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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 07/28/2011

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 358.33   Surface Temperature - 90

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 358.35  Surface Temperature - 90
Both lakes are about 2/3 ft below summer pool and on a slow drawdown.  Expect the lake levels to reach one foot below summer pool in accordance with the TVA River Operating Schedule barring any unforeseen influx of water.   Peak current periods on Ky Lake this week have been from around mid day through the early evening hours.  The highest current flow averaging around 34,000 cfs but some days much less.  Lake Barkley has been pulling around 16,000 cfs around the clock most of the week.  
This has been another week of triple digit heat indexes each day.  At least we did get a little breeze around 10 mph the last couple of days which made the heat seem a little more bearable.  

A cool front is forecasted to traverse the lakes area sometime on Saturday.  The forecast for tomorrow is for another day of triple digit heat indexes.  The forecast for Saturday and Sunday shows a slight break with highs in the lower 90's due to the cool front.  

An even chance for afternoon scattered thunderstorms is forecasted for tomorrow through Sunday.  The extended forecast is for a return to high pressure and more triple digit heat indexes next week.  Once again, I will remind everyone to keep an eye on the sky for approaching storms, especially tomorrow and this weekend.  This time of year, these afternoon/early evening storms can pop up quick and can produce dangerous lightning and high localized winds.  Make sure you have plenty of cold water and don't forget your sunblock when venturing on the lakes.  
The Largemouth ledge bite has been good overall this past week with only one slow day, which was on Monday.  The bite improved the past few days and we have had multiple limits and one of the bigger 5 fish limits so far this summer.  The best pattern for us has been slow moving baits including Carolina rigs, Texas rigs and slow rolled swim baits.  I have received additional reports of these techniques producing as well as dragging football head jigs, slow rolling spinnerbaits,  shaky heads and drop shots working.  

A topwater bite is also being reported early in the day and late in the evening on secondary points in the creeks and bays and on some main lake points.  Again this week we have also taken some nice Smallmouth off the main lake ledges.  I observed some White Bass surface feeding a couple of days this past week but also had a couple of days that I did not see any of this surface action at all.  
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth are being taken on the old river and creek channel ledges on the main lakes and on old creek channel ledges around the mouths of the deeper creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on Carolina rigged creature baits, Texas rigged large worms, slow rolled swim baits, slow rolled spinnerbaits, dragging football head jigs, shaky heads and drop shots.  

Some Largemouth are also being taken early and late in the day on topwater lures and spinnerbaits on secondary points in the creeks and bays as well as on main lake points as they are feeding on schools of young baitfish.
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth are being taken on the old river and creek channel ledges on the main lakes.  These fish are being taken on Texas rigged large worms, dragging football head jigs and slow rolling swimbaits.
Some of the more productive lures reported this week are:  Rebel Pop R in black/silver and white, Yozuri Pop n Splash in lemon/ghost, Charmer Timber Pups in watermelon/purple, purplegrass, and green pumpkin, Charmer 10.5" ribbon tail worms in plum, Big Hammer swim baits in shad, blue shad and sexy smelt, Slong's spinnerbaits in blue glimmer, Charmer shaky head worms in watermelon/purple and green pumpkin, Slong's football head jigs in bassbuster and D&L jigs in Cumberland Craw.
White Bass:  White Bass are being taken by vertically fishing with inline spinners and small spoons along the old river and creek channel ledges on the main lakes and on old creek channel ledges around the mouths of the creeks and bays.  Whites are also being taken by trolling these same lures behind deep diving crankbaits in these areas.
Bluegill:  Bluegills are being taken early and late in the day around overhanging trees near mayfly hatches.  These fish are being taken by fishing with worms and crickets under bobbers.
Catfish:  Catfish are being taken on the old river channel ledges in 20-30 ft of water during current draw periods.  These fish are being taken by fishing with yellowtails on bottom rigs and with shrimp and leech combinations on bottom bouncing rigs.

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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 Eye View
Photo by Ray Stainfield

This eagle has "puffed up" his feathers to appear more threatening. He hopes to intimidate a nearby enemy.