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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 09/17/2009

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 355.89  Surface Temperature - 78

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 359.85  Surface Temperature - 78
Both lakes are two feet over winter pool.  Both lakes were on the rise today and came up almost 6 inches since yesterday due to an influx of water from rains upriver over the past couple of days.  The current TVA forecast is for the lakes to remain at or near the present levels over the next few days with more current being generated to compensate for the incoming water.

Maybe this increased water flow will activate the ledge fishing for the bass as it has been somewhat slow lately as was reported in last week's report and has continued.  The east/northeast winds and high pressure we have been experiencing over the past couple of weeks continued through this past week and is forecasted to continue through at least Saturday.  

This weather pattern coupled with the fact we are in the early stages of the fall transition I am sure have contributed to the slower bite on the ledges.  The slower bite was exemplified by the results of the Wal-Mart BFL Super Tournament this past weekend.  On day one of the tournament nearly half the boaters did not weigh fish and only the top 3 boats had over 20 lbs.  

On day two of the tournament, the biggest 5 fish bag weighed was only a little over 12lbs.  It only took a little over a 16lb average over the two days to win the tournament.  This combined two day weight is indicative of the bite when the bass are in the transition from summer to fall patterns.  

Another example of the slower bite this week was the results of the Tuesday night tournament out of The Moor's Resort.  It only took 6lb to win the tournament which sports some of the top bass anglers on the lakes here every week.  Well, enough of the bad news, now for some good news.  Although the ledge fishing has been slow, the shallow water bite on the Largemouth has been pretty good although most of the fish are short of the legal limit, there is plenty of action to be had back shallow.  

These fish are feeding on schools of early transitioned small shad.  I will say that my clients for the most part have been getting more than a limit of keeper fish when we have been fishing the shallows this week.  So, if you are having a tough time on the ledges and want some action, I would suggest you check out the shallow bite in the creeks and bays.  

Remember, the shad are starting to transition to the shallows to feed up for the winter and of course the bass are following them.  We have cooler weather in the forecast over the next week and this should drop the water temperatures a little more and in turn some more shad should be moving toward shallow waters.  

Although this transition lasts for about a month and the fish get spread out which is what makes the fishing for keepers a little tough, the fish are only going in one direction this time of year.  Crappie anglers are reporting a little better bite this week in the creeks over brush piles in 8-12 ft of water near the old creek channels on spider rigs.  This week I saw a number of white bass jumps on the flats on the main lake and also near the mouths of the creeks and bays.  These jumps have not been long in duration.  
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth are being taken on a myriad of patterns.  Largemouth are being taken on the old river and creek channel ledges on Carolina rigged small creature baits and tubes baits as well as by dragging football head jigs.  Working your lures very slow seems to be the key to more bites.  

Largemouth are also being reported on the primary points and secondary points in the creeks and bays by fishing with crankbaits, Texas rigged worms and creature baits, finesse jigs and shaky head worms.  Largemouth are also being taken in the shallows in the creeks and bays on topwater lures, spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, lipless and shallow running crankbaits as well as dead stick worms.  These fish are feeding on schools of early transitioned small shad.  
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth Bass are being taken on primary points and main lake secondary points by fishing with topwater lures early and late in the day and finesse jigs and shaky head worms during the day.  The bite is reported as slow for numbers of fish.  
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Lucky Craft Sammy in ghost pearl lemon, Chatterbuzz and Booyah buzzbaits in white and white/chartreuse, Yozuri spash it in lemon with ghost body, Strike King crankbaits in sexy shad, Rapala crankbaits in pearl grey shiner, Bandit crankbaits in rootbeer, Hook Some Bass spinnerbaits in white/chartreuse and blue glimmer, Hook Some Bass vibe (chatterbait) in blue glimmer, Charmer timber pups in green pumpkin, watermelon/purple and purplegrass, Charmer shaky head worms in green pumpkin candy, Hook Some Bass tubes in chameleon craw and green pumpkin, Yum humdingers in green pumpkin/purple, Ozark stickem's in green pumpkin, Yamamoto senko in green pumpkin/black and green pumpkin/watermelon and green pumpkin/purple, Jewel football head jig in black/blue with matching Net Baits paca chunk trailer, Last Cast wooly bug finess jigs and D&L baby advantage jigs in green pumpkin with matching Net Baits trailer.  
Crappie:  Crappie are being taken in 8-12 ft of water over brush piles by spider rigging small minnows and small jigs in the mouths of the creeks and bays.  
White Bass:  White Bass are being taken on the main lake flats near the river and creek channel ledges as they are chasing schools of shad.  These fish are being taken by casting small spoons, inline spinners and small jig heads tipped with curly tail grubs.  White Bass are also being taken along the old creek channels near the mouths of the bays by vertically fishing with inline spinners, small spoons and minnow rigs.
Catfish:  Blue Catfish are being taken along the old river channels in 25-36 ft of water by fishing with yellowtails and large minnows on bottom rigs.
I would like to welcome all of you  bass anglers  that are coming here to fish in your trail regional tournaments and classics this month and next.  The lakes will be crowded with tournament anglers starting this week thru October so remember to be courteous to your fellow anglers and please be careful when running the lakes.  

The water levels are such now that it is pretty easy to do some damage to your boat or worse if you run in shallow water areas. The best thing to do is stay inside the channel markers and only run outside the channel markers if you are completely sure that you are in safe water, just because these are big lakes does not mean they are deep lakes.  

More Kentucky Lake Fishing Reports

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Kentucky Lake Sunset
Photo by Shawn Dunnaway

Sunsets at Kentucky Lake are special. You can find them on the eastern banks of Kentucky Lake looking west across a mile of ripples and waves. There's nothing quite like experiencing a sunset on Kentucky Lake.