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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 03/29/2007

Kentucky Lake:  Water level at Ky Dam - 355.79   Surface Temperature - 64

Lake Barkley:  Water level at Barkley Dam - 355.95  Surface Temperature - 64
Both lakes are about 2 ft over winter pool.  The present forecast is for the lake levels to remain at present levels over the weekend.  The lakes should begin a slow rise to summer pool sometime next week.  Normally the lakes reach summer pool levels around the last week of April.  
The morning (base) water temperatures have risen 10 degrees over the past week due to the extended period of extremely warm weather we have had here in the lakes area.  This rapid rise in the base water temperatures has moved the big shad schools into shallow water much more rapidly than is normal for this time of year.  

This rapid movement of the baitfish caused the bass to be somewhat spread out over the past week, which is very much like what happens in the fall when the shad move rapidly from deep to shallow water.  This rapid transition, just like in the fall, caused the bass fishing to deteriorate with the spreading of the fish. 

I noticed the bite starting to fall off last Friday a little and then by the weekend it had noticeably deteriorated from the previous great bite we had going.  This was reflected especially in the weights in the bass tournaments last weekend as compared to the weights in the tournaments of the previous two or three weeks.  

This overall bite continued to deteriorate through out the week this week and most bass anglers were having a tough time finding any numbers of Largemouth or Smallmouth.  Yesterday there was a marked increase in the shallow water bite on Largemouth as more and more bass seemed to be showing up shallow to feed on the large schools of shad already shallow.  

I do believe from what I saw yesterday and from some like reports I received last night from bass anglers that the Largemouth bite should start getting better each day now on average as more bass begin gathering up back shallow to feed on the shad.  The Smallmouth Bass are undoubtedly going on the nest to spawn with these water temperatures.
This rapid change in water temperatures also had an effect on the Crappie.  The Black Crappie which were starting to move to shallow water to spawn early last week made a beeline for the shallows and are now spawning since the water temperatures rose so rapidly.  The White Crappie reports indicate that they are still being taken over deeper brush but some are now being taken shallow.  I expect with these water temperatures where they are now, that unless they drop (the weather forecast would indicate that the temps will not drop) that the White Crappie will be moving shallow in numbers very soon to spawn.  
Basically, what has happened here is that we now have water temperatures that we normally do not have until mid April and this rapid rise in water temperatures is moving the fish shallow about two weeks or so ahead of what we normally see here.  I myself, have never seen water temperatures this warm this early in the year.  I talked to some guides and TVA folks this past week that have been here for 30-40 years and they said the same thing.  Anyway, I hope some of what I have said here will help you plan your trips to find your fish this next week.  
Largemouth Bass:  The Largemouth Bass are being taken on creek channel banks and secondary points in the creeks and bays as well as on the flats in the bays.  The deeper fish are being taken on crankbaits, Texas rigged lizards, tubes and jigs.  The shallow fish are being taken on lipless crankbaits, spinnerbaits and Texas rigged tubes, lizards and creature baits.  I have not received any reports of topwater baits yet but I expect this will happen very soon.  The bite was slow early this week but started to pick up yesterday.
Smallmouth Bass:  The Smallmouth Bass are being taken on pea gravel banks in the front halves of the bays and on main lake pea gravel banks.  These fish are being taken on tubes, jigs and grubs.  I only received two reports on Smallmouth this week and both reports indicated a slow bite with only a few fish taken.  
Some of the productive lures this week were:  Lewis Rattletraps in blue/chrome, black/red and rootbeer, Hook Some Bass spinnerbaits in blue glimmer, Hook Some Bass chatterbaits in blue glimmer and white/chartruese, Bandit crankbaits in speckled back and rootbeer/chartruese, Zoom lizards in green pumpkin and pumpkin/chartruese and Hook Some Bass tubes in green pumpkin and smoke/purple. 
Crappie:  Black Crappie are being taken by casting curly tail jigs to shallow banks and shallow brush as well as by minnows fished under bobbers around shallow brush piles and stake beds.  White Crappie are primarily being taken by vertically fishing with minnows, tube jigs and curly tail jigs over brush and stake beds in 8-12 ft of water.  The Crappie fishing reports overall indicate a very good Crappie bite this past week.
Bluegill:  Bluegill are being taken along rocky creek channel banks on split shot rigs baited with worms.  Some Bluegill are now being taken on the flats in the bays with worms on split shot rigs and worms under bobbers but no good numbers of them are being reported to be shallow.  

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Eggners Ferry Bridge
Photo by Shawn Dunnaway

Taking an evening stroll across the new Eggners Ferry Bridge across Kentucky Lake is a perfect date night activity.