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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 11/15/2017

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 354.95  Surface Temperature - 58
Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 354.70  Surface Temperature - 58

Both lakes are about one foot over winter pool.  Kentucky Dam was spilling at an average rate of 61,600 cfs this morning.  Barkley dam was spilling at an average rate of 50,600 cfs this morning

Flash:  I am formally announcing that I will be retiring at the end of November 2018.  I am making this announcement now to alert those of you that book with me every year that you should make your reservations with me for the next year soon if you have not already done so.

I am also making this announcement so that those of you that have indicated to me many times you want to take my "Eliminating Water" class but have not found the time to do so are aware that this coming January and February will be your last chance to take this class and should make a reservation now while I still have some dates available.  I also have a few days still available this month that I am willing to teach this class and will entertain teaching a few classes in December to accommodate those that cannot attend in January or February next year.

I am looking forward to a a fun and productive final guide season next year and wish to thank all those that have made my past 22 years as a bass guide so enjoyable.

Also, this will be my last weekly fishing report for this season.  I was diagnosed with a partially collapsed lung last week and although is not too serious, my doctor has ordered me to stay off the water for the next couple of weeks to allow this to heal.  Since my guide season ends this month each year I will not be on the water again until next March.  As my report followers know, I will not publish a report unless I have first-hand experience or confirmed information.  I will, as I have over the years, publish a report now and then this winter when I have confirmed credible information on the bass fishing here at the lakes.
Current Conditions:  Bass fishing continued to be slow last week as indicated in the results of the FLW BFL Wildcard tournament with most of the field having weighed only one fish or no fish in the two day tournament with only a few limits weighed in.  It only took an 8.5 lb average each day to qualify for next year's All American tournament.  The good news is that the water temperatures finally dropped into the 50's late last weekend and I have received a number of reports of schools of shad and bass starting to move into the shallows over the past few days on both the main lake flats and in the shallows in the creeks and bays.  This indicates the fall bite is finally getting started and we should start experiencing a more productive bite over the next few weeks.  
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth are being taken on secondary points and channel banks in the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on medium running crank baits, suspending jerk baits,  spinner baits, Carolina rigged creature baits, shaky heads and tube jigs.  Largemouth on shallow flats on the main lake as well as shallow flats in the creeks and bays on top water lures, lipless crank baits, square billed crank baits, spinner 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.  Some Smallmouth are also being taken around submerged crappie beds in the creeks and bays on shaky heads and ned rigs.  
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, 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 timber pups on Texas rigs and Carolina rigs in green pumpkin and watermelon/purple, Charmer slim daddy's in blue craw and green pumpkin on shaky heads and Charmer tubes rigged stupid style in green pumpkin/blue tail and green pumpkin/orange.

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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.

Photo by Jennifer Dunnaway

This shy little turtle visited our campsite recently in Land Between The Lakes. There are several different species of turtles that can be seen near Kentucky Lake.