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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 04/07/2011

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Ky Dam - 357.41  Surface Temperature - 58 

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 357.45  Surface Temperature - 56
Both lakes are one and one half feet below summer pool and on a slow rise.  In last week's report I forecasted that the TVA would level the lakes around the first part of this week and that I expected the bite would get much better on both the Largemouth Mouth Bass and the Crappie.  The lakes did level off from the drawdown on Monday and coupled with a some warm winds raising the water temperatures, the Largemouth and the Crappie are getting more active.  

I am still seeing and getting reports of Largemouth being taken from the main lake points all the way back to the shallows in the creeks but what I am seeing over the past few days is that more and more Largemouth are staging on secondary points and channel banks just off the spawning flats with numbers of buck bass roaming the shallows.  This is exactly what you expect to see this time of year with these water levels.  The bucks always move up first followed by the females.  We are still catching the fish on a myriad of lures depending on where you are fishing but another good omen is that we have taken a number of fish on lizards which is a certain indication these fish are ready to move up into their spawning areas very soon.  

I have had varied reports on the Crappie, with some folks reporting a tough bite still in some areas still whereas a number of folks are reportedly catching some numbers  of good Crappie moving to spawning banks in 3-6 ft of water and also taking good Crappie over staging brush piles in 7-12 ft of water.   I believe what I a getting in my reports on the Crappie is that it is more a matter of which creek or bay you are fishing in right now, but the Crappie bite is coming on and with the water warming more over the next few days, the bite should get even better.
The weather forecast for the weekend is calling for highs in the 80's with the possibility of some thunderstorms and south winds.  Everyone venturing on the lakes this weekend needs to check the latest wind and weather forecasts.  We have had quite a few days lately of high winds and you really don't want to get caught too far from safe port in big winds on these lakes.  
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth are being taken on a myriad of patterns and lures.  Largemouth are being taken on main lake primary points and also secondary points and creek channel banks in the creeks and bays.  The Largemouth on the deeper points and banks near the mouths of the creeks and bays are being taken on suspending jerkbaits, slow rolled crankbaits, jigs and shaky heads.  

The Largemouth in the back halves of the creeks and bays are being taken on secondary staging points and lead in channel banks.  These fish are being taken on slow rolled crankbaits, spinnerbaits, Texas rigged lizards and creature baits, jigs and shaky heads.  Some Largemouth are being taken on the shallow flats in the backs of the creeks and bays on  shallow running crankbaits, lipless crankbaits and spinnerbaits.  Remember folks, the bass are only headed in one direction this time of year...so the shallower bite is only going to get better in the near future.
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth are being taken on main lake gravel points and gravel points and banks near the fronts of the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on crankbaits, jigs and tube jigs, especially early in the morning and late in the day.  Some nice Smallmouth are being reported but numbers are low.
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Lucky Craft pointer in aurora black, Rapala Xrap in black/silver, Strike King Series 5 and Series 3 crankbaits in sexy shad, Bandit crankbaits in red crawfish and sexy shad,  Strike King red eye shad in sexy shad, chrome sexy shad and red craw, Slong's spinnerbaits in white/chartreuse and blue glimmer, Zoom lizards in green pumpkin and pumpkin, Slong's jigs in phantom and Last Cast jigs in green pumpkin with matching Net Baits paca chunk trailers
Crappie:  Crappie are being taken over staging brush piles in the creeks and bays in 7-12 ft of water.  These fish are being taken by vertically fishing with small jigs and minnows.  Crappie are also being taken on spawning banks in 3-6 ft of water, especially early and late in the day.  

These fish are being taken by casting and retrieving curly tail jigs, road runners and small jigs and minnows under bobbers. Some Crappie are also still being taken around the mouths of the creeks and bays over brush piles and mats in 15-20 ft of water by vertically fishing with jigs and minnow/jig combinations.  
As I mentioned before, the water is rising now and also getting warmer.  The Bass and Crappie are getting more active as we go into the late prespawn and spawning times over the next few weeks.  Now is the time to get out and shake off the blues of winter and enjoy some fun times on the water with a fishing pole in your hand.

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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.

Good Morning
Photo by Nancy Smith

Campers at Land Between The Lakes are often greeted by morning fog rising off of the water and a gorgeous view.