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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 08/02/2018

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 357.47  Surface Temperature - 84
Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 357.40  Surface Temperature - 84

Both lakes are one and one half feet below summer pool and on a slow draw down.  Kentucky Dam was generating at an average rate of 30,800 cfs this afternoon.  Barkley Dam was generating at an average rate of 17,800 cfs this afternoon. 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:  The cooler weather patterns we experienced last week continued into this week with lower day time temperatures in the 80's and low humidity.  Most days this week were blue skies and flat water and this certainly did not help in making for a better bite than the slow bite we have been having but it sure has made fishing more pleasant.  The heat will be returning starting tomorrow with day time high's in the 90's and higher humidity.  Expect this heat wave through at least mid next week.  

The bite continues to be slow overall but we are catching a few fish.  Today was the first day of the BASS High School National Championship.  The results of today's weigh-in reflects the slow bite with 260 team boats out of 337 boats only weighing in 2 fish or less.  There were 21 limits weighed in which is better than we have been seeing in some tournaments lately but certainly not that many when you consider there were 337 boats in the tournament.  Our best producing pattern this week continued to be going back shallow early with top water lures where some bass are feeding on schools of fry before the sun gets up on the water.  The ledge bite continues to be slow and scattered for the most part.

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 on channel banks and secondary points, especially those with wood cover.  These fish are being taken on spinner baits, shaky heads, 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.  This bite is slow also.

White Bass:  White Bass are being taken by vertically fishing with blade baits and inline spinners along the river channel ledges.  White Bass are also being taken around Mayfly hatches early in the morning in the creeks and bays on inline spinners.  We have been catching some White Bass also while bass fishing during the early morning hours on top water baits in the shallows in the backs of the creeks and bays before the sun gets up on the water. 

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, green pumpkin/blue 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. 

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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 Melodie Cunningham

This coyote stares down a local photographer in the Land Between The Lakes area. Coyotes are quite common in this region.