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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 03/31/2017

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 355.62  Surface Temperature - 60
Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 355.60  Surface Temperature - 60
 
Both lakes are one and one half foot above winter pool.  Kentucky Dam was spilling at a rate of 66,000 cfs this morning.  Barkley Dam was spilling at a rate of 46,000 cfs this morning.  
 
Current Conditions:  The Largemouth are now on prespawn patterns with more fish staging up on the ledges and points around the mouths of the creeks and bays as well as on the channel points in the front halves of the creeks and bays.  As mentioned in last week's report, there are some early fish roaming shallow in the creeks and bays also.  We took fish again this week from the main lake to the shallows.  Our best bite this week was on crawfish colored crank baits and suspending jerk baits on the more active fish and on shakey heads, finesse jigs and Texas rigged creature baits on less active fish.  
 
The shallow water bite has been up and down this past week depending on the day.  We had a good shallow pattern going late last week in 2-3 ft of water until the TVA dropped the lake levels one foot rapidly last Saturday night.  This pulled the fish out for a day or so but they returned once the levels settled down early this week.  The shallow water bite has been best late in the morning and early afternoon on warmer days, once the shallows warm up a couple of degrees.  

The bite on the staging points has been more consistant this past week.  We are still getting frontal passages every other day right now so you need to be versitile in your patterns and bait selections from day to day.  Just remember, these prespawn fish are now starting to transition for the up coming spawn and they are only going in one direction (toward the shallows) and they do not all move to the shallows at the same time anymore than do they all spawn at the same time.  
 
The lake levels should start rising towards summer pool levels starting this next week. The lakes should reach summer pool levels by the last day of April barring any unforeseen rapid influx of water that would raise the levels to summer pool earlier.  The weather forecast for tomorrow (Saturday) is for a high of 64/night time low of 46 with post frontal wind NNE at 7.  Sunday's forecast is for a high of 73/night time low of 58 with post frontal wind ESE at 10.  Monday's forecast is showing a 100% chance of thunderstorms with high south winds as another front approaches the lakes area.  Make sure you check the latest wind and weather forecasts before you go out on the water.  The forecasts change rapidly this time of year and we have had some days of some nasty storms and very high winds lately.  
 
Largemouth Bass: Largemouth are being taken on main lake primary points and channel banks on deep and medium running crank baits, suspending jerk baits, shakey heads and jigs. Largemouth are being taken on channel banks and secondary points in the creeks and bays on suspending jerk baits, medium running crank baits, jigs and shakey heads. Some fish are being taken on shallow main lake flats and on flats in the backs of the creeks and bays on warm days on lipless crank baits and shallow running crank baits. 
 
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth are being taken on main lake channel points and banks as well as on secondary points and channel banks in the front halves of the creeks and bays on medium running crank baits, suspending jerk baits, tube jigs and jigs. The numbers are low but some nice fish have been taken.  These fish are on late prespawn/spawn patterns now.  
 
Productive Lures: Some of the productive lures reported this week are Rapala DT crank baits in demon and red craw, Rapala  shadraps in demon, red craw and original crawdad. Stike King 6XD crank baits in sexy shad and chartruese sexy shad, Megabass suspending jerk baits in Ito Watsugi, Lucky Craft suspending jerk baits in pearl ayu and aurora black. D&L jigs in "oops" and cumberland craw, Slong's jigs in cumberland craw, Charmer shakey head jigs and Slong's shakey head jigs with Charmer shakey head worms in green pumpkin and Zoom trick worm in green pumpkin/purple, Strike King red eye shad and Lewis rattletrap lipless crank baits in crawfish patterns. Spro Little John shallow and medium running crank baits in spring craw and chartreuse with black back.
 
Crappie: The Crappie are starting to spawn over the past few days.  These are primarily Black Crappie.  They are being taken around brush piles in 5-7 ft of water by fishing with minnows or small curly tail jigs under bobbers and by casting curly tail jigs.  These fish are moving to the banks early in the morning and during the afternoon and are being taken by casting curly tail jigs and road runner type baits.  The White Crappie are staging around brush and underwater stake beds in 8-11 ft of water as well as in 12-15 ft of water.  These fish are being taken by vetically fishing with jigs and minnow jig combinations as well as slow trolling curly tail jigs.  

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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.


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.