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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 08/26/2016

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 356.95  Surface Temperature - 87

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 357.05  Surface Temperature - 87
Both lakes are two feet below summer pool and on a slow draw down.  Kentucky Dam was generating at an average rate of 58,000 cfs this morning.  Barkley Dam was generating at an average rate of 28,800 cfs this morning.
General Conditions:  We enjoyed some nice cool days earlier this week behind the strong cold front that passed through the lakes area last weekend but the heat of summer returned this week with daytime heat indexes around 100 the past few days.  This of course raised the water temperatures by about 3 degrees back to normal deep summer levels.  The lake levels rose with the heavy rains south of us last weekend and the TVA has been pulling the levels back down the past few days which has given us a little current which we have not seen in a while. The ledge bite has picked up a little with this current but the bite has still remained scattered and slow for the most part overall with the lower oxygen levels of deep summer water temperatures.
There has been some speculation that we are now in the transition from summer to fall patterns.  I believe this may be due to the fact that some fish are being taken shallow feeding on schools of fry.  Fact is that seasonal migrations are based on water conditions, particularly water temperatures and not calendars.  We are in the middle of summer with summer water temperatures and low oxygen levels. Historically we always have a tougher bite this time of year with the prevailing environment conditions of deep summer. Fact is we have been taking fish shallow feeding on these schools of fry since June as a back up pattern through the summer as we do every summer and has been in my weekly report all summer.  

What is disturbing though is that what we are seeing is that most of these large schools of shallow fry are not shad, but asian carp fry.  We are not seeing large schools of threadfin shad yet in the shallows that will be the first to show up when the fall transition begins.  These fish will be larger than the fry that are shallow now and you will notice large dark schools, not the spead out schools of small fry that are now there in the shallows.  Typically the fall transition starts sometime in September, based on falling water temperatures.  I have seen it start as early as the first week or two of September and as late as the end of September.  According to my over 30 years of detailed logs, it will begin when the morning water temperatures on the main lake fall to the mid 70's. 
That being said, the same conditions that I have been reporting over the past few weeks of an overall slow bite continues to be true.  The bite is spotty and now and then we get into some active feeding fish but the numbers are low and most days the bite is slow and scattered.  Wood cover has been the most productive pattern whether we are fishing ledges or back in the creeks.  Slower techniques such as Carolina rigs, Texas rigs, jigs, shaky heads, drop shots and dead sticking senko type lures have been the most productive with some early morning and late evening bite in the shallows on topwater lures, spinner baits and square billed crank baits producing some fish, especially on cloudy days.  
The forecast for Saturday is for a high of 90/low of 74 with a 60% chance of scattered thunderstorms with wind SSE at 4.  Sunday is showing a high of 92/low if 73 with a 20% chance of scattered thunderstorms with wind E at 3.  The extended forecast through next mid week is calling for high's around 90/low's in the 70's with sunny skies and light winds.  Looks like we are in for some more deep summer days of high heat indexes and flat water next week.  
LARGEMOUTH BASS: Largemouth are being taken on the tops of the ledges as well as on main lake points where there is shallow wood near the deep water. These fish are being taken on Carolina rigged creature baits, Texas rigged large worms, drop shots, shaky heads and jigs There are also some bass being taken on secondary creek channel points with wood cover and around docks where there are schools of fry. These fish are being taken on unweighted senko type baits, tube jigs and finesse jigs. Some Largemouth are also being taken around isolated wood in the shallows with topwater lures, spinner baits, lipless crankbaits, square billed crankbaits, jigs, shakey heads and Texas rigged creature baits especially early in the morning and late in the evening.  
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 are 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: Lucky Craft Sammy in ghost pearl lemom, buzz baits in white and also black,  Bag5 custom painted Strike Red Eye Shad in blue glimmer, Stike King Red Eye Shad in sexy shad and chrome sexy shad, Slong's spinner bait in blue glimmer and chartruese/white, Slong’s football jig with a blue craw skirt, 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 and paddle tail worms in plum and green pumpkin on Texas rigs and dead sticking Yamamoto Senko's in green pumpkin and green pumpkin magic.   
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 somewhat active this week in the jumps along the river channel ledges and creek channel ledges as well as on the main lake flats, but the jumps are short in duration. 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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The Homeplace
Photo by Melodie Cunningham

The Single Pen Cabin is one of many historic buildings at the Homeplace 1850's working farm in Land Between The Lakes.