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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 07/29/2016

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 358.93  Surface Temperature - 90

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 358.90  Surface Temperature - 90
Both lakes are just below summer pool and on a draw down.  Kentucky Dam was generating at an average rate of 13,800 cfs this morning.  Barkley Dam was generating at an average rate of 8,400 cfs this morning.  
General Conditions:  This has been another week of hot weather with heat indexes over 100 each day and flat water with little breeze except when we have had some nasty summer thunderstorms come through the area, mostly in the afternoons.  The TVA is still not pulling much water through the dam so there is no current.  Overall the ledge bite has continued to be slow although you can catch a few fish, you need to fish slow and be patient.  Slower moving techniques such as Carolina rigs, Texas rigs, dragging jigs, shaky heads and drop shots continue to be the best producers for bass.  It looks like there will be a little reprieve from the higher heat indexes over the weekend before we return to higher temperatures early next week.  Keep an eye on the sky for these fast moving thunderstorms we have been having.  They contain a lot of lightning, locally heavy rains and high winds.  
The forecast for Saturday is for a high of 84/low of 69 with a 60% chance of scattered thunderstorms and wind WSW at 6.  Sunday's forecast is for a high of 86/low of 70 with a 50% chance of scattered thunderstorms and wind SW at 4.  The extended forecast into mid next week is calling for a return of high's in the 90's/low's in the 70's with light winds and 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 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.  There are also some bass being taken around docks where there are schools of fry.  These fish are being taken on unweighted senko type baits 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, 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. White Bass have been very active this week in the jumps along the river channel ledges and creek channel ledges on the main lake.  These fish are being taken on inline spinners and small spoons cast into the surface feeding fish.
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.

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.

Big Bass
Photo by Brandon Hunter

Nathan Long holds up two nice bass while fishing with guide Brandon Hunter recently on Kentucky Lake.