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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 08/18/2011

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Ky Dam - 357.31   Surface Temperature - 85

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 357.35  Surface Temperature - 85
 
Both lakes are nearing two feet below summer pool on a slow draw down.  Expect both lakes to reach two feet below summer pool by the end of this month in accordance with the TVA River Operating System Schedule barring any unforeseen influx of water.  The TVA has been generating some current on Kentucky Lake late in the afternoon this past week with flows around 40,000 to 50,000 cfs during the late afternoon hours.  There has been no significant current flow this past week on Lake Barkley with only around 14,000 cfs around the clock.  
 
Earlier this week we had some of the nice cooler days and nights with light breezes on the water but it started heating back up some today with some higher humidity as a slow moving cool front is approaching the area bringing us some southerly flow of air.  At least it not nearly as hot as it was during the extended heat wave we experienced last month.  

The rising humidity of course, brought us some late afternoon severe thunderstorms today and these scattered thunderstorms are in the forecast for tomorrow and through the weekend.  Boaters should be aware of these fast moving afternoon storms and keep an eye on the sky for threatening weather.  Don't wait too late to go to safe port if you see storms approaching as these storms can produce deadly lightning and localized high winds.  

Currently, the slow approaching cool front is supposed to come though the lakes area sometime on Sunday.  Expect daytime highs in the low 90's and night time lows in the 70's through next week.
 
The ledge fishing for bass has remained good through this past week.  We have encountered numerous schools of Largemouth, especially during the morning hours this week.  We had multiple limits of keeper and better sized Largemouth every day this past week and I have received a number of reports from others that have had similar success.  

I have also received a number of reports of Largemouth schooling on primary points and on secondary points in the front halves of the creeks and bays this week as they are chasing shad schools from the spring spawns.  Although some of these fish are being taken on topwater lures and crankbaits, the slow approach has still been our best producers (Carolina rigged creature baits, Texas rigged large worms and slow rolled swim baits).  We are taking a number of Largemouth feeding under schools of surface breaking White Bass, especially on flats adjacent to the ledges on the main lake.  
 
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth are being taken on the old creek and river channel ledges and adjacent flats on the main lakes as well as on 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, dragging football head jigs and shaky heads.  

Largemouth are also being taken on primary points and on secondary points in the creeks and bays early and late in the day as they are schooling on bait fish.  These fish are being taken on topwater lures, medium running crankbaits, Carolina rigged creature baits, Texas rigged large worms, slow rolled swim baits and spinnerbaits.  Some Largemouth are also being taken around wood cover on the flats in the backs of the creeks and bays on spinnerbaits and Texas rigged creature baits.  
 
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth are being taken on the old river and creek channel ledges on the main lake on Carolina rigged creature baits and slow rolled swim baits.  The better Smallmouth bite is being reported by the anglers fishing at night.  These night anglers are slow rolling dark colored spinnerbaits with large single Colorado blades on main lake points and the first secondary points in the creeks and bays.  
 
Some of the more productive lures reported this week are:  Charmer timber pups in watermelon/purple, green pumpkin and purple grass, Charmer 10.5 inch ribbon tail worms in plum, Big Hammer swim baits in sexy smelt and shad, Slong's spinnerbaits in blue glimmer, D&L football head jigs in Cumberland craw, Bandit crankbaits in rootbeer, Strike King medium running crankbaits in sexy shad and Charmer shaky head worms in watermelon/purple and green pumpkin candy.
 
White Bass:  White Bass are being taken along old creek and river channel ledges on the main lake and on creek channel ledges around the mouths of the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken by anglers vertically fishing with inline spinners, small spoons and minnow rigs.  

Some Whites are also being taken by trolling inline spinners and small spoons behind deep diving crankbaits along the ledges.  Whites are also being taken on the main lake flats adjacent to the ledges as they are chasing schools of baitfish.  These surface feeders can be taken on small crankbaits and inline spinners cast into the feeding schools.
 
Bluegill:  I did not receive any reports on the Bluegills this week.
 
Catfish:  Catfish are being taken on the old river channel ledges in 20-30 ft of water by bottom bouncing rigs baited with shrimp and leech combinations.  

More Kentucky Lake Fishing Reports

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.


Paddleboarding
Photo by Cliff Grizzard

Karson takes advantage of the last few minutes of daylight by paddleboarding on Kentucky Lake.