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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 06/16/2011

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Ky Dam - 359.67  Surface Temperature - 81

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 359.80  Surface Temperature - 81
Both lakes are slightly over one half foot above summer pool.  A cool front moved through the lakes area earlier this week bring with it some cooler temperatures which dropped the water temperatures a couple of degrees.  The TVA continued the same type of schedule this past week as last week with peak current only around 35,000 cfps on Kentucky Lake during the day and around 17,000 cfps on Lake Barkley.  

Today was the exception as the TVA cranked up the current to about 61,000 cfps around mid day.  Hopefully we will see these higher current levels continue during the day for a while.  This is the first time in over two weeks that we have seen this kind of current during the day.  
The forecast for the tomorrow and Saturday is for isolated and scattered thunderstorms with the possibility of some severe thunderstorms in the mix.  Wind forecasts for tomorrow and Saturday is for southerly winds between 15-20 mph.  This is a result of a warm front to our south which will begin to shift northward tonight through Saturday.  

This will also result in daytime temperatures returning to the mid 90's over the next few days.  Anglers should keep an eye on the wind and weather forecasts before venturing on the lakes over the next couple of days and be aware of fast approaching storm cells.  The winds around these cells can get very high, very quick.  Earlier this week as the last front came through, we had some of these storm cells that produced 50-60 mph localized winds on the lakes.  I and my clients that were with me that day can attest to the fact that we were very happy we decided to seek safe port when we saw the storms approaching rather than wait until the last minute to do so.  
The Largemouth fishing on the ledges this week has been a mixed bag with some slow days and some good days.  One thing I did note this week is that most of our fish were coming from the deep portion of the ledges with not so many feeds on the tops of the ledges.  I would attribute this to lower oxygen levels near the surface and the shad hanging over deeper most of the time.

I noted on the Hancock Biological Station website that the oxygen levels earlier this week were somewhat lower than what we would normally see this time of year... probably due to the hot weather last week and lack of current.  I did see this turn around today with the upper water being more oxygenated with the current flow.  

Also, I noticed a number of times this week seeing mussel die offs which is certainly something we normally don't see a lot of until the deeper part of summer.  One thing is for sure, the weigh-in today for Day 1 of the FLW Tour showed a very good number of quality bags of Largemouth Bass.  This is certainly an indication that the increase in current flow today definitely was an asset for the professionals out there on the lakes today.  
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth Bass are being taken on the old creek and river channel ledges.  These fish are being taken on deep diving crankbaits, Carolina rigged worms and creature baits, Texas rigged large worms, swim baits and jigs.  Largemouth are also being taken on primary points as well as secondary points and associated channel banks in the creeks and bays.  These late transitioning fish are being taken best early and late in the day on crankbaits, Carolina rigged creature baits, Texas rigged large worms, shaky heads and jigs as they are feeding on schools of baitfish.  

Some Largemouth are also being taken early and late in the day on shallow flats in coves and on the flats in the backs of the creeks and bays as they are feeding on schools of fry.  These fish are being taken on topwater lures, lipless crankbaits and soft jerkbaits.  
Smallmouth Bass:   Smallmouth Bass are being taken on main lake points early and late in the day on deep diving crankbaits, Carolina rigged creature baits, shaky heads, jigs and tube jigs.  Smallmouth are also being taken on the ledges during the day on Carolina rigged creature baits and jigs.  

Although the numbers are not great, some nice fish are being taken.  I had two reports on the night fishing for Smallmouth this week and both reports indicated a fair bite on Kentucky Lake with slow rolled dark skirted spinnerbaits on main lake points and on secondary points in the mouths of the deeper creeks and bays.  Largemouth were also being actively taken on this night pattern.  
Some of the more productive lures reported this past week are:Lucky Craft sammy in ghost pearl lemon, Rebel Pop R in white,  Norman DD22 in paradise shad, Strike King series 6XD in sexy shad and Tennessee Shad,  Berkley 12" power worms in plum and green pumpkin, Charmer 10.5 " ribbon tail worms in plum, Zoom lizards in green pumpkin, Zoom brush hogs in green pumpkin, Charmer timber dawgs in green pumpkin and green pumpkin/blue, Charmer timber pups in green pumpkin, Big Hammer swim baits in shad, Strike King rodent in Amistad special, Charmer shaky head worms in green pumpkin and watermelon/purple, Zoom fluke jr's in shad patterns, D&L football head jigs in "oops" and Cumberland Craw, and Slong's football head jigs in phantom.
Crappie:  Crappie are being taken over bush piles near the old creek channel ledges in 10-15 ft of water by vertically fishing with jigs and jig/minnow combinations.  Some nice catches are being reported with the best activity being  reported as taking place early and late in the day.    
Bluegills:  No reports received this week.
White Bass:  White Bass are being taken on old creek channel ledges around the mouths of the creek and bays as well as along the old river channel ledges.  These fish are being taken by vertical fishing with inline spinners and small spoons as well as by trolling these lures behind deep diving crankbaits.  I have not received any reports of Whites in the jumps, but I did see a few small jumps near the deep ledges we were fishing this week but they were very short lived.  
Catfish:  Catfish are being taken along the old river channel ledges in 20-30 ft of water on bottom bouncing rigs baited with shrimp/leech combinations and also on bottom rigs baited with yellowtails.

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Elk Herd
Photo by Melodie Cunningham

This herd of female elk are enjoying a winter's day in the Elk and Bison Prairie in Land Between The Lakes.