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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 04/09/2009

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Ky Dam - 359.02  Surface Temperature - 56

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 359.25  Surface Temperature - 56
Both lakes are at or near summer pool.  A severe cold front passed thru the lakes area late last weekend and brought with it high winds, storms and some nasty cold weather for the first couple of days this past week.  The cold weather and winds cooled the water temperatures down a couple of degrees.

We also received a lot of rain with the frontal passage to add to the heavy rains we already have had over the past couple of weeks so the lakes rose to nearly one foot over summer pool earlier in the week.  The lakes have been on a slow draw down over the past couple of days and are the TVA forecast is to drop the levels another one half foot by Saturday.  

We have another cold front coming thru the lakes area tonight and early tomorrow morning coupled with a warm front that is south of us that is moving north.  These two fronts are going to meet around this area sometime tonight and the forecast is for severe storms and heavy rains.  So, as I reported last week, we continue to get frontal passages about every 48 to 72 hours right now.  Another cold front is forecasted to come thru the lakes area late Sunday night with the possibility of strong storms.  

So how has this affected the fishing:  The same myriad of patterns we have had over the past couple of weeks is continuing with the raise and lowering of water temperatures and lake levels.  The Largemouth are in transition from early prespawn patterns to late prespawn patterns.  

It is not hard to catch numbers of bass right now, it is just that it is not as easy to put a number of keepers in the boat as it was before this weather pattern of frontal passages began about two weeks ago.  Some good bags of keeper fish are still coming in to the tournament weigh ins but not nearly as many big bags as we had earlier in the season. One positive note is that I have received a number of reports of a good late evening bite on both lakes for the Largemouth this week.  

This was exemplified by three bags over 20lbs being weighed in at the Tuesday night tournament held at Moor's Marina this week.   The fronts coming is tonight and Sunday are not the arctic type fronts we have seen recently so we should not see a drop in water temperatures in the near future, thus, I expect we will start seeing more larger fish starting to show up shallow in the spawning areas next week.  

The White Crappie, like the bass seem to have slowed their transition also with the weather and water conditions.  Although some fish are being taken early and late in the day casting shallow banks, the reports indicate that the best bite is still over staging brush piles in the creeks and bays around the 10-15 ft levels of water.  
Water conditions:  Kentucky Lake is slightly stained.  Lake Barkley has heavy stain in the river channel and some of the larger creeks are heavily stained from runoff.  Most of the creeks and bays on north Barkley are stained but more than fishable.  There is a good bit of wood debris now floating on the lakes, especially on Lake Barkley with the rise in the water.  Be especially watchful for this debris when running either lake.  
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth are being taken on a myriad of patterns and are being taken from the staging ledges around the mouths of the creeks and bays to the backs of the same in shallow water.  The ledge fish are being taken on Carolina rigged creature baits and dragging football head jigs.  

Largemouth are being taken on creek channel banks and associated secondary points in the creeks and bays with crankbaits, spinnerbaits, Texas and Carolina rigged creature baits, jigs and shaky head worms.  Largemouth are also being taken shallow near spawning areas (brush and flowers) on spinnerbaits, lipless crankbaits, Texas rigged creature baits and jigs.  Remember, the Largemouth are transitioning to the late prespawn patterns, so expect more and more of these fish to start showing up shallow very soon.  
Smallmouth Bass:   Smallmouth Bass reports indicate that these fighters are being taken on primary points and the first secondary points in the creeks and bays.  The reports indicate (as they have all spring) scattered success with some good single fish being taken but no numbers of fish in any one spot.  The fish that are being taken are taking Carolina rigged creature baits, crankbaits, tube jigs and jigs.  
Some of the productive bass lures reported this week are:  Norman deep little n crankbaits in tropical shad, Bandit crankbaits in rootbeer/chartreuse, crawfish/chartreuse and blue chartreuse, Rapala shad rap crankbaits in black/silver and hot steel, Strike King red eye shad lipless crankbaits in orange/craw and blue/chrome, Hook Some Bass spinnerbaits in blue glimmer and white, Strike King spinnerbaits in white, Zoom lizards in watermelon/red and green pumpkin, Charmer timber pups in watermelon/red and green pumpkin, Charmer shaky worms in watermelon/red on D&L shaky head jigs, D&L baby advantage jigs in "oops", Last Cast wooly bug jigs in green pumpkin and Jewel football head jigs in gourd/craw.  
Crappie:  Crappie are being taken on brush piles in 10-15 ft of water in the creeks and bays along old creek channels by vertically fishing with small jigs and minnow/jig combinations.  Some Crappie are being taken early and late in the day on spawning banks in 4-6 ft of water by casting curly tail jigs and road runner lures.  
Bluegill:  Some large Bluegill are being taken in the Crappie brush piles by Crappie anglers fishing vertically with small tube jigs.  

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Photo by Melodie Cunningham

This pileated woodpecker is one of the more common woodpecker species in North America. It is also one of the largest forest birds in the region.