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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 10/21/2018

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 355.54  Surface Temperature - 66
Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 355.65  Surface Temperature - 66

Both lakes are one and one half feet above winter pool.  Kentucky Dam was generating at an average rate of 51,000 cfs this morning.  Barkley Dam was generating at an average rate of 22,400 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:  Below average temperatures day and night time temperatures have continued though out this week with cold fronts moving through the lakes area every 24-48 hours.  Water temperatures continue to fall with current water temperatures being 9 degrees cooler than as reported in my report last week.  These cold nights are dropping the water temperatures in the shallows every night about 2-3 degrees and the schools of shad that were there are responding to these drops and moving out deeper but moving back shallow to feed as the water warms back up late in the morning and afternoon.  The extended forecast is showing that this weather pattern is going to continue for the foreseeable future.  

The shallow top water bite I was getting before this continuous passing of cold fronts has all but disappeared.  Most of the fish we have taken this past week have been taken on rocky creek channel banks and associated secondary points as well as rocky primary points on the main lake.  Our best bite has been on slower finesse techniques such as Ned rigs, shaky heads, Carolina rigs and finesse jigs.  Keeper bass have been scarce for the most part but we are managing to catch some numbers of short fish most days.  

LARGEMOUTH BASS: Largemouth are being taken on rocky creek channel banks and associated secondary points as well as primary points on the main lake. These fish are being taken on Ned rigs, shaky heads, Carolina rigs and finesse jigs. We have taken a few fish on the shallow flats in the creeks and bays but this bite has been inconsistent and scattered this past week.  The few fish we did take shallow were on topwater lures with a splash bait and walking bait.

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. Charmer timber pups in green pumpkin and green pumpkin blue on Carolina rigs. 

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.

Photo by Melodie Cunningham

These geese float gracefully on a warm autumn day. Honker Lake was actually named for the number of Giant and Interior Canadian geese it attracts.