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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 02/26/2004

Kentucky Lake:  Water Elevation at Ky Dam - 354.83  Surface Temperature - 45

Lake Barkley:  Water Elevation at Barkley Dam - Surface Temperature - 45
I arrived home from my winter travels day before yesterday.  I am happy to be home and ready for the early spring bite to begin.  From the reports I have received this week and my own experience on the water today I would say that we are only about a week or so from the beginnings of the early spring Largemouth and Smallmouth bite.  Some Crappie are already being taken in the bays but most of the Crappie are still out on the main lake ledges.  

The water is stained on both lakes and there is current on both lakes as the rains in the upper Tennessee and Cumberland valleys received over the past couple of weeks is passing thru the lakes.  I found water temperatures on Kentucky Lake today ranging from 44 to 49 with the lower temperatures on the main lake and the upper temperatures in the bays in shallow water during the early afternoon.  
The Largemouth Bass fishing is still slow with some few reports of early big fish being taken shallow but no numbers are being reported as of yet.  The best bet is shallow running crankbaits and lipless crankbaits on the flats in the warmer water near wood cover.  I had only one bite today myself but it was a nice Largemouth taken off a stump in 3ft of water.  I had a few reports yesterday of some similiar big single fish being taken south of the U.S. 68 bridge on Kentucky Lake using the same pattern.
The Smallmouth Bass fishing is also still slow but I did receive a report of some fish being taken on main lake points south of the U.S. 68 bridge last weekend using suspending jerkbaits.  This is a normal pattern for these fish this time of year but the numbers of fish and the bigger fish usually taken on this pattern have not shown up as of yet.  

I would expect this will change soon, we just need to see the water temperatures come up another couple of degees.  Today I noticed a number of good targets on my depth finder hovering under schools of shad near the main lake points on Kentucky Lake and this normally is an indicator that these were Smallmouth and this is the pattern that produces a good early spring suspending jerkbait and crankbait bite.  
Some of the lures mentioned to me as productive this week were:  Lucky Craft pointer in chartruese, Lee Sisson crankbaits in Texas Red, and Rattletraps in black/red.
I received a number of reports of Crappie being taken just inside the mouth of the bays in 10-12ft of water over brush piles and sunken stake beds.  These fish are being taken by spider rigging small minnows and small jigs.  Again, the number of fish moving into the bays should increase as soon as the water temperatures start to rise above the 50 degree mark.  

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Bald Eagle
Photo by Melodie Cunningham

This majestic bald eagle is keeping a close eye on his Kentucky Lake neighborhood. The months of January and February are the best times to catch a glimpse of bald eagles in Land Between The Lakes.