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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 09/23/2004

Kentucky Lake:  Water level at Ky Dam - 355.98  Surface Temperature - 77

Lake Barkley:  Water level at Barkley Dam - 355.60  Surface Temperature - 78
Both lakes are 3 ft below summer pool and rising.  The lakes are forecasted to rise one foot above present levels by midnight tomorrow night.  We have had heavy current on Ky Lake this past week with moderate current on Lake Barkley.  

The current is due to high waters upriver from Hurricane Ivan being drained thru the river systems.  The main river channel on Ky Lake has been stained this week from the flood waters coming in from upriver.  Barkley is only slightly stained and the bays on both lakes have normal water color.  The current has been detrimental to some fishing patterns and had a positive effect on others as explained below.
The Largemouth Bass are still in transition to fall patterns with fish being taken on humps and ledges on the main lake and in the larger bays, main lake points and secondary points in the bays as well as fish being taken in shallow water on the flats.  The heavy current on Ky Lake this week has made main lake ledge fishing tough but has been a plus in that the heavy current seems to be moving more fish into the bays.  

The current on Lake Barkley has not been nearly as heavy and has actually had a positive effect on the ledge fishing on the main lake and ledges near the mouths of the bays.  These ledge fish are being taken on deep diving crankbaits and Carolina rigged creature baits and tubes as well as jignpig.  Largemouth are being taken on creek channel banks and secondary points with wood cover on medium running crankbaits, Texas rigged tubes, worms, and creature baits, and jignpig.  Largemouth are also being taken on the flats in the bays on topwater lures, lipless and shallow running crankbaits, and spinnerbaits.  Flats with wood cover and especially those with submerged vegatation are having the better bite.  
The Smallmouth Bass are being taken on the main lake near current breaks and also in the bays on rocky secondary points.  These fish are being taken on topwater early,  Texas rigged tubes and jignpig.  We should start seeing some early morning and late evening topwater Smallmouth showing up shallow in the bays very soon.
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Lucky Craft Sammy in ghost lemon shad, Rebel Pop R in black/chrome, Bandit crankbaits in blue/chartruese and rootbeer,  Lewis Rattletraps in blue/chrome, Hook Some Bass spinnerbaits in blue glimmer, Hook Some Bass baby brush hounds in green pumpkin and watermelon/purple,  Hook Some tubes in chameleon craw, swimming jigs in blue glimmer, and Hook Some Bass jigs in green pumpkin.  
The Crappie are slow with fluctuating water levels and heavy current.  Some reports of Crappie being taken over brush piles in 8-12 ft of water early in the day have been reported.  These fish are being taken by fishing small jigs and minnows under bobbers.
The Catfish are being taken in the bays along creek channels on bottom rigs baited with cut baits, shrimp, and leeches.
The Bluegill are very active around docks with wood cover and also near wood on creek channel banks.  These fish are being taken with worms fished both under bobbers and on splitshot rigs fished on bottom.

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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.

Winter Wonderland
Photo by Jennifer Dunnaway

If the road conditions permit, a drive through a snow-covered Land Between The Lakes is a must! This winter wonderland is every photographers dream come true.