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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 10/13/2018

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 355.23  Surface Temperature - 75
Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 355.25  Surface Temperature - 75

Both lakes are one foot above winter pool.  Kentucky Dam was generating at an average rate of 35,000 cfs this morning.  Barkley Dam was generating at an average rate of 9,800 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. 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:  Summer temperatures returned to the lakes area last week and raised the water temperatures back up to the lower 80's.  The bass bite was slow as has been reported for the past couple of months.  This week started out the same way but an arctic front moved through the lakes area this midweek bringing with it below normal temperatures for this time of year.  The water temperatures have been dropping steadily with the colder weather.  I was not on the water Thursday but did receive a few reports of the bass bite getting more active with the cooling water.

I was on the water yesterday and I can honestly say that the bass were more actively feeding than I have seen them in the past couple of months.  There were large schools of threadfin shad in the shallows in the creeks and bays the bass there were actively feeding early yesterday.  We also found bass feeding on schools of threadfin on the rocky lead in channel banks and points in the creeks and bays.  Certainly I can finally say that the fall transition is on.  The extended forecast is calling for more below normal temperatures and no doubt the water temperatures are going to continue to fall.  We took bass yesterday on top water lures in the shallows and on finesse baits (shaky head, ned rigs and finesse jigs) on the lead in banks.  

LARGEMOUTH BASS: Largemouth are being taken on rocky creek channel banks and associated secondary points.  Largemouth are also being taken in the shallows on top water lures.  We caught nice bass yesterday on top water lures as shallow as 1-2 ft of water.  

SMALLMOUTH BASS:  Smallmouth are being taken on rocky river channel points and banks on the main lake and rocky secondary points and channel banks in the front halves of the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on ned rigs, shaky heads, tube jigs and finesse jigs.  
PRODUCTIVE LURES:  Strike King splash baits in white, Lucky Craft Sammy in ghost pearl lemon, D&L jigs in Cumberland craw and oops patterns, Slong's jigs in mustang,  Zman TRD in green pumpkin on ned rig,  Yamamoto Senko in green pumpkin/black, green pumpkin magic on shaky heads. Slong's spinner baits in blue glimmer and Strike King Red Eye Shad in chrome sexy shad.  

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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.

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!