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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 08/05/2016

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 358.95  Surface Temperature - 89

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 358.90  Surface Temperature - 89
Both lakes are at summer pool and on a slow draw down.  Kentucky Dam was generating at an average rate of 32,000 cfs early this morning.  Barkley Dam was generating at an average rate of 27,600 cfs early this morning.  
General Conditions:  Another week of hot summer heat with some brief localized heavy downpours from scattered thunderstorms in the lakes area this week.  The run off from these storms have kept the lake levels higher than they normally would be at this time in August.  Normally we would have levels about one foot lower than present levels with the water on a continuous slow draw down to reach about 2 feet below summer pool by the end of the month. 
The TVA did increase the flow rate somewhat this week with a couple of days having drawn more than 40,000 cfs during the heat of the day and at night.  Although the bass bite has remained somewhat scattered and slow over all, the bite did increase some during the periods of heavier draw at the dams.  We are catching fish, but we are still in those summer doldrums of lower oxygen levels and slower catch rates.  The best bite has been early in the morning before sun rise and late in the evening just before sun set.  

Slower techniques such as Carolina rigged creature baits, Texas rigged worms, dragging jigs, shaky heads and drop shots continue to be the best producers.  The key to boating some bass is to be patient and fish slow.  I am still getting reports of a good night bite on the ledges and on the main lake points on most nights with dark skirted spinner baits, Texas rigged worms, jigs and tube jigs.
The weather forecast for today is for a high of 93/low of 74 with heat indexes near 100 and wind WSW at 7.  A cold front will be passing through the area late tonight into tomorrow giving us some reprieve from the higher heat levels but of course coming with the frontal passage, more storms for tomorrow.  Saturday's forecast is for a high of 85/low of 68 with a 60% chance of thunderstorms with wind N at 6.  Sunday is showing post frontal with a high of 85/low of 68 with sunny skies and wind NNE at 7.  The extended forecast into mid next week is showing high's near 90/low's in the 70's with a slight chance of scattered thunderstorms and light winds.  Keep an eye on the sky for approaching thunderstorms.  These thunderstorms we have been having are producing a lot of cloud to ground lightning, localized high winds and heavy down pours.  Seek a safe port when you see these approaching storms as most of them are fast movers.
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.  The night largemouth are being taken on dark skirted spinner baits, Texas rigged worms, shaky heads, jigs and tube 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 and Charmer shaky head jigs with Charmer shaky head worm in green pumpkin as well as Charmer timber pups in green pumpkin/blue and watermelon purple, Charmer timber pups in green pumpkin blue 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, live minnows fished vertically and blade baits as well as trolling inline spinners behind deep diving crank baits. White Bass have been very active this week in the jumps along the river channel ledges and creek channel ledges as well as on the main lake flats. These fish are being taken on inline spinners and small spoons cast into the surface feeding fish.
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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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.

Kentucky Lake Sunset
Photo by Shawn Dunnaway

Sunsets at Kentucky Lake are special. You can find them on the eastern banks of Kentucky Lake looking west across a mile of ripples and waves. There's nothing quite like experiencing a sunset on Kentucky Lake.