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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 08/18/2017

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 358.03  Surface Temperature - 83
Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 358.00  Surface Temperature - 83
Both lakes are one foot below summer pool.  Kentucky Dam was generating at an average rate of 46,900 cfs this morning.  Barkley Dam was generating at an average rate of 27,600 cfs this morning.  The latest lake levels , current flows and forecasts for all the TVA lakes can be found at http://www.tva.com/river/lakeinfo/index.htm.
Current Conditions:  The heat and humidity moved back into the lakes area this past week with daily heat indexes reaching near or at the 100 degree mark each day.  As you can see the water temperatures have remained the same as last week due to this latest heat wave.  Heavy rains up the rivers have kept the lake levels within inches of where they were last week also. 

A front moved though the area yesterday which will move back north through the lakes area as a warm front over the weekend keeping the day time temperatures in the 90's with some higher heat indexes.  The next significant cold front is forecast to move through the lakes area next Wednesday and if the extended forecast is correct, we should return to more favorable day time highs and night time low's to drop start dropping the water temperatures again late next week and move us closer to the beginnings of the early fall transition patterns.
As I mentioned in last week's report, a number of the schools of the spring fry have moved out of the shallows in the creeks and bays to the main lake as well as the front halves of the creeks and bays.  This movement is providing some scattered early and late top water bite on secondary points in the creeks and bays as well as on main lake points and main lake flats. After the morning bite, it becomes a matter of junk fishing points, docks and isolated wood cover with finesse baits to put a limit in the boat. 

This bite is scattered as these schools of small fry are moving around quite a lot so basically I would continue to call the overall bass bite as slow and scattered.  This slow and scattered bite includes the ledges where the fish have been scattered and finicky for the most part too.  This movement of schools of fry is not the fall transition.  The fall transition begins when large schools of shad start showing up in the shallows in the creeks and bays from deeper water...not fry moving out to deeper water.  
An example of the scattered bite is shown from the results of 2 tournaments held here last weekend.  In one tournament, there was only one 5 fish limit weighed in and in the other, two 5 fish limits weighed in.  Like I have said before in the past, this is not the type of report I like to provide, but it is what it is and I am not going to report a good bite just to try to generate business.  If you want to go out and learn how to catch a few fish when the bite is tough and a lot of folks are not catching any fish, then I would be happy to take you out and show you how not to zero out there.  
FLASH:  Expect heavy boat traffic on the lake this weekend and on Monday with the crowds coming in to veiw the total eclipse on Monday.  Please exercise caution, drive your boat defensively and be courteous to other boaters.  Let's get though this weekend without any boating accidents.  
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 and Lucky Craft Gunfish 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 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 and green pumpkin/orange flake 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 occuring on some nights. 
Catfish: Channels and blues are being taken along river ledges in 20-30 feet of water on cut baits on bottom rigs.  The catfish bite has been good this week with current having been generated around the clock.  

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Photo by Jennifer Dunnaway

We photographed this doe peeking from behind some tall grass near Honker Bay in Land Between The Lakes.