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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 07/21/2016

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 358.36  Surface Temperature - 90

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 358.40  Surface Temperature - 90
Both lakes are about one half foot below summer pool and on a slow draw down.  Kentucky Dam was generating at an average rate of 27,600 cfs this afternoon.  Barkley Dam was generating at an average rate of 17,400 cfs this afternoon. 
General Conditions:  Hot, humid, light wind and no current says it all for this past week.  The TVA has not drawn enough water since last week to produce any noticeable current.  We have been under heat advisories all week with heat indexes above 100 each day.  As you can see the water temperatures are high and there has been very little wind except for around an occasional afternoon thunderstorm.  The ledge fishing this week has reflected these conditions.  We have some nice fish but the numbers are down and the ledge bite is slow and scattered.  Slow techniques such as Carolina rigs, Texas rigs, slow dragging jigs, shaky heads and drop shots have been the best producers.  There has been some activity in the creeks and bays on secondary creek channel points and banks where some schools of smaller bass have been feeding on schools of fry early and late in the day.  
There is currently an excessive heat advisory out for the lakes area thru Sunday with heat indexes forecast to be well above 100 degrees.  My best advice is get out early or wait and go out late in the evening to avoid the nasty afternoon temperatures.  Make sure you have plenty of water, sports drinks and sunblock.  The forecast for tomorrow is for a high of 96/low of 74 with a 20% chance of thunderstorms and wind SW at 4.  Saturday is forecast to have a high of 92/low of 76 with a 20% chance of thunderstorms and wind SSW at 5.  Sunday the heat continues with a high of 96/low of 77 with a 20% chance of thunderstorms and wind SW at 6.  The extended forecast into mid next week is showing high's in the low 90's/ low's in the mid 70's with a 60% chance of thunderstorms each day.  Keep an eye out for approaching storms.  These summer storms come up quick, move fast and have a lot of cloud to ground lightning as well as localized high winds.
LARGEMOUTH BASS: Largemouth are being taken on the ledges as well as on main lakes points and secondary creek channel points with  swim baits, Carolina rigged creature baits, Texas rigged large worms, drop shots, shaky heads and jigs. Largemouth are also being taken on secondary points and creek channel banks in the creeks and bays early and late in the day where they are feeding on schools of fry.  These fish are being taken on top water lures, medium running crank baits, chatter baits, Texas rigged worms and finesse 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: 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 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. 
White Bass: White Bass are being taken along the old river channel ledges by vertically fishing with inline spinners and blade baits as well as trolling inline spinners behind deep diving crank 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.  I did witness a few short lived jumps on top of some ledges in the 12-15 foot depths this week.  I am sure these fish could have been taken with small topwater lures, lipless crank baits or in line 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.

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Photo by Libby Mundy

This male eastern bluebird is looking for an insect to munch on. Easily spotted by binoculars, the males are bluer than the females which are mostly grey in color.