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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 09/17/2017

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 355.36  Surface Temperature - 76
Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 355.40  Surface Temperature - 76

Both lakes are 3.5 feet below summer pool.  Kentucky Dam was generating at an average rate of 30,300 cfs at mid day today.  Barkley Dam was generating at an average rate of 18,200 cfs at mid day today. 

Current Conditions:  I did not write my weekly fishing report this past Thursday because I had not been on the lake last week.  We had lake wind warning out last Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday with strong north winds and I was off Thursday with a doctor's appointment.  As those of you that follow my weekly report know, I will not write a report unless I have verified information thus no report was written.  I did get out this weekend and have been telling you in my last reports that I would let you know when the early fall transition has actually begun.  We had below average temperatures during the early part of last week and the water temperatures dropped to 74 by Wednesday. 

This started moving the shad and some of the large schools of small threadfin have shown up now in the shallows in some of the creeks and bays.  These schools of small threadfin showing up in the shallows signals the beginning of the fall transition.  Not all the creeks and bays I checked this weekend had these schools in them yet but this is normal and it won't be long until there are schools of these small baitfish in all of the creeks and bays.  The transition to full fall patterns usually takes about 6-7 weeks so I expect the bite to still be somewhat scattered as the shad are moving now with the bass following.  We caught bass, both short fish and keepers around these large schools of shallow young shad this weekend on top water lures early then on lipless crank baits and spinner baits this weekend.  We also took fish on shakey heads and finesse jigs on secondary creek channel points in the creeks and bays but most of these fish were short fish and somewhat scattered. 

The water temperatures have risen a couple of degrees over the past couple days with the heat returning and probably will rise a little more this week with the forecast having day time highs in the mid to upper 80's and night time low's in the 60's through this next week.  There is also a chance of scattered thunderstorms in the forecast for Monday evening, Tuesday morning and Tuesday night.  

I also received a report from a friend of mine today of some Smallmouth being taken around shallow rock with close deep water access on finesse jigs on Lake Barkley this weekend.  

Largemouth Bass: Largemouth are being taken on primary points on the main lake. These fish are being taken on Texas rigged large worms, drop shot rigs, shaky heads, Carolina rigged creature baits and jigs. Largemouth are also 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 small threadfin. 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.  Largemouth are also being taken on shallow flats in the creeks and bays as they are feeding on schools of small threadfin.  These fish are being taken on lipless crank baits, spinner baits and square billed crank baits.
Smallmouth Bass: Smallmouth are being taken on rocky main lake points and secondary points in the creeks and bays.  The fish are being taken on top water lures early, 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, Strike King Red Eye Shad in chrome sexy shad and sexy shad, Strike King square billed crank baits in sexy shad,  D&L jigs in "oops" and cumberland craw, Slong's jigs in cumberland craw and black/blue, 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  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 flats as well as 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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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.

Photo by Libby Mundy

This male eastern bluebird is looking for an insect to munch on. Easily spotted by binoculars, the males are bluer than the females which are mostly grey in color.