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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 03/25/2011

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 360.79  Surface Temperature - 57

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 360.90  Surface Temperature - 57
Both lakes are about 2 feet over summer pool and on a post flood draw down with water levels currently dropping at a rate of about one half foot a day.  As I predicted last week, the lakes leveled off late last week and then began falling earlier this past week as the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers flood waters crested.  Barring any unforeseen introduction of large amounts of rain up river from here or in the local area, the lakes should continue to fall until they are closer to being back in line with the seasonal levels they should be in accordance with the TVA's River Operating Guide.  

Of course we should be at winter pool (354) right now which is about 7 ft below what we actually are at this time.  I would expect the TVA will probably continue dropping the water to about 356 or 357  and then get us back on schedule...but of course all this would be dependent on future weather.  Right now there is no significant heavy rains in the near forecast for the region.  
The Largemouth Bass bite picked up considerably this past week  as the lakes crested and unseasonably warm weather moved into lakes area.  A good shallow water pattern started developing last Friday as the lakes crested and the shallows water temperatures warmed.  A number of folks reported getting into schools of shallow Largemouth feeding on schools of baitfish that moved onto the backs of the creeks and bays with the rising, warmer waters.  We experienced this same pattern in my boat a few times this week and the best way to describe this bite was that it was more like a fall feeding bite than an early prespawn bite.  

These feeding fish have been taken on pretty much any shallow water lure you can think of including  spinnerbaits, lipless crankbaits, chatterbaits and blade baits.  As the waters are now dropping, there are still some reports of these schools moving in and out but expect this bite to dwindle down as the baitfish move deeper with the water levels dropping.  There are still a myriad of  other patterns working just as mentioned in my last report also.  Largemouth are still being taken on main lake points and banks as well as on secondary points and channel banks in the creeks and bays.  

I would expect these patterns, especially the secondary points and channel bank points in the creeks and bays to get more productive as many of the baitfish and bass that are now shallow back out with the dropping water levels.  
The Crappie bite is still being reported as somewhat slow for this time of year and water temperatures but this is due more to the dropping water levels now than anything else.  The better bite is still being reported over brush and mats in 12 - 20 ft of water with Crappie staging at the mouths and front halves of the creeks and bays.  I would expect as soon as the water is leveled off, the  Black Crappie are going to be moving to spawning areas very quick  so Crappie anglers need to keep an eye on the lake levels and plan accordingly.  
The current weather here is much different than earlier in the week in which we had daytime highs around an unseasonable 80 degrees.  A cold front came through the lakes area on Wednesday evening and the highs will only be in the mid 40's today with like temperatures forecasted for the remainder of the weekend.  

A 40% chance of rain showers this afternoon and tonight increasing to a 70% chance of rain showers tomorrow coupled with some brisk northerly quadrant winds this weekend will make fishing conditions less than pleasant.   The forecast for next week is currently showing a warming trend around midweek with daytime highs back to the upper 50's and lower 60's but remember folks, this is March and the weather forecast can change with the next observation so make sure you monitor the weather and winds forecasts before venturing on the lakes.  
Largemouth:  Largemouth are being taken on main lake channel banks and points as well as on secondary points and channel banks in the front halves of the  creeks and bays.  These deeper fish seem to be somewhat scattered but some nice fish are being taken in these areas, just not large numbers.  These fish are being taken on suspending jerkbaits, deep and medium running crankbaits, jigs and shaky heads.  Largemouth are also being taken on secondary points and lead in banks in the back halves of the creeks and bays.  

These fish are being taken on spinnerbaits, medium running and lipless crankbaits, jigs and shaky heads.  A number of fish are being taken on the flats in the backs of the creeks and bays, especially around the mouths of the run in creeks as they are schooling on baitfish.  These fish are being taken on spinnerbaits, lipless crankbaits, blade baits and chatterbaits.  
Smallmouth:  Smallmouth are being taken on main lake points and on secondary points and bars around the mouths of the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on suspending jerkbaits, slow rolled crankbaits and jigs.  The numbers of these fish is being reported as low but some nice one and two fish catches have been made.  
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Slong's spinnerbaits in chartreuse/white and blue glimmer,  Norman Deep Little N in black/red patterns and firetiger, Bandit 200 and 300 in red crawfish and rootbeer/chartreuse, Spro Little John in spring craw, Rapala Shadrap in crawdad, fire tiger and hot steel, Steel Shad blade baits in gold, Lewis Rattletraps in gold with black back, Strike King Red Eye Shad in red craw, sexy shad and gold sexy shad, Charmer shaky head worms in green pumpkin and green pumpkin candy on Slong's shaky head jigs and Slong's jigs in bass buster with Net Baits Paca Chunk trailer in green pumpkin and Alabama craw.
Crappie:  Crappie are being taken by vertically fishing with small jigs and minnows over brush piles and mats in 12-20 ft of water along creek channels in the front halves of creeks and bays.  This fishing is reported as not being as good as one would expect this time in March but this should change as the water levels stabilize, hopefully later this next week.  

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Photo by Libby Mundy

This male eastern bluebird is looking for an insect to munch on. Easily spotted by binoculars, the males are bluer than the females which are mostly grey in color.