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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 08/10/2017

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 357.80  Surface Temperature - 83
Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 357.80  Surface Temperature - 83
Both lakes are just slightly more than one foot below summer pool.  Kentucky Dam was generating at an average rate of 28,500 cfs this afternoon.  Barkley Dam was generating at an average rate of 17,800 cfs at mid day today. 
Current Conditions:  We have had another week of nice weather here at the lakes this week with high's in the 80's and low's in the 60's.  We have not had any current on the lakes this week and lake levels rose about one half foot since my last report due to some heavy rains this past weekend here and up river.  The ledge bite continues to be scattered and slow.  The water temperatures however have dropped another 2 degrees since last week with the cooler nights.  

The better bite continues to be early in the morning with top water lures in the shallows back in the creeks and bays.  Some early top water bite has now emerged on the main lake on points and on some shallow water flats as some schools of fry have now made their way out to the main lake area.  The better day time pattern continues to be "junk" fishing around isolated wood cover and docks with associated wood cover using spinner baits, jigs, tube jigs, senko type baits and fluke type baits.  

If the water temperatures continue to drop as they have over the past 2 weeks, I expect we will start seeing a transition to early fall patterns in about 3 weeks.  
The forecast for the tomorrow is for a high of 85/night time low of 68 with a 40% chance of evening thunderstorms and wind WSW at 6.  Saturday's forecast is showing a high of 85/night time low of 65 with wind NNE at 10.  Sunday's forecast is for a high of 82/night time low of 67 with a 50% chance of scattered thunderstorms and wind E at 5.  The extended forecast is showing day time high's in the 80's and night time low's in the 60's with light winds.  
FLASH:  Here is an except from an email I and many others in the lakes area received from the U.S. Coast Guard this week that I thought would be of interest to folks that live here and also those that will be visiting here for the up coming total eclipse event later this month:
With the pending eclipse and the tourism it will generate, there is greater opportunity that some will attempt to take passengers out on their vessels or offer guide services without the proper license.

Carrying passengers for hire or for consideration, direct (cash payment) or indirect (renting your campsite with the understanding that you will take them out on the pontoon boat), requires a Coast Guard licensed/credentialed operator as per 46 U.S. Code (USC) 8903.  

The Passenger Vessel Safety Act of 1993 (attached) defines "passenger for hire" and "consideration" as follows:

Section 2101 of title 46, United States Code
"(21a) 'passenger for hire' means a passenger for whom consideration is contributed as a condition of carriage on the vessel, whether directly or indirectly flowing to the owner, charterer, operator, agent, or any other person having an interest in the vessel.".

Section 2101 of title 46, United States Code
"(5a) 'consideration' means an economic benefit, inducement, right, or profit including pecuniary payment accruing to an individual, person, or entity, but not including a voluntary sharing of the actual expenses of the voyage, by monetary contribution or donation of fuel, food, beverage, or other supplies.".

The U.S. Coast Guard conducts patrols on the lakes continuously. Please be patient and understanding of our boarding officers that may come aboard to ensure compliance with all federal laws and regulations. If there is ever an issue, please contact me. 

If you are not credentialed and are offering these services, then I remind you that operating an uninspected passenger vessel without proper Coast Guard issued credentials may subject the operator to civil penalties of up to $38,175.00 per day as outlined in 46 USC 8906.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at the below contact numbers, or LT Daniel Parker at 270-442-1621 ext 2119, or at Daniel.m.parker@uscg.mil. 

Clarence C. Rice
Senior Investigating Officer
U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit
Paducah, KY 42003
P - 270.442.1621 Ext 2106
F - 270.442.1633
Note:  I posted this here on my report to hopefully inform those that may unknowingly break this law and find themselves in an embarrassing and financially hardship situation.  For those of you coming here for the eclipse celebrations or any other time:  If you contract with anyone to pay them a consideration to be a passenger in their vessel for any other reason than a voluntary sharing of the actual expenses for that voyage you should ask if they are licensed to operate that vessel by the U.S. Coast Guard.  There are no valid excuses for accepting payment and not being properly credentialed as required by the above mentioned federal regulations.
Largemouth Bass: Largemouth are being taken on primary points on the main lake as well as on ledges on the main lake and in the mouths of creeks and bays. These fish are being taken on swim baits, spoons, Texas rigged large worms, drop shot rigs, shaky heads, Carolina rigged creature baits and jigs. Largemouth are being taken in the backs of the creeks and bays as well as on main lake points and shallow flats early and late in the day on topwater lures as they are feeding on schools of fry. Some Largemouth are also being taken shallow near isolated wood cover and around docks with cover during the day on spinner baits, Texas rigged creature baits, jigs, tube jigs, Senko type baits and flukes.
Smallmouth Bass: Smallmouth are being taken on main lake points and on ledges during the day on jigs and Carolina rigged creature baits. Smallmouth and Largemouth are being taken at night on rocky main lake points and rocky points inside the mouths of creeks and bays on dark skirted spinner baits, jigs and tube jigs. 
Productive Lures: Some of the productive lures reported this week are Lucky Craft Sammy in ghost pearl lemon, Strike King splash baits in white, Big Hammer swim baits in sexy smelt and bay smelt, D&L jigs in "oops" and Cumberland craw, Slong's jigs in Cumberland craw and black/blue, Charmer and Zoom large worms in plum and green pumpkin on Texas rigs and Carolina rigs, Charmer lizards and timber pups on Texas rigs and Carolina rigs in green pumpkin, green pumpkin/blue and watermelon/purple, Charmer shaky head worms and zoom trick worms on shaky head jigs in green pumpkin and watermelon/purple and Charmer tubes in smoke purple on tube jig heads rigged stupid style, Zoom fluke junior in white and variations of green pumpkin robo worms on drop shot rigs.
White Bass: White Bass are being taken along main lake ledges and the ledges around the mouths of the creeks and bays with in line spinners and blade baits fished vertically as well as around mayfly hatches near overhanging trees early and late in the day. The mayfly hatches are not large but some smaller hatches are still occurring on some nights. There has been some early morning jumps around the mouths of the creeks and bays but they are not lasting very long but some fish can be taken in these jumps with inline spinners and small spoons cast into the surface feeding fish.
Catfish: Channels and blues are being taken along river ledges in 20-30 feet of water on cut baits on bottom rigs.

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.

Water Break
Photo by Melodie Cunningham

This young buck has taken a quick break for a drink. Deer are one of the more common types of wildlife that can be seen in this region.