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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 03/23/2006

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Ky Dam - 355.16  Surface Temperature: 51

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 355.35  Surface Temperature: 51
Both lakes are at one foot over winter pool.  Well, I said last week that the water temperatures were going to drop a couple of degrees if the forecast we had was right.  The forecast was not right...it got a lot colder than originally forecasted and it is still cold.  The water temperatures have dropped like a rock...down 6 degrees since last Saturday.  

Obviously this is not good for early spring fishing and the fishing this week as compared to last week reflects just that.  The forecast shows a slow improvement in the daytime temperatures beginning on Sunday thru the middle of next week.  As the water begins to slowly warm again the fishing should improve.
Largemouth Bass:  Prior to the cold snap the Largemouth were very active on crankbaits and jerkbaits on main lake points and secondary points in the bays with good bags of fish being taken.  There was also some good shallow fish being taken on the flats in the bays near wood cover on warm, windy days.  Since the cold snap there are still Largemouth being taken on the points but the bite has slowed considerably.  What fish are being taken are primarily being taken on the points by slow worked jerk bait and Carolina rigged lizards and creature baits.  
Smallmouth Bass:  The Smallmouth Bass bite is still being reported as slow and scattered.  Some fish are being taken on main lake pea gravel points and on secondary pea gravel points and banks in the bays on slow rolled crankbaits and slow worked suspending jerkbaits.  These extreme weather patterns we have had this month seems to have taken its toll on the normally good Smallmouth bite we usually experience here in March.
Here are some of the productive lures reported this week:  Smithwick Rogue in tablerock shad, Rapala Husky Jerk in black/silver, Rapala Xrap in black/silver, Bandit crankbaits in rootbeer/chartruese, Rapala Shadrap in original crawdad, Rapala DT7 (flatsided) in silver, Zoom lizard in green pumpkin and pumpkin/chartruese and Berkley Power Lizard in black/blue. 
Crappie:  Prior to the cold snap the Crappie fishing was reported as good.  White Crappie were being taken along the creek channels in the bays over brush piles in 8-12 ft of water by vertically fishing with small jigs and minnows.  Black Crappie were being taken around brush piles in 4-6 ft of water by casting curly tail jigs and fishing with minnows and jigs under bobbers.  

Since the cold front hit us the Crappie fishing has been reported as slow this week... with some catches of fish coming from vertically fishing with small jigs and minnows over deep brush piles along the old creek channels in the bays but the catches are not nearly as good as they were last week...again this bite should come back with the return of warmer weather patterns. 
Product Report:  I was asked to try out some new products over the past couple of weeks and here are the results of my field tests:
Gamma Line:  This is a new copolymer line on the market.  I was given some 8lb test and some 12lb test.  I normally use P-line CXX for my copolymer lines.  I found the Gamma to be just as strong as the P-line with the following advantages:  smaller diameter and much less memory.  

In fact the Gamma line has no more memory in it than normal monofilament.  I used the 8lb test on my spinning reels and it worked very well...I have never been able to make 8lb P-line work satisfactory on a spinning reel.  I used the 12lb line on my jerkbait rods and found it worked great...low line stretch for good hook set and very low memory.  I was given this line to test at Ken's Bait Shop in Lake City...he has plenty in stock and I would highly recommend you give it a try.
Rapala DT7 (flatsided):  This new crankbait by Rapala has a squared off bill thus giving it a good vibration when retrieved.  I was given the natural shad pattern (named "silver") by The Cabin Bait and Tackle on U.S. 62 just west of Kuttawa. It did not take long to sell me on this lure because the first point I threw it on I had two 4lb Largemouth in two casts and followed those up with a short fish.  

I caught quite a few nice fish on this lure before the cold snap hit....you gotta get some of these lures before the Largemouth go on the prespawn feed again...and they should be great lures for the fall schooling fish.

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Photo by Jennifer Dunnaway

We photographed this doe peeking from behind some tall grass near Honker Bay in Land Between The Lakes.