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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 05/04/2018

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 359.21  Surface Temperature - 65
Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 358.95  Surface Temperature - 65

Both lakes are at summer pool.  Kentucky Dam was spilling at an average rate of 59,950 cfs this afternoon.  Barkley Dam was spilling at an average rate of 67,800 cfs this afternoon. The latest lake levels , current flows and forecasts for all the TVA lakes can be found at http://www.tva.com/river/lakeinfo/index.htm.

Current Conditions:  The lakes were drawn down 2.5 ft since my report last week.  Water temperatures increased 4 degrees.  We have had sunny blue skies since last Friday until today when some cloud cover and rain moved into the area with an approaching front.  We also had lake wind warnings issued here the past 2 days.  You can tell it is spring now with the ever changing conditions.  Last week I reported the bass bite as good with the water 2.5 ft over pool and heavy cloud cover.  This all changed with the water being drawn down and blue bird skies this past week.  I would classify the bite this week as fair with all these changes.  

It is pick your pattern time now with some bass on late prespawn patterns, some bass spawning and some bass now of post spawn.  We caught bass that were still yet to spawn this week as well as bass that had already spawned.  I did see a number of bass on beds this week also but we did not fish them as I do not like to pull bass off their beds.  We took a number of bass on the flats out in front of the brush where they had moved as a result of the dropping water levels.  Numbers of bass can be taken right now but keepers in the 2-3 lb range are more scarce than the past few years.  It seems when we do get a good keeper it is in the 4 plus pound range.  The up side to this is that it is not hard to catch numbers of fish but difficult to catch numbers of good keeper sized bass.  

The weather forecast for tomorrow is calling for a high of 79/morning low of 67 with a 40% chance of thunderstorms.  Wind is forecast to be 15-20 ranging from SW in the morning to NW in the afternoon with frontal passage.  Saturday's forecast is calling for a high of 72/morning low of 60 with an 80% chance of thunderstorms with light and variable winds.  Sunday's forecast is calling for a high of 81/morning low of 55 with a 50% chance of afternoon thunderstorms with wind W at 5-10.  

LARGEMOUTH BASS: Prespawn and post spawn  Largemouth are being taken on creek channel banks and secondary points as well as on flats near the spawning areas in the creeks and bays on lipless crank baits, jigs, Carolina and Texas rigged creature baits, vibrating jigs and whacky rigged worms.  Largemouth are also being taken in the flooded brush and wood in the creeks and bays on  jigs and Texas and Florida rigged creature baits. 

SMALLMOUTH BASS:  Smallmouth are being taken on main lake points and secondary points in the mouths of the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on jigs, tube jigs, Texas and Carolina rigged creature baits.  

PRODUCTIVE LURES:   Rapala DT 10 and DT 6 crank baits in crawdad patterns and shad patterns, Strike King Red Eye Shad in red craw and chrome sexy shad, D&L jigs in Cumberland craw and oops patterns, Slong's jigs in black blue, Slong's spinner baits in white/chartreuse and vibrating jigs in blue glimmer and white with pearl white swim bait trailer and Charmer 6" lizards and timber pups in watermelon/red. green pumpkin/blue and green pumpkin.

Crappie:  Crappie are still being reported as scattered with most of the fish still being taken in the 10-15 ft range over submerged cover by vertically fishing with minnow rigs and small jigs tipped with Crappie nibbles.  These fish are still staging around the mouths of the creeks and bays with some occasional few fish being taken in shallow water on warmer afternoons on bobbers and minnows and bobbers and jigs. 

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Colorful Bridge
Photo by Shane Dunnaway

In the back of Hematite Lake in LBL are a series of boardwalks and bridges. In autumn, spectacular colors of foliage are scattered throughout, as seen here on this "colorful" bridge.