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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 10/13/2017

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 355.43  Surface Temperature - 74
Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 355.25  Surface Temperature - 74

Both lakes are slightly more than one foot over winter.  Kentucky Dam was generating at an average rate of 38,000 cfs this morning.  Barkley Dam was generating at an average rate of 19,600 cfs this morning. 

Current Conditions:  First let me thank all those folks that contacted me this week to check on my well being as I have not written a report in the past 2 weeks.  I failed to mention in my last report that I would be out of town attending my annual military reunion and thus would not be writing a report.  I had a great time seeing all my old military buddies but happy to be back on the water this week.  

We finally got some cooler weather this week and dropped the water temperatures a little more but we are still about 6 degrees above our normal water temperatures for this time in October due to all the heat waves we have experienced over the past few weeks.  This up and down on the water temperatures has prolonged the fall transition and for the most part the fish are still scattered and folks are finding limits of bass hard to come by.  

In the last few large tournaments here over the past 3 weeks there have been some nice weights coming to the scales in the top 4-5 boats but then the weights drop rapidly with a lot of anglers struggling to get a limit of bass.  It seems those bigger bags of bass are coming in from the south end of the lake where a few anglers have found some nice schools of bass feeding on top water lures but even those reports indicate that the fishing was spotty and they were having to cover a lot of water to fill their limits.

We caught bass on the north ends of both lakes this week with a lot of action on shorter fish but have managed to put some keeper plus sized fish in the boat.  Our best producing techniques this week were shaky heads and tube jigs fished slow on secondary points in the creeks and bays.  I have received a few reports of a scattered top water bite as well as crank bait and spinner bait bite on the north ends of the lakes but the reports indicate these patterns have been spotty. 

The forecast for Saturday is for near record high temperature of 86 with a night time low of 67 with south winds 10-15.  Sunday's forecast is showing a high of 69/ night time low of 45 with a frontal passage during the late morning hours.  A 70% chance of rain is forecast for Sunday with winds swapping from the south in the early morning to northwest at 10-15 mph.  

With these wind forecasts, I would expect some rough water out there on the lakes this weekend so plan your trips accordingly.  The extended forecast is showing a return to more seasonable temperatures though next week with high's in the 70's and low's in the 40's with post frontal north and east quadrant winds.  Hopefully this forecast is correct and we can get these water temperatures down and get the bass in a more active fall pattern.

Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth are being taken on main lake points as well as secondary points and channel banks in the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on medium running crank baits, spinner baits, Carolina rigged creature baits, shaky heads and tube jigs.  A few Largemouth are being taken in shallow cuts on the main lake as well as on shallow flats in the creeks and bays on top water lures, lipless crank baits and Senko type baits near isolated wood cover.  

Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth are being taken on rocky main lake points and rocky secondary points in the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on shaky heads and tube jigs.  We had a few nice Smallmouth this week on the tube jigs rigged stupid style.

Crappie:  I had a few reports of Crappie now being taken around submerged brush and stake beds in 7-10 feet of water in the creeks and bays by vertically fishing with tube jigs and tube jigs tipped with minnows.  These reports indicated these fish were being taken on the overcast days we had this week.  

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, Strike King Red Eye Shad in chrome sexy shad and sexy shad, Strike King square billed crank baits in sexy shad, Bandit medium running crank baits in rootbeer/chartreuse,  Slong's spinner baits in blue glimmer,  D&L jigs in "oops" and Cumberland craw, Slong's jigs in Cumberland craw and mustang, Charmer lizards and timber pups on Texas rigs and Carolina rigs in green pumpkin and watermelon/purple, Charmer slim daddy's in blue craw on shaky heads in green pumpkin and Charmer tubes rigged stupid style in green pumpkin/blue tail and green pumpkin/orange. 

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Fallow Deer
Photo by Murray Blake

There are only a few small herds of fallow deer in Land Between The Lakes, but occasionally a lucky explorer will catch a glimpse of one.