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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 07/09/2009

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Ky Dam - 359.31  Surface Temperature - 84

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 359.35  Surface Temperature - 84
Both lakes are at summer pool.  Expect both lakes to be drawn down one foot over the next month in accordance with the TVA River Operating System schedule unless there is a large amount of rain in the area and upriver.  The forecast for the weekend is for highs in the high 80's to low 90's with a 40 to 50 percent chance of isolated thunderstorms.  

Anyone venturing on the water this weekend should keep and eye on the sky for any approaching thunderstorms and take appropriate action to reach safe port if needed.  Summertime thunderstorms can and do many times move quickly into the area and one should always be alert for the possibility of threatening weather, especially during the hot afternoon and early evening hours.  In last week's report I cautioned that the lakes would be crowded over the holiday weekend and asked that everyone use caution and drive defensively.  

I am sad to report that a fatal accident was reported in the Paris Landing area in which two boats collided.  Folks, we have had too many fatal accidents on our lakes this year... please use some common sense and be alert for other boaters that may not be using their common sense.  

Alcohol was reportedly a contributing cause in the accident last weekend.  Alcohol and boating do not mix, have fun on the water and save the partying until you get off the water, somewhere safe where you will not be a liability to yourself or your fellow boaters.  
The bass fishing has been overall good this week.  I only had one day this week that I thought the fishing was somewhat slow and that was following a cold frontal passage earlier in the week.  Most of the reports I have received indicate pretty much the same.  

The better bite this week was reportedly in the evening when the current was being pulled, but like myself, those of fishing in the morning and during the day were able to put fish in the boat.  The ledge fishing  for Largemouth was good overall during the day, with the larger fish being taken on slow moving baits like Carolina rigs, dragging football head jigs and large shaky head worms.  

There are a lot of small schooling bass chasing shad fry in the creeks and bays and on the main lake flats.  Although these fish are not of great quality, there are some good numbers of the smaller fish and can be a lot of fun.  I received a number of reports of Smallmouth being taken on the ledges during the day this week, and my client and I today did catch some of these brown fighters on a ledge while dragging a jig.  I am also seeing a lot of White Bass in the jumps feeding on schools of fry in the mouths of some of the larger bays.  Some of these jumps are lasting for 10 minutes or more.  
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth are being taken on the old river and creek channel ledges on the main lakes and around the mouths of the deeper creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on deep diving crankbaits, Carolina rigged creature baits, Texas rigged large worms, jigs and large shaky head worms.  

Some Largemouth are also being taken in the creeks and bays on secondary points and associated creek channel banks as they are schooling on large schools of shad fry.  These schooling fish are being taken on crankbaits, topwater lures, spinnerbaits and chatterbaits.  
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth Bass are being taken on the old river and creek channel ledges on the main lakes and around the mouths of the deeper creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on Carolina rigged small creature baits and dragging jigs.  

Some Smallmouth are being taken on main lake primary and secondary points early and late in the day on finesse jigs and tube jigs.  Smallmouth are also being taken at night, on the main lake and in the mouths of the deeper bays on Kentucky Lake by fishing with dark colored spinnerbaits, jigs and tube jigs.  These fish are being taken on primary and secondary points on the main lake and on secondary points and associated creek channel banks in the bays.  Rocky banks and points have been reported as producing the most fish.
Some of the productive lure reported this week are:  Yozuri splash it poppers in yellow with ghost belly, Lucky Craft G-splash in ghost pearl lemon, Rebel Pop R in white, Rapala DT 16 and DT 20 in grey pearl shiner, Norman DD 22 in white, Hook Some Bass vibe (chatterbait) in blue glimmer, Charmer timber dawgs and timber pups in watermelon/purple and green pumpkin, Charmer gator tail 10.5" worms in plum, Xcite maximus  10.5" shaky head worm in plum, green pumpkin/purple and mud puppy, Jewel football head jigs in gourd/craw and black/blue, P.J. football head jigs in watermelon/candy, D&L football head jigs in black/blue and Hook Some Bass tubes in chameleon craw and green pumpkin.
White Bass:  White Bass are being taken along the old river and creek channel ledges as well as on the adjacent flats by vertically fishing with inline spinners and small jigging spoons.  White Bass are also being taken in the jumps as they are feeding on schools of shad fry in the creeks and bays.  These top feeding schools are being taken on small topwater poppers, inline spinners and small crankbaits cast into the feeding schools.  
Bluegill:  Bluegills are being taken near willow trees early and late in the day where there are mayfly hatches.  These fish are being taken on crickets and worms fish under bobbers and on small jigs tipped with worms.  Bluegill are also being taken around deeper docks with wood cover, especially in the night hours on worms and crickets fished under bobbers.  
Catfish:  Catfish are being taken along the old river channels by fishing with bottom bouncing rigs baited with shrimp and leeches.  Catfish are also being taken on bottom rigs baited with large minnows and cut baits.  The Catfish bite is reportedly best when there is current.  

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.

Take A Kid Fishing
Photo by Shawn Dunnaway

These boys had a blast bank fishing on Kentucky Lake. Take your kids on a fishing trip to Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley!