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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 07/12/2018

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 358.83  Surface Temperature - 90
Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 358.65  Surface Temperature - 90

Both lakes are slightly below summer pool and on a slow draw down.  Kentucky Dam was generating at an average rate of 33,500 cfs this morning.  Barkley Dam was generating at an average rate of 17,600 cfs this morning.  In accordance with the TVA River Operating System Schedule, the TVA has started the slow draw down of the lakes to winter pool levels.  Barring any unforeseen influx of water, you can expect the lakes to be drawn down about one foot per month now until we reach winter pool levels.  

CURRENT CONDITIONS:  It has been another week of daily heat indexes over 100 degrees each day with little to no wind except for the occasional pop up heat of the day thunderstorm.  This coupled with no current and low oxygen levels has the bass fishing slow and challenging after the early morning bite.  The best bite continues to be early in the morning and late in the evening in the shallows where bass are feeding on schools of fry.  The ledge bite continues to be slow and spotty.  This weather pattern is forecast to continue through the weekend.  If you are going to venture out during the day, make sure you have plenty of water and sports drinks to stay hydrated and don't forget your sunscreen.  

LARGEMOUTH BASS: Largemouth are being taken on the ledges on the main lakes and around the mouths of the deeper creeks and bays.  The ledge bite is slow. These fish are being taken with  Carolina rigged creature baits, Texas rigged large worms, jigs, drop shots, shaky heads and swim baits.  Largemouth are also being taken early and late in the day in the backs of the creeks and bays on top water lures where they are feeding on schools of fry.  Largemouth are also being taken in the creeks and bays during the morning hours on some days where these fish are mixing in with white bass in jumps and can be taken on top water lures, spinner baits, lipless crank baits and vibrating jigs.  Largemouth are also being taken in shallow water during the day around wood cover on Texas rigged creature baits and finesse jigs.  

SMALLMOUTH BASS:  Smallmouth are being taken on main lake points and on the ledges.  These fish are being taken on Carolina rigged creature baits, jigs and swim baits.   

PRODUCTIVE LURES:  D&L jigs in Cumberland craw and oops patterns, Slong's jigs in mustang, Charmer timber pups on Carolina rigs and Texas rigs in green pumpkin and watermelon/purple, Charmer 10.5" ribbon tail and paddle tail worms in plum and green pumpkin on Texas rigs, Big Hammer swim baits in bay smelt and Robo worms on drop shot in mean green. Yamamoto Senko in green pumpkin/black, green pumpkin magic and Charmer Slim Jim in blue craw on shaky heads. Strike King top water splash bait in white and whopper plopper top water in monkey's butt and Slong's spinner baits in blue glimmer as well as Strike King red eye shads in chrome sexy shad.    

More Kentucky Lake Fishing Reports

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.


Water Break
Photo by Melodie Cunningham

This young buck has taken a quick break for a drink. Deer are one of the more common types of wildlife that can be seen in this region.