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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 09/16/2004

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Ky Dam - 355.99  Surface Temperature - 79

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 355.75  Surface Temperature - 80
The lakes are at 3 ft below summer pool and stable at this time.  Both lakes have good current.  The TVA projects that Ky Lake will start spilling around 190,000 cfps late this week.  This is water runoff from up river lakes and not associated with Tropical Storm Ivan which some forecasters are predicting will dump up to 12 inches of rain in the headwaters of the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers as well as the Ohio River Valley.  Only time will tell how much rain the headwaters will receive but if they do get what is predicted you can bet it will be heading this way in a few days.   

We started receiving the first wind from Tropical Storm Ivan today with east winds to around 15 mph.  The winds are due to shift to the north this evening and we are forecasted to get winds from the north in the 20 mph plus range Friday and Saturday.  These winds will make fishing conditions challenging to say the least.  The fish are still in fall transition giving us both late summer and early fall patterns that keep fluctuating on a daily basis.  The best advice is to move around changing from deep to shallow patterns until you can find the best pattern for the day.  
The Largemouth Bass are being taken both on deep summer patterns and also on early fall shallow patterns.  The deeper fish are being taken on the humps and ledges on the main lake and in the larger bays.  These fish are being taken on deep running crankbaits, Carolina rigged worms and creature baits, Texas rigged large worms, and jignpig.  The shallow fish are being taken both on main lake flats and on the flats and shallow coves in the bays.  These shallow fish are being taken on topwater lures, medium and shallow running crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and Texas rigged worms and tubes.  Some fish are also being taken along creek channel banks and secondary points as they are moving in for the fall feeding patterns.  These fish are being taken on medium running crankbaits, Texas rigged tubes, and jigpig.  
The Smallmouth Bass are being taken on main lake rocky points and on creek channel banks in the bays.  These fish are being taken on crankbaits, Carolina rigged creature baits, Texas rigged tubes, and jignpig.  A few reports of fish being taken on topwater lures near riprap and rocky points has been reported.  
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Lucky Craft Sammy in ghost lemon shad, chatterbuzz buzzbaits in white and white/chartruese, Strike King fat free shad crankbaits in white, Bandit crankbaits in rootbeer and blue/chartruese, Hook Some Bass spinnerbaits in blue glimmer and white/chartruese, Rattletraps in blue/chrome, Frenzy lipless crankbaits in black/chartreuse, Hook Some Bass tubes in chameleon craw and smoke/purple, and Hook Some jigs in black/blue and green pumpkin.  
The Crappie are staging along the old creek channels near the mouths of the bays.  They are being taken by vertically fishing with small jigs and minnow/jig combinations in 12-18 ft of water over brush.   I am getting a few reports of Crappie being taken near brush piles and underwater stakebeds in 6-10 ft of water.  These fish are reportedly being taken on minnows and small jigs fished under bobbers. 
The Catfish are being taken in the creek channels on bottom rigs baited with cut baits, shrimp and leeches.  
The Bluegill are being taken near docks with wood cover and along rocky creek channel banks.  These fish are readily taking worms fished under bobbers and bottom fishing with split shot rigs.

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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 Nancy Smith

There are few things more beautiful than a Kentucky Lake sunset. The best place to view a sunset is from the western shore of Land Between The Lakes.