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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 06/30/2011

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Ky Dam - 360.51   Surface Temperature - 81

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 360.70  Surface Temperature - 81
Both lakes are about one and one half feet over summer pool.  Heavy rains last weekend and earlier this week raised the lakes to two feet over summer pool but are now on a slow drawdown.  We had storms and wind early this week but things settled down after the latest frontal passages early in the week and by mid week the lakes were flat with blue skies allowing for more comfortable conditions on the main lakes.  

Bass fishing slowed some yesterday with the first post frontal day of high pressure, blue skies and flat water but was starting to pick back up noticeably today.  The forecast for tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday is for sunny skies and light winds.  A chance for scattered thunderstorms returns to the forecast on Monday with the approach of the next front.  

The TVA cranked up the current on Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley yesterday afternoon.  We had over 130,000 cfs today on Kentucky Lake.  The forecast is for good current around 50.000 cfs for the weekend on Kentucky Lake and I expect we will see around 30,000 cfs on Lake Barkley.  
With the great weather forecast for the holiday weekend, you can expect the lakes to be active with both anglers and pleasure boaters.  Please drive defensively on the water and let's try to make this an accident free holiday weekend here on the lakes. Please be courteous to other boaters and anglers.  

We have 184 miles of water on Ky Lake and about 100 miles of water on Lake Barkley... there is no need to crowd other anglers, there are plenty of spots to fish. For those of you that are going to be on Lake Barkley:  I was on Lake Barkley yesterday and there was a lot of wood debris to include large logs and some trees afloat there, so be extra careful when running and keep an eye out for debris.  It will be sunny and hot this weekend so bring plenty of cold sports drinks and water and don't forget your sunscreen.
Largemouth Bass:  As has been the case thus far this summer, there are a myriad of patterns working.  Largemouth are being taken on the old river and creek channel ledges on the main lakes and around the mouths of the deeper creeks and bays.  

These fish are being taken on deep diving crank, Carolina rigged creature baits, Texas rigged large worms, swim baits and jigs.  Largemouth are also being taken on primary points as well as secondary points and creek channel banks in the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on deep and medium running crank, Carolina rigged creature baits, Texas rigged large worms, spinnerbaits and jigs.  

Largemouth are also being taken around the buck brush and on the shallow flats in the backs of coves and the backs of the creeks and bays.  This shallow bite is best early and late in the day.  These fish are being taken on topwater lures, soft jerkbaits, swim jigs,  chatterbaits, lipless crank and by flipping the buck brush with Texas rigged creature baits,  jigs and tube jigs.  
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth Bass are being taken primarily at night right now on main lake points and secondary points in the mouths of the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on dark colored spinnerbaits, Texas rigged creature baits, tube jigs and jigs.  

Some Smallmouth are also being taken during the day on the river and creek channel ledges on the main lakes but numbers are not as good as we would like to see.  The ledge Smallmouth are being taken on Texas rigged large worms, Carolina rigged creature baits and jigs.
Some of the more productive lures reported this week are:  Strike King 6XD crank in Sexy Shad, Tennessee Shad and Powder Blue/Chartreuse, Bandit crank in rootbeer,  Norman DD22 in Paradise Shad, Lucky Craft Sammy and Gunfish in ghost pearl lemon, Yozuri Splash It in lemon ghost,  Charmer 10.5" ribbon tail worms in plum and green pumpkin, Berkley 12" worms in plum,  Chamer Timber Dawgs and Timber Pups in green pumpkin, Net Baits Baby Paca Craw in green pumpkin and summer craw, Zoom flukes in white, Big Hammer swim baits in shad, Slong's spinnerbaits and chatterbaits in blue glimmer, Charmer tubes in green pumpkin, Slong's jigs in phantom and  D&L jigs in "oops" and cumberland craw.
White Bass:  White Bass are being taken along the river and creek channel ledges by vertical fishing with inline spinners and small spoons as well as by trolling these lures behind deep diving crank.  I am seeing some jumps around the mouths of the bays early in the mornings but they are short in duration.
Bluegill:  Bluegills are being taken around mayfly hatches near over hanging bushes early and late in the day.  These fish are being taken on crickets and worms under bobbers.  Bluegills are also being taken in front of the buck brush and on gravel bars just off the flats by slow reeling split shot rigs baited with small creature jigs tipped with worms.
Catfish:  Catfish are being taken on the old river channel ledges in 20-30 ft of water on bottom bouncing rigs baited with shrimp/leech combinations and on bottom rigs baited with yellowtail.  

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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.

Eagle's Nest
Photo by Melodie Cunningham

This bald eagle keeps an eye out for it's mate from their nest high in a tree top in Land Between the Lakes. The average eagle's nest is five feet wide!