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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 04/01/2010

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Ky Dam - 359.45   Surface Temperature - 56

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 359.60  Surface Temperature - 56
 
Both lakes are one half foot over summer pool.  The lakes came up two more feet since last week's report.  Normally we are winter pool until April 1st and then the lakes are brought up to summer pool levels over the month of April.  The high water, as mentioned in last week's report is due to flooding on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers so the TVA has been holding back the water on both lakes to avoid adding to the floods downstream.  

The TVA is forecasting a 6 inch drop in water levels by midnight Saturday night at this time but this could change as we have some rain in the forecast for Saturday.  We have had some great warm spring weather this past few days with highs in the upper 70's and warm south winds.  The base water temperatures came up 4 degrees since last weekend and with the present forecast, they should continue to rise over the next week.  

We are still about 4 degrees below normal for this time of year but the gap between the lower than normal water temperatures we have had over the past month is narrowing rapidly.  We are still catching large numbers of smaller Largemouth but more larger bass are now being reported on the north ends of both lakes and hopefully this will improve over the next few days as the water continues to warm.  The bigger Largemouth are still being reported as scattered from deep to shallow but with warmer temperatures and the high water more of these fish seem to be moving into the creeks and bays.  

One thing I have noticed over the past few days is the early morning bite on the Largemouth has improved quite a bit from last week with the warmer water temperatures.  The Crappie anglers this week have reported mixed reports.  Some folks are doing good but many are reporting a scattered bite, mostly due to the rapid rise in the lake levels.  Those reporting a good bite are doing best early in the morning and late in the evening.  It seems the reports I am getting on the Crappie this week are either feast or famine.  The weather forecast for tomorrow is near 80 with south winds, Saturday 68 with a chance of thunderstorms and south wind and Sunday a high of 77 with south winds.  
 
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth Bass are being taken on primary points, secondary points and creek channel banks on suspending jerkbaits, crankbaits, Texas and Carolina rigged lizards and creature baits, jigs and shaky heads.  Largemouth are also being taken in shallow coves and the off the flats near buck brush and wood cover on lipless crankbaits, Texas rigged lizards and creature baits, jigs and skaky heads.  As you can tell, there are a myriad of patterns that are working for the Largemouth right now.  
 
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth Bass are being taken on primary points and on gravel banks in the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on suspending jerkbaits, crankbaits, jigs and tube jigs.  Some nice Smallmouth are being reported but the numbers remain low.
 
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Lucky Craft pointer in American shad, pearl ayu and aurora black, Bandit crankbaits in rootbeer/chartreuse and crawfish/chartreuse, Rapala shadrap in black/silver, Strike King red eye shad in red/craw, blue/chrome and gold chrome sexy shad, Zoom lizards in green pumpkin, Charmer timber pups in green pumpkin and watermelon/purple, Zoom trick worms in watermelon/purple green pumpkin/purple and Charmer shaky head worms in green pumpkin candy on D&L shaky head jigs and Last Cast hairy bug jigs in green pumpkin.
 
Crappie:  Crappie are being taken over brush piles in the creeks and bays in 8-12 ft of water by spider rigging with small tubes and minnows.  Crappie are also being taken around brush piles in 4-6 ft of water near spawning banks by casting curly tail jigs, road runners and by fishing with small jigs and minnows retrieved slowly under bobbers.  The better reports are indicating the shallower Crappie are being taken best early in the morning and late in the evening.  
 
I have not received any reports on the Bluegill or Red Ears yet, but today one of my clients caught a Red Ear that went at least 1.5 lbs on a crankbait on a shallow gravel flat and we also had a lot of fish grabbing the tails of our shaky head worms and running with them in areas where I know that Red Ears bed each year.  It seems a little early for those fish to be there, but then again with the high waters we are having, it does not surprise me.

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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!

The perfect place to start looking for a place to stay at Kentucky or Barkley Lakes?  Right here on our main lodging page.


Hematite Lake
Photo by Shawn Dunnaway

One of the hidden gems is this beautiful small lake in Land Between The Lakes. This shallow lake features lily pads, abundant wildlife, and a two-mile trail circling the lake. The trail in the back features a unique boardwalk.