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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 09/22/2017

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 355.58  Surface Temperature - 80
Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 355.45  Surface Temperature - 80

Both lakes are one and one half feet above winter pool.  Kentucky Dam was generating at an average rate of 30,000 cfs this morning. Barkley Dam was generating at an average rate of 18,000 cfs this morning. 

Current Conditions:  I mentioned in last week's report that the early fall transition had begun with schools of young threadfin having moved into the shallows with the water temperature drop we experienced with the below normal air temperatures last week.  Well, summer returned with a vengeance this week with above normal air temperatures and this resulted in a water temperature increase of 5 degrees since my last report.  These raising water temperatures combined with high pressure, blue skies and flat water all this week have made for a slow and scattered bite on the bass.  

The early morning and late evening top water bite we had last week has diminished to almost nil this week.  Our best pattern this week has been fishing finesse techniques such as shaky heads, drop shots and finesse jigs on primary and secondary creek channel banks and points in the creeks and bays.  This pattern has been producing some numbers of small fish with an occasional keeper now and then.  The key to this pattern is to fish slow and keep focused as the bite is not aggressive and be patient as the bite is scattered.  

This heat wave is forecast to continue through mid next week with day time high's in the 90's and night time low's in the mid to upper 60's along with more blue skies and light winds.  I expect this will raise the water temperatures another degree or two if this forecast holds.  The next cooling frontal passage is forecast for late next Wednesday after which the forecast is showing a return to more seasonable air temperatures.  

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, Slong's spinner baits in blue glimmer,  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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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.

Bison Herd
Photo by Libby Mundy

Visitors to the Elk and Bison Prairie in Land Between The Lakes can almost always catch a glimpse of some bison. They are most frequently seen early in the morning and in the late afternoon.