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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 08/12/2010

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Ky Dam - 357.61  Surface Temperature - 89

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 357.65  Surface Temperature - 89
Both lakes are one and one half feet below summer pool and on a slow drawdown.  Expect the lakes to reach two feet below summer pool by the end of the month in accordance with the TVA River Operating Schedule barring any unforeseen influx of water.  
Well, the heat wave continues here in the lakes area with daytime high heat indexes over 100 every day this week so far.  A heat advisory has been issued for this to continue through Saturday.  A frontal passage is forecasted for sometime Sunday which has the extended forecast into next week showing a little reprieve from the current heat wave with day time highs in the low 90's.  

A chance of isolated storms is in the forecast for each day and we have been getting these isolated storms every afternoon with this high heat and humidity.  These storms are localized and some are severe with high winds and dangerous lightning.  Boaters need to keep an eye on the sky for these approaching storms and find a safe port ahead of these storms.  Plenty of cold water to stay hydrated and plenty of sunscreen is highly recommended for anyone going out on the water.  Even the night time temperatures we have been having has the heat indexes at night around 80 degrees.  
The Largemouth Bass fishing has pretty much remained the same as last week, with the fish on the ledges being spotty, but we are still taking fish.  We have gotten into some good feeds the past few days early in the morning on the ledges even though most of these fish are not big fish, they have been active.  The current flow on both lakes is low with the past few days it being around 25,000 cfs on Kentucky Lake and around 12,000 cfs on Lake Barkley around the clock.  

We have not been getting the peak current flow of 35,000 to 40,000 and 15,000 to 20,000 respectively that we were getting in the afternoons the past few weeks.  This has had a two fold effect.  

First, the lack of good peak current in the afternoons is not there so the bass are not reacting as well as they were during the afternoon peak current flows on the ledges.  

Second, the steady current flows (although low) around the clock have served to bring the oxygen levels up to better levels during the morning hours so the fish are a little more active now in the mornings than they were last week when current was virtually non existent.  

The back up fry patterns in the creeks and bays for Largemouth is still there, but the early morning topwater bite in shallow water is dropping off as the water is dropping and the schools of fry are starting to move more to the secondary points and channel banks as they are working their way out to deeper water now.  There is still some early topwater bite in the shallows, it just is not quite as productive as it was the past few weeks.  
The White Bass anglers are still catching numbers of fish but the surface feeding action has diminished with most of the fish now being taken primarily by vertical fishing along the old creek ledges and river ledges.  No doubt the lower current flows are responsible for this drop in the surface feeding.  What surface feeding I have observed this week has been very short in duration.  
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth Bass are being taken on the old river and creek channel ledges on the main lakes and close to the mouths of the deeper bays.  These fish are being taken on Carolina rigged creature baits and worms, Texas rigged worms, dragging football head jigs and shaky heads.  The key is to fish slow, when you think you are fishing slow enough, slow down a little more.  

Many of our bites on the Carolina rig are coming after a long pause.  Largemouth are also being taken on primary points and secondary points in the creeks and bays as they are feeding on schools of transitioning fry.  These fish are being taken on medium running crankbaits, Carolina rigged creature baits, jigs, tube jigs and shaky heads.  

There is also some shallow water bite on the flats in the backs of the creeks and bays as well as the coves early and late in the day.  These fish are taking topwater lures, spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, lipless crankbaits and shallow running crankbaits.  
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth Bass are being taken on primary points and old river channel ledges during the day on Carolina rigged creature baits and tubes, finesse jigs and shaky heads.  The better Smallmouth bite is as normal this time of year, at night.  

The night anglers are taking Smallmouth (as well as Largemouth) on rocky and gravel main lake points and the first secondary points in the bays on Kentucky Lake.  These fish are being taken on dark skirted large spinnerbaits, Carolina rigged tube baits, tube jigs and shaky heads.  The night bite is reported as fair with fish being taken but just not lots of numbers of fish.  
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Lucky Craft sammy in ghost pearl lemon, Slong's spinnerbaits and chatterbaits in blue glimmer, Hoppy and Booyah spinnerbaits in black/blue (night bite), Strike King red eye shad lipless crankbaits in sexy shad and chrome sexy shad, Bandit 100 and 200 series in rootbeer and grape patterns, Charmer 10.5 inch paddle tail and gator tail worms in green pumpkin, Charmer timber pups in watermelon/purple and green pumpkin, Strike King rodent in amistad special, Charmer shaky head worms in green pumpkin and watermelon/purple, Slong's football head jig in cumberland craw and phantom, Last Cast hairy bug finesse jigs in peanut butter jelly and green pumpkin with matching Net Baits paca chunk trailer and Charmer tubes in road kill.  
White Bass:  White Bass are being taken along the old river and creek channel ledges on the main lake by vertical presentations of inline spinners, small spoons and minnow rigs.  Some White Bass are being taken by trolling the inline spinners and small spoons behind deep diving crankbaits along the river channel ledges.  
Catfish:  Catfish are being taken on the old river channels with the better reports indicating the best fishing is at night in the 20-30 ft depth range.  These fish are being taken on bottom bouncing rigs baited with leech/shrimp combinations and on bottom rigs baited with large minnows and yellowtail.  
Bluegill:  Bluegills are being taken early and late in the day around mayfly hatches near overhanging trees, especially on the LBL sides of the lakes. These fish are being taken on crickets and worms fish under bobbers and on small jigs tipped with crickets and worms fished vertically.  

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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.

Bison Herd
Photo by Libby Mundy

Visitors to the Elk and Bison Prairie in Land Between The Lakes can almost always catch a glimpse of some bison. They are most frequently seen early in the morning and in the late afternoon.