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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 05/01/2008

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Ky Dam - 358.95  Surface Temperature - 63

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 359.15  Surface Temperature - 63
Both lakes are at summer pool.  Both lakes have continued to fluctuate levels between summer pool and nearly a foot below summer pool since the flood waters were drawn down two weeks ago.  This is especially true on Ky Lake.

Hopefully the TVA will get the waters stabilized but the forecast for the next two days on Ky shows it to be going back down again about 6 inches tomorrow.  We had a nasty cold front come thru the lakes area earlier this week and the water temperatures dropped 4-5 degrees after the frontal passage.  

This drop in water temperatures moved a lot of the Largemouth that were shallow and nearing spawn back out to deeper water on the lead in channel banks off the spawning areas.  Some fish are spawning and the fish that did spawn earlier are now on post spawn patterns and mixing in with the prespawn fish on the lead in banks back off the spawning areas.  We are catching fish in these areas that are spawned out and fish that are full of eggs ready to move back to spawn.  

Between fluctuation water levels and water temperatures below normal the Largemouth spawn this year is being drawn out and there should be numbers of spawning Largemouth as late as the middle of this month which is of course, unusual, but then again this has not been a very usual year weather wise.  

The Crappie folks are reporting that the Crappie spawn has peaked but there are still a number of spawning Crappie being taken shallow although not in the numbers reported last week.  Like the Largemouth, there will probably be some late spawning Crappie due to the weather and water conditions we have experienced this spring.  

We have high winds today and more forecasted for tomorrow and Saturday with some severe storms in the tomorrow's forecast.  If you are going on the lakes tomorrow be very careful.  The Sunday forecast is post frontal with temperatures back in the 60's.  The current outlook for next week is promising with temperatures in the high 70's and low 80's.
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth Bass are being taken on the spawning flats in the coves and backs of the creeks and bays as well as on the lead in creek channel banks and associated secondary points off the spawning areas.  The Largemouth fishing slowed a little with the cold front passage earlier this week but is getting back on track with the water warming back up.  

The fish on the lead in banks are being taken with crankbaits, Carolina and Texas rigged lizards and creature baits, jigs and shaky head worms.  The late prespawn fish near the buck brush are being taken on topwater lures, lipless crankbaits, spinnerbaits, Texas rigged lizards and creature baits, dead sticked worms and jigs.  
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth are on post spawn patterns and are being taken on main lake banks and points as well as the first secondary points in the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on jigs, tube jigs and Carolina rigged tubes and creature baits.  
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Chatterbuzz buzzbaits in white and black, Yozuri poppers in lemon/ghost pattern, Bandit crankbaits in rootbeer/chartreuse and sexy shad, Strike King red eye shad in sexy shad, Hook Some Bass spinnerbaits in blue glimmer and white, Charmer timber pups in green pumpkin and watermelon, Hook Some Bass baby brush hogs in green pumpkin, Zoom lizards in green pumpkin and pumpkin/chartreuse, Zoom trick worm in watermelon/purple and Last Cast finesse jigs in green pumpkin with matching Net Baits paca craw trailer.  
Crappie:  Crappie are being taken early and late in the day on spawning banks in 3-4 ft of water by casting curly tail jigs and road runners as well as by fishing curly tail jigs and minnows under bobbers.  During the day the Crappie are being taken over brush piles in 6-10 ft of water by casting curly tail jigs and road runners as well as by fishing with minnows under bobbers.  
Bluegill/Shellcrakers:  There have been reports of numbers of Bluegill and Shellcrackers moving shallow, especially around gravel bottom spawning areas.  These fish are being taken on crickets and worms fished under bobbers as well as by fishing the bottom with split shot rigs baited with worms.  The Bluegill and Shellcrackers are moving to spawn and good numbers of big fish should be coming in the next week or so.  
Catfish:  Channel Catfish are being taken on the old creek channels in the creeks and bays on bottom bouncing rigs baited with shrimp and leeches.  Some Channels are reported to be moving into the shallow rocky areas and are being taken on night crawlers fished on bottom and under bobbers.  The Channel Catfish should be moving into these rocky areas on both the main lake and in the creeks and bays very soon to begin their late prespawn and spawning feed.  

More Kentucky Lake Fishing Reports

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.

Kentucky Lake Sunset
Photo by Shawn Dunnaway

Sunsets at Kentucky Lake are special. You can find them on the eastern banks of Kentucky Lake looking west across a mile of ripples and waves. There's nothing quite like experiencing a sunset on Kentucky Lake.