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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 08/24/2018

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 356.67  Surface Temperature - 82
Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 356.60  Surface Temperature - 82

Both lakes are two and one half feet below summer pool.  Kentucky Dam was generating at an average rate of 32,800 cfs this afternoon.  Barkley Dam was generating at an average rate of 18,000 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. As the lake levels drop boaters should be cautious when navigating the lakes.  There are a number of areas where old foundations, stumps, humps and ridges are just waiting to ruin your trip and cause damage to you and your boat.  If you are not familiar with the lakes, follow the navigation buoys and be very careful when navigating outside the buoys.

Current Conditions:  The good news is that we had some fall type weather the past few days and the cooler nights dropped the water temperatures to present levels.  I was only able to get out on the water 2 days this week due to teaching classes and a doctors appointment.  We had good cloud cover this morning and this combined with the higher oxygen levels as a result of the cooler water turned the bass on and we had a good morning fishing both shallow early and on secondary points in the creeks and bays with top water and spinner baits.  The bass were actively chasing the schools of fry.

The bad news is the heat is coming back with day time temperatures in the 90's and heat indexes around 100 some days.  But forecasts can change so I am hoping for the best but I do know this is the time of the year when the water temperatures do tend to fluctuate up and down and the fishing can be good for a day or two and then get tough again.

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, top water lures, 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 early in the morning on top water lures and later in the day on Carolina rigged creature baits, jigs and tubes.  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. 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, 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. Charmer tubes rigged stupid style in smoke/purple and blue cat,  Strike King top water splash bait in white and Lucky Craft Sammy in ghost pearl lemon and Slong's spinner baits in blue glimmer.

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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.


Woodpecker
Photo by Melodie Cunningham

This pileated woodpecker is one of the more common woodpecker species in North America. It is also one of the largest forest birds in the region.