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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 05/22/2002

Kentucky Lake:  Headwater Elevation - 365.22   Surface Temperature - 70

Lake Barkley:  Headwater Elevation - 365.35  Surface Temperature - 70
The lakes are 6 ft above summer pool and have been somewhat stable there for the past few days.   The Mississippi and Ohio Rivers have crested now and are on a slow fall so it is projected that the TVA will start to lower the lakes gradually over the next week starting today.  Most of the ramps are usable but just about all of the courtesy docks that I have seen are not accessable so you need to be prepared to beach your boat after launching if you are launching by yourself.  
The Largemouth Bass are somewhat scattered due to all the high water.  A number of patterns are working to catch fish but as is normal this time of year most of the fish being caught are short of the size limit because the larger female fish have just finished spawning and are somewhat spent out from the spawning activity and not very active.  The best bet to catch the larger females is to fish post spawn patterns and fish slow.  

There are a lot of fish being caught in the flooded brush on Texas rigged lizards, tube, and creature baits, jignpig, spinnerbaits and some early morning topwater baits such as buzzbaits and chug baits.  Good numbers are being caught in these areas but most are short buck bass but these are providing a lot of action.  The post spawn fish are not quite as active but the better fish are being caught on these patterns.  

The post spawn fish are being caught on secondary creek points and the first drops out from the normal shoreline (remember, the normal shoreline is now 6 ft under water).  These fish are primarily being caught on jignpig, Texas rigged and Carolina rigged lizards, tubes, and worms.  Some of the lures reported working on the Largemouth this week are:  black/blue jigs in 1/2 oz, Zoom lizards in green pumpkin and watermelon/red, Zoom baby brush hogs in watermelon/gold, watermelon seed, watermelon/red, Snoozer tubes in smoke/purple and road kill cammo, white and white/chartruese spinnerbaits, white buzzbaits, and Rapala Skitter Pops in natural shad.  
The Smallmouth Bass have not been as active this week because there has not been any current in the lake but those fish that are being caught are being caught on the first secondary creek channel points and also on main lake pea gravel points using Texas and Carolina rigged lizards and tubes and small chartruese pattern crankbaits. 

The bite on these fish should pick up over the next few days as the lakes start dropping and current is present.  When the current begins expect these fish to start hitting topwater baits early and late especially on pea gravel points.  Some of the reported lures working this week are brown jigs, Snoozer tubes in Road Kill Cammo and smoke/purple, Zoom lizards in green pumpkin with chartruese tails, Zoom baby brush hogs in watermelon seed and green pumpkin with chartruese tails, and Bandit crankbaits in varied chartruese patterns.  
The Crappie are slow with some fish being caught on the main lake old creek channels in 15-20 ft of water over brush piles and stumps by bottom bouncing rigs using minnows and minnow/jig combinations.  Some of the jig colors reported as working are:  red/chartruese, blue/white, and black/chartruese.  
The Bluegill and Shellcrackers are active.  The Bluegill are bedding in 6-8 ft of water in flooded cuts and pockets in the creeks with brush and vegetation present.  The Shellcrackers seem to be somewhat scattered in these areas also.  These fish are being caught on crickets under bobbers and wax worms and red worms fished on bottom with split shot rigs.  
The Channel Catfish are established on rocky banks and flats in spawn patterns and are readily taking dip baits, nightcrawlers, and leaches fished on bottom and also fished under bobbers at 6-8 ft.  These fish are very active and reports of big catches are coming in every day.  
Be very careful on the lakes this weekend with the increase in boaters enjoying the Memorial Day weekend.  Please take time this weekend to remember those that have given their all to preserve our freedom and those that are now in harm's way doing their duty to keep us safe here at home.  

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Photo by John Mahler

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