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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 09/01/2017

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 355.60  Surface Temperature - 80
Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 355.45  Surface Temperature - 80

Both lakes are 3.5 feet below summer pool.  Kentucky Dam was generating at an average rate of 57,000 cfs this morning.  Barkley Dam was generating at an average rate of 42,000 cfs this morning.  

Current Conditions:  Water temperatures have dropped 3 degrees since last week's report.  Although we are still finding the bass scattered the bite has picked up some with the better oxygen levels and we have put more numbers of bass in the boat, but numbers of bigger fish are still low.  The big news is that the remnants of Harvey came into the lakes area last night and has dumped some heavy rains in the area but even more so in the areas up the rivers in Tennessee and Alabama.  

The TVA has pulled the lakes down over the past few days to present levels in anticipation of a large influx of water from these heavy rains up the rivers.  The current lake levels are about 1.5 feet below where we normally would be at this first day in September.  Projections by the TVA have been changing rapidly over the last couple of days as to how high the levels may or may not go over the next few days.  I have seen projections from summer pool levels to near winter pool levels by Monday.  One thing is for sure, boaters this weekend need to be aware of where they are running if the lake levels remain this low or go lower.  If the lake levels do rise as to near summer pool levels, I expect the shallow water bite will turn on as the water covers up the grass that has grown on the shallow flats in the backs of the creeks and bays.  

The weather forecast for the holiday weekend is looking good as the remnants of Harvey will be exiting the lakes area later today.  Expect high levels of boat traffic so please drive your boat defensively and be courteous to the other boaters and anglers.  Let's get through this last big holiday weekend on the lakes for the season without any accidents!

We have high wind warnings out today but Saturday's forecast is showing a high of 79/low of 54 with wind WNW at 9.  Sunday and Monday look good with high's in the 80's/low's in the 60's with light south quadrant winds.  The extended forecast for next week is showing high's in the 70's/low's in the 50's with north quadrant winds.  If this forecast is correct, the water temperatures are going to continue to drop and I expect we will be in the early stages of the fall transition  by the end of the week if not sooner.  

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, Texas rigged large worms, drop shot rigs, shaky heads, Carolina rigged creature baits and jigs. Largemouth are being taken on secondary points in the creeks and bays as well as on main lake points and shallow flats early and late in the day on top water 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 spash 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 by vertically fishing with inline spinners and blade baits on river ledges and around the mouths of the creeks and bays as well as by trolling medium running crank baits on main lake flats and in the creeks and bays.

Catfish:  Catfish are being taken in the main river channel ledges in 20-30 feet of water on cut baits and prepared baits on bottom rigs.  This bite has been reported as good with the current this week.

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Photo by Melodie Cunningham

September and October marks prime rutting season for elk. Elk rut to defend their territory and females (known as cows).