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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 09/11/2008

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Ky Dam - 355.68  Surface Temperature - 79

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 355.80  Surface Temperature - 79
Both lakes are slightly less than 3 ft below summer pool.  The weather forecast for the weekend is for scattered thunderstorms with highs in the 80's and humid.  Some moderate winds from the south/southwest are forecasted for Saturday.  Folks that are going to be on the water this weekend should monitor the latest wind forecasts, especially on Sunday. 

Currently the forecast is calling for light north winds on Sunday but I expect this will change if the currently forecasted track of hurricane Ike is correct.  The current projected path for Ike is to make landfall in Texas sometime early Saturday and then it will turn northeast and pass just west of the lakes area on Sunday.  If this projected path is correct, then the winds forecast for Sunday will most likely change.  Only time will tell, but again folks should monitor the winds forecast this weekend...especially for Sunday.  

The forecast for next week currently shows daytime highs in the high 70's with nighttime lows in the high 50's.  If this forecast holds we should see the water temps drop.  Large schools of adult shad are staged around the mouths of the creeks and bays at this time and if the water temps drop a few degrees next week we could see some movement of some of these schools into the creeks and bays.  

As per the last two reports, Largemouth Bass can be taken on a myriad of patterns from the ledges around the mouths of the creeks and bays to the backs of the creeks and bays.  Overall, the Largemouth fishing has been very good this week on Kentucky Lake.  I was on Lake Barkley yesterday and the fishing was somewhat slow, but we were experiencing post frontal conditions with east winds and high pressure.  

I do however feel that the best bite is on Kentucky Lake overall this week.  We had a number of nice Largemouth and some nice Smallmouth on the ledges this past week on Kentucky Lake as well as large numbers of fish taken shallow near the grass beds.  The shallow fish are for the most part running small but we have managed to catch quite a few keepers shallow also.  

As an example, today we had bigger fish on the ledges and then played shallow.  We had nearly 100 fish today, mostly short fish back shallow near the grass, but still managed to catch some keepers out of the grass also.  These shallow fish are gorging on schools of late fry.  
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth are being taken on the river and creek channel ledges around the mouths of the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken primarily on Carolina rigged creature baits and dragging football head jigs.  Some nice fish are being taken on the ledges.  

Largemouth Bass are also being taken on creek channel banks and associated secondary points as well as on the flats in the creeks and bays near grass beds.  These fish are feeding on schools of late fry and can be taken on topwater lures, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, finesse jigs, soft jerkbaits and finesse jigs.  
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth Bass are being taken on the river channel ledges and creek channel ledges near the mouths of the creeks and bays.  These ledge fish are being taken on Carolina rigged creature baits and dragging football head jigs.  

Smallmouth Bass are also being taken on main lake primary and secondary points on crankbaits, spinnerbaits, tube jigs, finesse jigs and drop shot rigs.  Our best Smallmouth this week (7lbs) was taken on a creek channel ledge near the mouth of a large bay.  
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Lucky Craft sammy in ghost pearl lemon, Chug bugs in black, phantom black and shad colors, Rebel Pop R in black/chrome, Chatterbuzz buzzbaits in white and black, Bandit crankbaits in rootbeer and rootbeer/chartreuse, Hook Some Bass spinnerbaits in blue glimmer, Hook Some Bass vibe (chatterbait) in blue glimmer tipped with Yamamoto twin tail trailer in blue pearl, Charmer timber pups in green pumpkin and watermelon/purple, Jewel football head jigs in gourd/craw with baby pace craw trailer, drop shot rigs baited with Berkley Gulp minnows, Last Cast hairy bug jigs in green pumpkin with matching baby paca craw trailer and D&L baby advantage jig in "oops" pattern with green pumpkin baby paca craw trailer.  
Crappie:  Some Crappie are being taken on old creek channel ledges over brush piles in 15-20 ft of water by vertically fishing with small tube jigs and small minnows.  
White Bass:  White Bass are being taken around the river channel ledges and creek channel ledges near the mouths of the creeks and bays by vertically fishing with inline spinners and small spoons.  Some schooling of White Bass is being reported on the flats in the creeks and bays feeding on schools of late fry.  These fish are small for the most part according to reports received.
Catfish:  Blue Catfish are being taken on the old river channels, especially during periods of current by fishing with bottom bouncing rigs baited with yellowtail, large minnows and leech/shrimp combinations.  Channel Catfish are being taken along the old creek channels on bottom rigs baited with yellowtail and cut baits.  
Bluegill: Bluegill are being taken on deep creek channel banks and on points by fishing vertically with small jigs tipped with pinched nightcrawlers and wax worms. 

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (Fisheries Division) has proposed a revision of the fishing regulations for Kentucky Lake for the 2009 season at their August meeting.  It has been proposed that the statewide 18" minimum for Smallmouth Bass passed last year be implemented for Kentucky Lake at the beginning of the 2009 season.  

It was also proposed that a 15 fish limit for Crappie be implemented during the 2009 season on Kentucky Lake in Tennessee waters.  From what I have been able to discern, these changes appear to be all but a done deal, so folks planning on fishing Kentucky Lake during the 2009 season need to be aware of this pending change, especially if you are fishing the boundary water areas between the U.S. 68 bridge and the U.S. 79 bridge.  

I have been told, but have not yet confirmed that some tournament trails that fish Kentucky Lake are already planning on raising the minimum length on Smallmouth to be weighed in Kentucky Lake tournaments, even those originating in Kentucky waters, to 18" to avoid confusion.  As more word comes out on this proposed change I will post it on this report.  
If the bass fishing I have been seeing on Kentucky Lake over the past couple of weeks is any indication of the coming fall bite, we are going to be in for a lot of fun this fall.  Remember, the best fall fishing is late October and during the month of November normally so if you have not made your plans for the fall feed, you need to do so very soon

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.

Photo by Jennifer Dunnaway

We photographed this doe peeking from behind some tall grass near Honker Bay in Land Between The Lakes.