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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 03/02/2011

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Ky Dam - 356.18  Surface Temperature - 49

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 356. 30  Surface Temperature - 48
Both lakes are two feet above winter pool and have strong current as the dams are spilling water.  Heavy rains late last week and earlier this week caused the lakes to rise to over 3 ft above winter pool and they are now in a drawdown.  Lake Barkley is heavily stained to muddy.  

The creeks and bays on Kentucky Lake range from heavily stained to stained.  The main lake on Kentucky ranges from stained to clear.  There is some wood debris here and there in the lakes from the drawdown so be careful when running.  The weather forecast is calling for a beautiful day tomorrow with highs in the upper 60's and southeast breezes.  

There is a chance for thunderstorms on Friday with highs in the low 60's with south winds as our next cold front approaches.  The forecast for the weekend shows a high of 55 on Saturday with rain and thunderstorms as the cold front comes through the area.  Moderate south winds are forecasted.  

Sunday is forecasted to be post frontal with highs in the upper 40's and north winds.  Of course, this is March and the weather forecast can change in a heartbeat, so be sure to check your latest forecasts for wind and weather before venturing on the water.  Also, remember that the water temperatures are conducive to hypothermic conditions should you have an accident so be sure to wear your PFD's and have a survival kit in the boat with you to include a change of warm clothes as well as fire starting materials.  
It was great to get back on the water the past few days and get this new season started.  The bass are starting to wake up from the winter doldrums and even with the water conditions as stated above, some bass are beginning to feed.  This is the time of the year to have a chance at a big bass and a few fish in the 7lb range have been reported this past week with a whopping 11.39 lb Largemouth having been taken on the south end of Ky Lake over the weekend.  

We had two tournaments on the north end of Ky Lake this past weekend with one team tournament having 34 boats fishing on Saturday which had the top 3 winning weights range from 22lbs for 1st place to almost 16lbs for 3rd place with 5 fish limits. Big fish was 7.18  The other tournament was a two day Collegiate Bass Fishing team event with 34 boats.  The total weights ranged from over 26 lbs for first place to over 23 lbs for third place. Although a 10 fish limit for the two days was allowed, no team had more than 8 fish for the two days.  Big fish was 7.52
Some Smallmouth was weighed in at the Collegiate tournament but not large numbers.  The reports for the Smallmouth indicate about the same, some being taken but not large numbers. 
Although the Crappie fishing over the past few days has not been reported as great with the fluctuating water levels, there have been some nice fish taken.  The Black Crappie are staging now around the mouths of the creeks and bays and it won't be long before they make their move in the creeks for spawning later this month.  
Like I said before, it is great to be getting this new season underway and I am one happy angler to get out of the house and back on the water again.  Now is the time to shake those winter doldrums off and renew life and I can't think of a better way than to go fishing.  
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth are being taken on the primary points, main lake secondary points and channel banks as well as on the secondary points and channel banks in the front halves of the deeper creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on suspending jerkbaits, lipless crankbaits, slow rolled crankbaits, blade baits, jigs and shaky heads.  Rocky banks with wood cover have been producing a lot of the fish.  
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth are being taken on primary points, main lake secondary points and channel banks.  These fish are being taken on suspending jerkbaits, slow rolled crankbaits and jigs.  Although numbers of fish are not being reported, there have been some nice ones taken.  Pea gravel has been the primary target areas for these fish.
Some of the more productive lures reported this week are:   Lucky Craft pointers in table rock shad, Smithwick rattlin rogues in hot rod and table rock shad and Rapala husky jerk in clown.  Spro Little John crankbaits in spring craw and Rapala shadraps in crawdad and black/silver.  Lewis rattletraps in black/red, blue/chrome, black/chrome and Strike King red eye shad in red craw and chrome sexy shad.  Steel Shad blade baits in gold.  Slong's 1/2 oz jigs in bass buster with Net Baits Paca Chunk in green pumpkin and Charmer shaky head worms in green pumpkin and watermelon/red on Slong's Shaky Head jigs.  
Crappie:  Crappie are being taken over brush piles along old creek channels on the main lake in 15-20 ft of water and over brush piles on old creek channels in the mouths of the creeks and bays in 12-20 ft of water.  These deep fish are being taken by vertically jigging with small tube jigs on small minnows.  Some Crappie are moving up to the banks near brush in 8-10 ft of water in the creeks and bays on warmer afternoons to feed.  These fish are being taken with small tube jigs and curly tail jigs by casting and also on small minnows fished under bobbers.

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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.

Winter Wonderland
Photo by Jennifer Dunnaway

If the road conditions permit, a drive through a snow-covered Land Between The Lakes is a must! This winter wonderland is every photographers dream come true.