature - 86
 
Both lake are at summer pool and on a slow draw down.  Barring any unforeseen influx of water, the lakes should reach one foot below summer pool by the end of the month in accordance with the TVA River Operating Schedule.  Kentucky Dam was generating at an average rate of 33,880 cfs this afternoon.  Barkley Dam was generating at an average rate of 28,800 cfs this afternoon.  
 
General Conditions:  The lakes have been drawn down to their present levels over the past week from the higher than normal levels last week due to the heavy rains in the lakes area.  Kentucky Lake is clearing nicely with only a light stain as of today.  Lake Barkley ranges from stained to heavily stained.  The ledge bite on Kentucky Lake has been somewhat slow in the early morning hours but picking up late in the morning and during the afternoon as the TVA increases the flow rate at the dam.  The bite on main lake points near the mouths of the creeks and bays as well as  secondary points in the creek and bays has picked up this week from the reports I have received.  These fish are feeding on schools of larger fry from the spring spawns.  There has been a lot of wood debris floating on the lakes this week with the draw down, especially on Barkley.  The amount of debris has decreased over the past day or so, but it still prudent to keep a sharp eye out for this debris while running the lakes.  
 
The weather this week has been the usual summer pattern with high heat indexes around the 100 degree range each day and some scattered thunderstorms, especially late in the day.  Keep an eye out for the storms as they are normally moving pretty fast, have a lot of cloud to ground lightning, locally heavy downpours and locally high winds.  The forecast for tomorrow is for a high of 87/low of 69 with a 20% chance of scattered thunderstorms and wind NNE at 5.  Saturday's forecast is for a high of 89/low 0f 69 with a 20% chance of scattered thunderstorms and wind ENE at 6.  These lower temperatures on Friday and Saturday is because a cold front is passing though the area tonight.  Sunday's forecast is showing a return to higher temperatures with a forecast high of 93/low of 73 with a 10% chance of scattered thunderstorms and wind S at 6.  The extended forecast into next mid week is showing high in the mid 90's/low's in the 70's with a chance of scattered thunderstorms each day.  
 
LARGEMOUTH BASS: Largemouth are being taken on the ledges as well as on main lakes points and secondary creek channel points 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, apple shad and chartreuse sexy shad, Rapala DT 16 crankbaits in parrot,  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.  This bite is best during the day and evening hours as the TVA is generating current.

More Kentucky Lake Fishing Reports

Now That You're 'Hooked' on Fishing... Come See Us!

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.


Hematite Leaves
Photo by Shane Dunnaway

Those who are familiar with Hematite Lake trail will know where this photo was taken. Beautiful autumn leaves attempt to cover the rocks alongside the path around Hematite Lake.