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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 08/11/2011

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Ky Dam - 357.69   Surface Temperature - 86

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 357.80  Surface Temperature - 86
 
Both lakes are a little over one foot below summer pool and on a slow drawdown.  Expect both lakes to drop to two feet below summer pool by the end of this month in accordance with the TVA River Operating Schedule barring any unforeseen influx of water.  The TVA and Corps finally started drawing some water down over the past few days which has given us some decent current which is something we did not have all last week.  

Over the past few days, the better current flow is starting late in the morning or early afternoon and is reaching a peak of roughly 50,000 cfs.  On Lake Barkley the best current flow has been during the night hours and reaching a peak of roughly 25,000 cfs.  
 
We had two back to back cold fronts come through the lakes area earlier this week and finally the heat wave we have had experiencing over the past number of weeks was broken.  We are having daytime highs in the 80's this week and night time lows in the high 60's.  

The forecast for tomorrow and Saturday is for more of the same with a chance of thunderstorms each day as another cold front approaches the area and is forecasted to pass through the area sometime late Saturday night.  The forecast for Sunday and through midweek is for more of the cooler days and nights.  
 
Although we have not seen as much of the schooling Largemouth chasing shad to the surface this week after the frontal passages, the Largemouth fishing is still holding it's own overall.  Slower moving techniques such as Carolina Rigs, Texas rigs, slow rolled swim baits, dragging jigs and shaky heads have been the better bite and I expect this trend will continue.  

The key is to fish very slow and pay focused because the fish are mostly biting very light.  Many of the bites have just been a feeling of weight on the end of the line as was the case with an 8lber that we took a couple of days ago.  Bottom line here is that if you even think you may have a bite or something feels different set the hook.  On that note,  you should also be prepared for a savage strike now and then as we have had some big single Smallmouth hitting the slow fished lures on a full run.  

We had two rods pulled out of our hands this week with this kind of ferocious strike.   Like the Largemouth, the White Bass have not been actively chasing schools of shad up to the surface much over the past few days either.  Those folks I have talked to fishing for the Whites are getting their fish by vertical fishing this week or by trolling.  Limits are still being taken though.
 
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth are being taken on the old river and creek channel ledges on the main lakes and around the mouths of the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on Carolina rigged creature baits, Texas rigged large worms, slow rolled swim baits, jigs and shaky heads.  

Some Largemouth are also being taken on main lake points and secondary points in the creeks and bays as they are feeding on schools of young shad.  These fish are being taken on topwater lures, slow rolled spinnerbaits, Texas rigged large worms, jigs and shaky heads.  This bite is best early in the morning and late in the evening.
 
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth Bass are being taken on the old river and creek channel ledges on the main lake.  These fish are being taken on Carolina rigged creature baits, dragging jigs and slow rolled swim baits.  We have had some nice Smallmouth lately, just not big numbers of them.  
 
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Rebel Pop R in white, Yozuri Pop N Splash in lemon ghost pattern, Slong's spinnerbaits in blue glimmer, Charmer timber pups in green pumpkin and watermelon/purple, Charmer shaky head worms in watermelon/purple, Big Hammer swim baits in sexy smelt and shad and D&L jigs in Cumberland Craw
 
White Bass:  White Bass are reportedly being taken along the old river and creek channel ledges by vertically fishing with inline spinners and small spoons.  Whites are also being taken by trolling these lures behind deep diving crankbaits along the ledges.  
 
Catfish:  Catfish are being taken along the old river channel ledges in 20-30 ft of water with bottom bouncing rigs baited with shrimp and leech combinations.  The best bite has been reported during the current draw periods mentioned above.  
 
Bluegill:  I did not receive any reports on Bluegill this week.

More Kentucky Lake Fishing Reports

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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.


Lunch Time!
Photo by Melodie Cunningham

Splash! This bald eagle is diving for a tasty fish. Bald eagles use their exceptional eye sight to spot their prey up to a mile away!