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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 08/21/2008

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Ky Dam - 357.43  Surface Temperature - 81

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 357.35  Surface Temperature - 82
Both lakes are about one and one half foot below summer pool and on a slow draw down.  Water temperatures continued to drop this week with the cooler weather and we are now about 4 or 5 degrees below the normal water temperatures for this time of year. 

The forecast for the next week presently shows highs in the mid to upper 80's and night time low's in the mid 60's with a chance of isolated thunderstorms through the middle part of the week.  If this forecast holds true we should see the water temperatures drop a little more.  As reported last week, the slower bite we have been experiencing the past couple of weeks would change once we got out from under the ridge of high pressure that was controlling our weather patterns.  

The fishing was slow earlier in the week but today we got that weather change as the high pressure moved off and was replaced by falling barometers, some wind and rain and some cloud cover as low pressure began moving closer to the lakes area.  The bite today on the bass was just the opposite of what we had been having on the ledges.  The Largemouth turned on today and they were hungry.  

We had a very good day on the ledges today and I talked to some other folks this afternoon that had been bass fishing and they also reported a good ledge bite today.  Prior to today, the better bite this week had been in the bays in shallow water and on secondary creek channel banks and points where Largemouth were feeding on schools of late shad fry.  
With the dropping water temperatures I have noticed a number of big schools of shad staging around the mouths of the bays this week in anticipation of the beginning of the fall transition.  This is about 2 weeks ahead of when this normally happens here but if the cooler weather continues, I would expect the fall transition to begin early this season.  We will just have to keep an eye on the water temperatures to see if this pattern continues. 
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth Bass are being taken on the river and creek channel ledges on the main lake and on the creek channel ledges in the mouths of the larger bays.  These fish are being taken on Carolina rigged creature baits and floating worms, Texas rigged large worms and jigs.  

Slow rolling spinnerbaits on the shallower ledges is also taking fish, especially early and late in the day.  Largemouth are also being taken on the flats in the creeks and bays as well as on the creek channel banks and associated secondary points.  These fish are taking topwater lures, medium running crankbaits, lipless crankbaits, spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, shaky head worms and Texas rigged worms as they are feeding on schools of late shad fry.  
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth Bass are being taken on main lake river ledges on Carolina rigged creature baits and jigs.  Some Smallmouth are being taken early and late in the day on primary and secondary points on the main lake on crankbaits, spinnerbaits, tube jigs and finesse jigs.
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Zoom horny toads in green pumpkin swirl and watermelon/red, Jack's bubber frogs in watermelon/red, Charmer timber pups in green pumpkin, watermelon/purple and watermelon/candy, Charmer 10.5 inch paddle tail and gator tail worms in green pumpkin, Hook Some Bass spinnerbaits in blue glimmer, Hook Some Bass vibe in blue glimmer, Bandit crankbaits in rootbeer, Strike King red eye shad in sexy shad, Zoom trick worms in green pumpkin and green pumpkin/blue (shaky head), Jewel football head jigs in gourd/craw and Last Cast hairy bug finesse jigs in green pumpkin and peanut butter jelly with matching baby paca craw trailers.
White Bass:  The reported bite on White Bass this week has been slow.  Some fish are being taken along the old river and creek channel ledges on the main lake by vertically fishing with small spoons.  I have been seeing a number of White Bass in the backs of the creeks on Ky Lake near the grass early and late in the day feeding on the fry schools.
Catfish:  Catfish are being taken on the old river channels on cut baits and yellow tail fished on bottom rigs.
Bluegill:  Bluegill are being taken on deep rocky points and creek channel banks by fishing with pinched night crawlers on bottom.  Some Bluegill are also being taken on deeper docks with crickets and worms fished under bobbers near brush piles.  
It won't be long before we start getting the fall bass tournaments in the area as many team trails and clubs hold their end of year tournaments here this fall.  If you are among those coming to the big lakes for your last tournaments, you should make a note to visit both Fisherman's Headquarters located on the U.S.68/U.S.641 triangle in Draffenville and The Cabin Bait and Tackle located on U.S. 62 just west of Kuttawa.  

Both these tackle shops are fully stocked with your favorite name brand lures and tackle as well as many of the local custom lures that work here on Ky/Barkley.  You will find the folks there friendly and knowledgeable about the tackle they sell and the latest in fishing information.  
Also for those folks coming to the big lakes, if you are in need of service for your boat or need bulk oil you will find the best of these at Jet-A-Marina located in Calvert City just a couple of miles north of Ky Dam on U.S. 62.  The folks at Jet-A-Marina have a great reputation for customer service and will bend over backwards to keep you on the water if they can possibly do so.  While there you might stroll through their showroom to check out the latest in Ranger and Stratos bass boats as well as a full line of accessories.  
If you are in need of a bass guide for some fun bass fishing, tournament preparation, lake familiarization or technique instruction, don't hesitate to give me a call or drop me an email.  If you have not booked your fall trips, you should do so soon or you may not be able to get the dates you want

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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.

Shy Doe
Photo by J. Kent Harmon

The dense forests in Land Between The Lakes make the perfect hiding place for deer and other native species. You never know who might be peeking at you from the treeline.