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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 04/14/2011

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Ky Dam - 357.77  Surface Temperature - 64

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 358.00  Surface Temperature - 63
Both lakes are about one foot below summer pool.  These levels are just above the normal TVA River Operating System levels for this date in April.  Earlier in the week, the lakes were fluctuating up and down about 6 inches every 24 hours but they have seemed to stabilized some over the past 36 hours.  This has been another week of cold fronts with two frontal passages earlier in the week resulting in three plus inches of rain in the lakes area as well as up river.  The backs of some of the creeks on Kentucky Lake are stained due to the runoff but more than fishable.  

Some of the creeks on Barkley are heavily stained and some are just stained.  We have another major cold front approaching the lakes area tomorrow with strong storms in the forecast as well as windy conditions.  This front also is predicted to drop another two plus inches of rain in the local area.   Windy conditions are also in the forecast for Saturday.  Anglers venturing on the lakes tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday need to check the latest weather and wind advisories before you launch.  
Fishing has not changed much since last week.  The Largemouth Bass are still staging on lead in banks and secondary points for the most part with some later fish still out on main lake primary points or in the front halves of the creeks and bays.  Reports on the Crappie indicate that they have not improved a whole lot over last week.  Folks are catching some nice fish just like last week but the numbers of fish caught have been reported as less than one would expect for this late in April.  

Most of the Crappie being taken are still over staging brush piles in the creeks and bays with only a few reports of shallow fish.  This is probably due to the up and down water levels this past week, hopefully the lakes will stabilize or at least quit the yoyo-ing up and down so these fish will settle into good spawning patterns.
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth are being taken on lead in banks and staging points just off the spawning flats.  The numbers of these fish are good with a few nice ones being taken. These fish are staged up to move up to the spawning areas as soon as the water levels come up, which should be within the next week. These staging fish are being taken on medium and shallow running crankbaits, lipless crankbaits, spinnerbaits, Texas rigged lizards and creature baits, tube jigs and jigs.    Some Largemouth are also being taken on main lake primary point and on channel banks and secondary points in the mouths of the creeks and bays.  These fish are obviously the latter part of the spawn fish which have yet to move toward the spawning flats.  These fish are being taken on deep diving crankbaits, Carolina and Texas rigged lizards and creature baits and jigs.  
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth Bass are being taken on gravel banks in main lake cuts as well as on gravel banks and points in the front parts of the creeks and bays.  These fish are spawning.  They are being taken on Carolina rigged creature baits, tube jigs and jigs.  The numbers are being reported as low but a few nice fish are being taken.  
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Strike King series 5 and series 3 crankbaits in sexy shad, Spro Little John medium running crankbaits in spring craw and black/chartreuse, Bandit 200 and 300 crankbaits in rootbeer/chartreuse and black/red patterns, Strike King red eye shad lipless crankbaits in red craw and sexy shad, Zoom lizards in green pumpkin and pumpkin, Charmer timber pups in green pumpkin, watermelon/purple and watermelon candy, Charmer tubes in road kill, green pumpkin orange flake and green pumpkin orange and purple flake and Slong's jigs in phantom with Net Baits paca chunk trailer.  
Crappie:  Crappie are being taken over brush staging brush piles in 7-12 ft of water by vertically fishing with small jigs and minnows in the creeks and bays.  Some nice fish are being taken but the bite is reported as sporadic and numbers low for this time in April.  A few reports of early and late in the day Crappie being taken on shallow gravel banks by casting curly tail jigs and road runner lures.  Most of these fish are being reported as smaller males.
Bluegill/Redear:  I have not had any reports on these fish but I would like to comment that over the past few days some of my clients have had Red Ears biting the tails off their plastic lizards as we are fishing for bass on gravel bars and gravel banks just off the spawning flats in about 3-4 ft of water.

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Now That You're 'Hooked' on Fishing... Come See Us!

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.

Cedar Waxwing
Photo by Teresa Gemeinhardt

The Cedar Waxwing is a beautiful bird that is common to The Land Between The Lakes region. You're likely to find them near fruiting trees and shrubs.