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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 09/08/2017

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 355.46  Surface Temperature - 76
Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 355.60  Surface Temperature - 76

Both lakes are 3.5 feet below summer pool.  Kentucky Dam was generating at an average rate of 34,000 cfs this afternoon.  Barkley Dam was generating at an average rate of 18,000 cfs this afternoon. 

Current Conditions:  Late last week the remnants of Hurricane Harvey was forecasted to come through the lakes area Friday and Saturday.  The TVA pulled the lakes down to near winter pool levels in anticipation of a lot of water to be dropped in the local area as well as up the Tennessee river.  Well, this did not happen.  The remnants of Harvey actually came through further east of us and the end result was that a lot of rain was dropped in the Cumberland river upstream from the lakes.  This resulted in a lot of water coming into Lake Barkley but not much coming into Kentucky Lake.  Barkley had a lot of current and muddy water from this large influx of water coming in from up stream.  Barkley water clarity remains heavily stained in most areas.  Kentucky Lake water clarity ranges from light stain to clear.  The TVA has been raising the water a little every day over the past couple of days as we are still about a foot below where we should be on the fall drawdown.  

I have spent the last 2 days on Kentucky Lake from the dam to Paris and I can tell you that the large schools of threadfin moving into the shallows which signals the start of the fall transition has happened yet.  The same report from last week still stands in that the bite is still slow and scattered with some bass being taken on top water lures  early and late back shallow in the creeks and bays and on main lake flats.  Some are also being taken on secondary points in the creeks and bays and main lake points on slower techniques.  A few fish are still being taken on ledges on slower techniques but the bite is slow and scattered.  I expect the transition will start any day now as we are in the water temperature range for this to happen.  I will keep you posted through my reports here when this happens.  

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 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 on shallow flats in the creeks and bays and on the main lake early and late in the day on top water lures.
Smallmouth Bass: Smallmouth are being taken on main lake points and secondary points in the creeks and bays.  The fish are being taken on top water lures, finesse jigs and shaky heads.
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, 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 by trolling medium running crank baits in these areas.

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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.

Beaver Dam Outlook
Photo by Melodie Cunningham

The view from the top of this beaver dam shows a Kentucky Lake inlet in late spring. An inlet like this one is habitat to a variety of exciting wildlife and plants just waiting to be explored!