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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 05/13/2009

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Ky Dam - 364.15  Surface Temperature - 69

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 354.05  Surface Temperature - 69
I am writing my report one day early this week because I will be tied up tomorrow evening. Both lakes are 5 ft over summer pool.  The current TVA forecast is for the lakes to drop 6 inches tomorrow, but one should monitor the TVA website for changes in the forecast as the forecast tends to change quite frequently lately.  

Lake Barkley has heavily stained water on the main lake and in some of the larger feeder creeks but most of the creeks on Barkley are just stained.  Kentucky Lake is stained.  Both lakes have wood debris afloat, especially Lake Barkley so be very careful when running and keep an eye out for debris. The forecast from now until Saturday is for scattered thunderstorms each day.  The present forecast shows a frontal passage late Saturday with a wind shift to the north early Sunday.  

The forecast should be monitored also because it too has been changing quite frequently lately.  The Largemouth fishing has been varied this past week depending on where you are fishing on the lakes.  We have Largemouth that have spawned and on solid post spawn patterns as well as Largemouth that are on the beds and Largemouth that are still late prespawn.  

This is almost a reflection of last year's spawn in which fluctuating late spring water temperatures and fluctuating water levels strung the spawn out and we had the same thing going then as we do now.  One thing most bass anglers can agree on right now is that there are plenty of short fish to be taken, no matter where you are fishing.  

The bigger bass that we are seeking are on these varied patterns of post spawn, spawn and late prespawn and it just depends on which creeks and bays you are fishing as to which is the dominating pattern.  Crappie anglers are reporting scattered catches over brush piles in 12-20 ft of water.  The big bite right now is on Bluegill and Catfish.  Big catches of shallow Bluegill are being reported and the Channel Catfish are on the rocky flats on the main lake and in the creeks and bays on a prespawn feed.  
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth Bass are being taken primary points, secondary points and associated creek channel banks as well as on shallow ledges in the creeks and bays on crankbaits, slow rolled spinnerbaits, Carolina rigged lizards and creature baits and jigs.  Most of these fish are on post spawn.  There are still Largemouth being taken on late prespawn patterns on lead in banks just off the spawning areas and in front of the brush on topwater lures, spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, shaky head worms, Texas and Carolina rigged lizards and creature baits.  Largemouth are also being taken off the beds by flipping the button brush with jigs and creature baits.  
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth are being taken on main lake primary and secondary points and secondary points near the mouths of the bays.  These fish are post spawn and are being taken on jigs, tube jigs and curly tail grubs.  I have not received any reports on numbers of fish but have received some reports of some nice fish being taken.
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Chatterbait buzzbaits in white and in black, Hook Some Bass spinnerbaits in blue glimmer and white/chartreuse, Hook Some Bass vibe (chatterbaits) in blue glimmer, Rapala DT series crankbaits in parrot and black/silver, Lucky Craft crankbaits in rootbeer/chartreuse,  Norman crankbaits in rootbeer, Bandit crankbaits in rootbeer/chartreuse, Zoom lizards in watermelon/red,  watermelon/chartreuse, pumpkin/chartreuse, Zoom bush hogs and Charmer timber dawgs in watermelon/red,  Charmer timber pups in watermelon/red, Charmer shaky head worms in watermelon/red, D&L baby advantage jigs in Cumberland craw and Last Cast wooly bug jigs in green pumpkin (both tipped with Net Baits paca craw chunk trailer).  
Crappie:  Crappie are reported as scattered with most being taken over brush piles along old creek channels in 12-20 ft of water on jigs tipped with minnows fished vertically.  I have received a couple of reports of Crappie being taken around the bases of willow trees on minnows and jigs tipped with minnows fished under bobbers.  
Bluegill:  Bluegill are being taken in good numbers by anglers fishing with crickets under bobbers around flooded button brush and also on split shot rigs and small jigs tipped with worms fished on bottom near wood cover around the summer pool shoreline areas in 4-6 ft of water.  
Catfish:  Channel Catfish are being taken in the creeks and bays on rocky flats as well as on rocky flats on the main lake.  These fish are being taken on night crawlers fished on bottom and under bobbers.  Some good catches are being reported.  

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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!

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Photo by Jennifer Dunnaway

This shy little turtle visited our campsite recently in Land Between The Lakes. There are several different species of turtles that can be seen near Kentucky Lake.