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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 04/20/2006

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Ky Dam - 358.12  Surface Temperature - 70

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 358.25  Surface Temperature - 70
Both lakes are roughly one foot under summer pool.  The water levels on both lakes have been fluctuating about 6-7 inches up and down over the past week.  Combine this with 2 cold fronts, flat water and blue sky days earlier this week and you have the recipe for exactly what the fishing was like.....up and down.  

Today we had a low pressure center just to the southeast of us and lots of cloud cover.  This favorable condition for shallow water bass brought a lot of the Largemouth shallow on a prespawn feed.  Although the early spawners went on the beds last week there are still plenty of Largemouth still coming in for the spawn.  We had the best day I have seen yet this spring today for prespawn feeding.  We caught well over 40 fish with most of them females today and not one of the females we caught had any signs they had been fanning the nest as of yet.  When the TVA finally brings the water up to summer pool there is going to be some very good shallow water late prespawn and spawn bass fishing.
Largemouth Bass:  The Largemouth Bass are being taken on lead in creek channel banks and the last secondary points before the spawning flats on Carolina and Texas rigged lizards and creature baits, jignpig and crankbaits.  Largemouth Bass are also being taken on the flats in front of the spawning areas on spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits near wood cover.  The best bite however is in and around the mustard flowers and buck brush on late prespawn and spawning bass.  These fish are being taken on topwater lures, Texas rigged lizards and creature baits, floating worms, sinking worms and spinnerbaits.  
The Smallmouth Bass are on the beds and are being taken on pea gravel banks in the bays and on the main lake using curly tail grubs and Carolina rigged tubes and creature baits.  Not many people are targeting these fish so the reports are few and scattered.
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Chatterbuzz buzzbaits in white and black, Zoom trick worms in watermelon candy, white, and green pumpkin, Zoom lizards in green pumpkin and pumpkin/chartruese, Hook Some Bass baby brush hounds in green pumpkin and watermelon/purple, Lewis Rattletraps in blue/chrome, Hook Some Bass spinnerbaits in chartruese and blue glimmer and Stike King bitsy flip jigs in green pumpkin craw with green pumpkin Paca Chunk trailer.
The Crappie spawn seems to have peaked but it is hard to tell with the water fluctuating so much lately.  The numbers being reported are down but this could be a result of the fluctuating water levels as much as anything.  Crappie are still being taken on shallow brush piles in 4-6 ft of water on minnows under bobbers and in 8-12 ft of water over brush piles by vertical fishing with small minnows and tube jigs.  I would suspect there are still a good number of shallow Crappie to be taken on the banks if the water levels settle down soon.
Bluegills and Shellcrackers:  The Bluegills and Shellcrackers are moving in to the shallows and can be found in numbers in and around the mustard flowers, especially those with associated wood cover.  These fish are being taken on worms and crickets fished under bobbers and on split shot rigs fished on bottom baited with worms.  Try slowly dragging the split shot rigs on bottom for best results.
Catfish:  Some Channel Catfish are showing up in the bays around rocky areas and are being taken on nightcrawlers fished on bottom and under bobbers.  The numbers are not big yet but it will not be long before lots and lots of these tasty fish are going to be up and feeding heavily on prespawn.

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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.

The Homeplace
Photo by Connie Wilson

The Homeplace 1850's working farm is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the Land Between The Lakes. Events are scheduled year-round to remind visitors of how the residents of this region once lived.