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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 05/19/2011

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Ky Dam - 360.69   Surface Temperature - 67
Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 361.05  Surface Temperature - 66
Both lakes are about two feet over summer pool and on a slow draw down.  At present draw rates, the lakes should reach normal summer pool level early next week.  Kentucky Lake is slightly stained on the main river channel and the creeks and bays range from slight stained to clear.  

Lake Barkley is heavily stained in the river channel with the creeks and bays ranging from stained to clear.  Although there is not as much debris now as was on the lakes during the peak of the flood, there are still some stray logs around as the water is being pulled down.
We had two separate low pressure centers that came through the lakes area last weekend and earlier this week.  These cold fronts brought rain and cooler weather to the lakes area last weekend and through this past midweek.  

These cooler temperatures and associated north breezes dropped the water temperatures by 4 -5 degrees on both lakes.   We have a warm front approaching the lakes area from the west tomorrow and this will bring a warming trend to the area which is forecasted to last through mid week.  Highs are forecasted to be in the 80's with night time lows in the upper 60's.  

A chance of thunderstorms is forecasted every day beginning tomorrow through next week with the possibility of some of them being severe.  Boaters should check the latest forecasts and monitor the weather over the next few days for approaching storms and take precautions to get to safe harbor if needed.  
Although the Largemouth numbers dropped a little with the water cooling down and the high pressure this week, the Largemouth fishing is still over all good with  good numbers being taken on most days.  We still have a myriad of patterns working as there are fish being taken from the ledges around the mouths of the creeks and bays to the backs of the creeks and bays.  

Between the major flood hitting us in the beginnings of the Largemouth spawn and up and down water and water temperatures, this year's spawn has been strung out for over a month now.  I have had a number of reports and also have experienced catches still being made of females laden with eggs near the spawning areas though this past week.  Of course we have post spawn Largemouth on creek channel points and banks feeding up after the spawn as well as some Largemouth have started moving onto the ledges, especially those ledges around the mouths of the creeks and bays.  

Most of the better fish we have taken and from the reports I have received this week, indicate that the shallow fish as well as the post spawn fish on the points and banks are producing the better bags, but I expect we will see some numbers of good fish showing up on the ledges very soon.  I have a number of reports of good catches of Bluegill, Redear and Catfish this week.  There are still some Bluegills bedding in the shallows and the Red Ear are being taken off the beds on gravel bars in 5-7 ft of water.   Catfish are spawning and are being taken in large numbers around rocky banks and rocky flats in 5-8 ft of water.  
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth are being taken on a myriad of patterns.  There are still a number of prespawn fish being taken on the shallow flats near brush and trees in the backs of the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken by pitching and flipping creature baits, jigs and tube jigs as well as with spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, shallow running crankbaits and Texas rigged lizards and other creature baits.  

Largemouth are also being taken on primary points as well as secondary points and associated creek channel banks in the creeks and bays.  These post spawn fish are being taken on crankbaits, Carolina and Texas rigged worms and creature baits, jigs and shaky heads.  Some Largemouth are being taken on ledges around the mouths of the creeks and bays.  The ledge fish are being taken on crankbaits, Carolina rigged creature baits, Texas rigged large worms and jigs.  Overall the Largemouth fishing is good.
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth Bass are being taken on main lake points on crankbaits, Carolina rigged creature baits, jigs, tube jigs and shaky heads.  Some nice Smallmouth are being taken but not the numbers are reported as low.  
Some of the more productive lures reported this past week are:  Strike King 6XD in Tennessee shad and Chartreuse sexy shad, Rapala DT 16 in parrot,  Bandit 300 in red craw and rootbeer/chartreuse, Slong's spinnerbaits in sexy shad and blue glimmer,  Slong's chatterbaits in blue glimmer, Zoom lizards in green pumpkin and watermelon/purple, Charmer timber pups in green pumpkin, green pumpkin/orange flake and watermelon/purple, Slong's flat top jigs in black/blue and phantom with matching Net Baits baby paca craw trailer and Charmer tubes in green pumpkin and green pumpkin with orange flake.
Crappie:  Crappie are being reported as a scattered bite with the better numbers being taken over brush piles in 12-15 ft of water off points and along the old creek channels in the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken by vertically fishing with small minnows and small jigs.
Bluegill/Redear:  Bluegills are being taken on shallow flats near buck brush and trees on crickets and worms fished under bobbers.  Redears are being taken on gravel bars in 5-7 ft of water by fishing with small creature jigs tipped with worms on split shot rigs on bottom.  Good catches are being reported.
Catfish:  Catfish are being taken on rocky shorelines and on rocky bottom flats as they are spawning.  These fish are being taken on nightcrawlers and shrimp fished under bobbers and on bottom rigs.  Good catches are being reported.

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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.

Photo by Angela Smith

May your campfires keep the bug bites away, and the mallows burnt gooey. Experience your next campfire at Kentucky Lake.