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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 08/30/2018

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 356.31  Surface Temperature - 83
Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 356.25  Surface Temperature - 83

Both lakes are 3 feet below summer pool.  Kentucky Dam was generating at an average rate of 28,600 cfs this morning.  Barkley Dam was generating at an average rate of 18,200 cfs this morning.  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 deep summer heat returned to the lakes area this week with heat indexes around 100 degrees every day.  The bass fishing has been hit and miss this week with most days being slow although we have not had any days without a few fish in the boat.  The early morning top water bite I have been reporting in the shallows diminished this week as most of the fry schools we were fishing have now moved deeper.  

There is some early morning top water bite on secondary points and creek channel banks as well as on main lake points where these fry have moved but it is hit and miss and not as many numbers being taken as there were when the fry were extremely shallow.  We did catch a few fish on the ledges this week but the bite there still remains slow for the most part.  Finesse baits such a the ned rig and finesse jigs fished on points and channel banks were the most consistent pattern for us this week.  

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 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, ned rigs, 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.  Zman TRD in green pumpkin on ned rig,  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.   

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.


Lunch Time!
Photo by Melodie Cunningham

Splash! This bald eagle is diving for a tasty fish. Bald eagles use their exceptional eye sight to spot their prey up to a mile away!