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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 11/18/2010

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Ky Dam - 355.16  Surface Temperature - 55  

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 355.15  Surface Temperature - 55
Both lakes are four feet below summer pool.  The scattered fall bite for the Largemouth I have been reporting over the past few weeks has continued here on the lakes this week.  We had a number of cold fronts come through the area this past week and water temperatures continue to drop with each frontal passage.  The schools of shad are still scattered from deep to shallow with the schools of larger shad still pretty much out in the deeper water.  

We have taken fish shallow, deep and in between with some good days and some tough days and the reports I have received over the past few days mirrors what we have been doing.  Some few good bags have been reported by anglers fishing the ledges near the mouths of the creeks and bays when they have found schools of larger fish chasing shad up onto the tops of the ledges to feed but these deeper schools are moving a lot and it is tough to repeat this pattern from day to day. 

Another pattern we are fishing is ripping spoons under large schools of shad that we are finding in the channels around the mouths of the creeks and bays.  This is a pattern we normally fish later in November when the shad are moving out of the bays to winter haunts but since the larger schools have not moved in shallow we have moved out to where they seem to be hanging in the staging areas.  We have had some good fish back shallow on the flats in the creeks and bays but not a lot of numbers.  The shallow bite is best on warmer days during the late morning and early afternoon.  As I have mentioned before, we are not seeing the normal great fall bite we expect at this time of year in the shallows with numbers of schooling fish.  
Here is my take on the fall Largemouth fishing this year.   The shad started the transition to fall locations in late September as per normal and this transition period lasts about 4 or 5 weeks as the water temperatures drop slowly with the shad moving into the bays in year classes with the smaller shad coming in first and the larger shad moving in during the latter part of the transition period.  

This fall we had an abnormal number of heat waves and this kept the water temperatures above normal and so slowed up the transition keeping the shad spread out longer than we normally see.  When we finally got a big cold front a couple of weeks ago that dropped the water temperatures rapidly down into the range we normally around the first week of November some shad started moving into the creeks and bays again but a series of cold fronts has kept the larger schools from moving to the shallows in numbers.  

These large schools are pretty much hanging in deeper water staging areas around the mouths of the creeks and bays.  I am seeing schools of shad so large in these areas that they are blanking out my sonar when I come over them.  With the weather patterns we are having right now, which are more like the weather patterns we see in late November, that is multiple frontal passages, I think we are probably not going to see the big numbers of large schools of bigger shad moving shallow this fall.  

I do believe you can have some good days yet on the deeper water patterns and some good days in the shallows but it will be inconsistent with all these weather patterns and I do not expect we will see the large numbers of shallow feeding schools in the creeks and bays this fall that we normally expect.  I hope I am wrong and that we will see some movement of these large schools of larger shad to the shallows, at least for a short period so we can experience the great shallow topwater, spinnerbait and crankbait bite on shallow schoolers this year, but if these weather patterns continue, I would not count on it.  
The weather forecast for the weekend is for a warming trend as another cold front approaches which should come though the area early next week.  Temperatures are forecasted to be near 70 during the day and low's in the lower 50's in the mornings.  South winds are in the forecast and the present forecast is calling for high winds from the south on Sunday so boaters need to monitor the wind forecasts before venturing on the main lakes on Sunday.  

All boaters need to note that we now have water temperatures that can cause hypothermia if you get wet and thus you should check to make sure you have dry clothing and other items in your boat for survival purposes before you venture out on the lakes.  
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth Bass are being taken on a myriad of patterns from ledges to the shallows.  Some Largemouth are being taken on primary points as well as ledges around the mouths of the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on deep diving crankbaits, suspending jerkbaits, jigs and ripping spoons under the schools of shad.  

Largemouth are also being taken on secondary points and creek channel banks in the creeks and bays, especially near wood cover.  These fish are being taken on medium running crankbaits, jigs, shaky heads and tube jigs.  Largemouth are also being taken on the flats in the creeks and bays with fish feeding on schools of shad.  These fish are being taken on lipless crankbaits, blade baits and spinnerbaits with some topwater bite being reported but it is inconsistent from day to day.  The best shallow water bite is occurring during late morning and during the afternoon.  
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth Bass are being taken on main lake points on crankbaits, suspending jerkbaits, jigs and tube jigs.  There has been some topwater bite reported on these areas early in the morning and late in the day but reports indicate it is short lived and inconsistent.  Some nice fish have been reported but the numbers being reported are low.  
Some of the more productive lures reported this week are:  Lucky Craft Sammy in ghost pearl lemon and chartreuse shad, Lucky Craft suspending jerkbaits in aurora black and table rock shad, Mega Bass suspending jerkbaits in Ito Watsugi, Strike King series 5 and 6 crankbaits in sexy shad, Bandit crankbaits in blue steel, cabin special and rootbeer, Strike King 1.5 and 2.5 crankbaits in Tennessee shad, Strike King red eye shad lipless crankbaits in chrome sexy shad and sexy shad, Strike King sexy shad spoons, Silver Buddy and Steel Shad blade baits in gold and silver, Slong's spinnerbaits in blue glimmer,  Slong's flat top jigs in phantom with Net Baits baby paca craw trailer in green pumpkin/blue and Charmer shaky head worms in watermelon/purple and green pumpkin.  
White Bass:  White Bass are being taken around the mouths of the creeks and bays near the channel ledges by vertically fishing with inline spinners and spoons.  These fish are feeding on deep schools of shad in these areas.  Some White Bass are being taken on the flats in the creeks and bays as they are feeding on schools of shad by casting inline spinners and small spoons but there is very little schooling, these are mostly single fish.  
Crappie:  Crappie are being taken by vertically fishing with small tube jigs, minnows and minnow/jig combinations over brush piles and deep stake beds in 10-15 ft of water along the old creek channels in the creeks and bays.  Some nice fish are being reported this week but not large numbers of limits.  

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Fall at Kentucky Lake
Photo by Shane Dunnaway

A beautiful palette of colors can be experienced at Kentucky Lake during autumn. It's a site to see!