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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 10/14/2008

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Ky Dam - 354.95  Surface Temperature - 72

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 355.05  Surface Temperature - 72
 
I apologize to the folks that read this report every week in that I did not mention in my last report two weeks ago that I would be out of town last week and thus not writing a report for that week.  I decided to write this week's report a couple of days early in view of all the tournament anglers coming to town for this week so that they will have fresh information prior to their tournaments.  
 
Both lakes are 4 ft below summer pool.  This reflects a rise of one foot since my last report two weeks ago, this rise was a result of heavy rains in the area early last week.  The current levels are now back on the drawdown curve as reflected in the TVA River Operating System normal levels.  Boaters need to cautious when running the lakes as always this time of year and use the navigation buoys, especially if you are not familiar with the lakes.  

If you are in unfamiliar water outside the navigation buoys you should idle your boat and watch your depth finder until you are completely sure you are in safe water levels.  Many boats are damaged here this time of year by anglers running aground or striking underwater objects when they think they are in safe water depths outside the navigation buoys.  
 
The Largemouth Bass are still in the fall transition with fish being taken on a myriad of patterns from ledges on the main lake and around the mouths of the bays, fish being taken on main lake points, fish being taken on creek channel banks and associated secondary points in the creeks and bays as well as fish being taken on the main lake flats and flats in the backs of the creeks and bays.  

I would expect these patterns to continue for at least a couple of more weeks as the shad transition to shallow water more and more as the water temperatures drop.  
 
Just as with the mixture of differing patterns available, tournament results from the three big team tournaments held here last week had differing results.  Two of the tournaments were two day accumulative weight tournaments and the other big tournament was a three day event with the top 50 boaters starting day three of the tournament with zero weight.  

One of the two day events it only took about 20 lbs of cumulative weight over the two days to win the event.  The other two day tournament took 31 lbs of cumulative weight to win over the two days.  The last day of the three day tournament it took 19lbs to win.  The event that only had a 10lb a day average weight to win launched from north Lake Barkley.  The other two day event and the three day event launched from north Ky Lake.
 
Here is my take on the Largemouth bite here:  As I mentioned in my last two reports, the bite is indicative of the fall transition period here.  If you can do an average of 15 or 16 lbs a day here in multiple day tournaments you are in good shape to win or place high in the standings.  

After having been out of town for 4 days last week, I have found the bite to be pretty much the same since my return as it was prior to my trip.  My clients and I are typically putting at least one limit of keepers in the boat each day and on most days two or more limits.  Our weights on the best 5 fish are ranging from about 13 lbs to 18 lbs each day depending on the type of trip we are doing (fun or tournament prep) and the mood of the fish.  I consider this a pretty good bite for this time of year.  

I know many folks are having a problem putting keeper sized fish in their boat although they are managing to catch a lot of smaller fish.  Here is my advice to those having problems putting keepers in the boat.  BE PATIENT.  The way I look at it is this....the fish on the ledges will be there on those ledges until their food supply (shad schools) move shallow.  The fish that are already transitioned to shallow water will be there until the shad move back out deep late in November or early December.  

The fish in between these areas are on the move and hard to pattern.  So, I am concentrating where I know the fish are not moving, ledges and shallow.  The key is finding which ledges still have good fish and which creeks and bays have a number of keeper sized fish already shallow.  Either way, you have to wade thru a lot of short fish to get your keepers most days... so you have to be patient... find the fish and work them hard.  

An example of that would be my trip today... we fished shallow today and my boat never moved more than 50 feet in any direction after I pulled up on the flat in the back of the bay we were fishing.  We caught a lot of short fish today but we also managed 10 keepers with the best 5 going around 14lbs.  The bite is sporadic... you just have to wait out the fish... patience is the key to being successful during the transition.
 
Largemouth Bass:  The Largemouth Bass are being taken on creek channel ledges on the main lake and around the mouths of the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on deep diving crankbaits and Carolina rigged creature baits.  Personally my best bite has been on a Carolina rigged small creature bait.  Largemouth are being taken on main lake points, creek channel banks and associated secondary points in the creeks and bays on crankbaits, spinnerbaits, Carolina rigged creature baits, shaky head worms, tube jigs and jigs.  Largemouth are also being taken on the shallow flats on the main lake and on the shallow flats in the creeks and bays.  These shallow water fish are being taken on topwater lures, spinnerbaits, lipless crankbaits and dead stick worms.  
 
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth Bass are being taken early and late in the day on main lake primary and secondary points on crankbaits, tube jigs and jigs with some occasional topwater lures on schooling fish.  Some Smallmouth are also reportedly being taken on the main lake flats early and late in the day on topwater lures and small jerk baits.  The daytime Smallmouth bite is being reported as slow.  I have had some few reports of good Smallmouth still being taken at night on large spinnerbaits, jigs and tube jigs so it seems the Smallmouth are still mainly on a night feeding pattern.  I would expect the Smallmouth to start feeding more in the day as the water temperatures drop into the low 60's.
 
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Lucky Craft Sammy in ghost pearl lemon, Lucky Craft G-splash in ghost pearl lemon, Chatterbuzz buzzbaits in white, Strike King fat free shad crankbaits in shad patterns, Bandit crankbaits in rootbeer and rootbeer chartreuse, Norman crankbaits in rootbeer, Strike King crankbaits in sexy shad, Lewis rattletraps in blue chrome and black chrome and Strike King red eye shad lipless crankbaits in blue/chrome and sexy shad,  Hook Some Bass spinnerbaits in blue glimmer and white/chartreuse, Charmer timber pups in green pumpkin, Yamamoto senko, Todali Tackle senko and Ozark Tackle stikm ( all three in green pumpkin), Hook Some Bass tubes in green pumpkin and smoke/purple.
 
Crappie:  Crappie are being taken on old creek channels on the main lake and on creek channels around the mouths of the bays by vertically fishing with small tube jigs and tube jig/minnow combinations.  These fish are being taken in 8-15 ft of water over brush piles.  Some nice Crappie are being reported but not in large numbers yet...I have received a number of reports of numbers of smaller Crappie being taken.  
 
White Bass:  Although I have not received any reports from the White Bass anglers, I am seeing many large jumps in some of the LBL side bays back on the flats.  Some of these jumps are smaller fish but I have seen a number of jumps of good sized White Bass also.
 
Catfish:  Catfish are being taken on the old river channels on bottom bouncing rigs baited with yellowtail and large minnows.  I am also seeing a lot of jug anglers around the mouths of the creeks and bays but have not had any reports on how they are doing but with the numbers I am seeing I would suspect they are catching fish.
 
Bluegill:  Bluegill are reported to be good on main lake points and main lake gravel bars in 5-10 ft of water fishing with small jigs tipped with worms.  

More Kentucky Lake Fishing Reports

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Bald Eagle
Photo by Melodie Cunningham

This majestic bald eagle is keeping a close eye on his Kentucky Lake neighborhood. The months of January and February are the best times to catch a glimpse of bald eagles in Land Between The Lakes.