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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 09/15/2011

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Ky Dam - 357.96  Surface Temperature - 76

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 357.90  Surface Temperature - 76
 
Both lakes are about one foot below summer pool and on a drawdown.  As predicted in last week's report, both lakes crested near summer pool levels over the weekend with the waters coming in from up the rivers due to the heavy rains from tropical storm Lee.  The lakes are now being drawn back down to where they should be this time of the year, which is 3 ft below summer pool by the end of September.  

Kentucky Lake has been drawing the lake down with an outflow averaging 46,000 cfs all week but this outflow is forecasted to be cut back to around 34,000 as the flow of water coming into the lake is forecasted to be reduced also.  Lake Barkley has been drawing the lake at an average flow of 30,000 cfs this week but this flow is also forecasted to be cut back to around 16,000 as the flow of water coming in will be decreasing also.  
 
As I mentioned in last week's report, we have hit the water temperatures for the beginnings of the fall transition of the majority of the shad to be moving into the creeks and bays.  This did start last week and normally lasts around 5 weeks until the transition is complete.  

During this period the schools of baitfish are very mobile and moving a lot, thus this has the bass moving as they are following the shad.  We now have bass spread out from the main lake points and ledges to the shallows in the creeks and bays.  As is typical during this transition period, there are a lot of patterns to be worked and because of the mobility of the bass in transition, it gets a little tougher to consistently put a limit of keeper fish in the boat.  

This is typically reflected in the bass tournaments here during this period in that the average winning weights will drop and the numbers of limits coming in to the weigh-in's will drop.  This past weekend the largest tournament on the lake was the Illinois Team Trail Classic and the winning total weight for the tournament was 35.45 lbs on a two day total of 10 fish.  The winning bag was anchored by a nice 7.56 lb Largemouth.  

Second place in this tournament was 30.64 lbs for 10 fish over the two day period.  The Walmart Bass Fishing League also held their two day Super Tournament last weekend and it was won with a two day total of 30.12 lbs on 10 fish and second place was 22.15 lbs for the two day total on 10 fish.  Typically what we see is that if you can catch 10 keepers weighing an average of 16 lbs per day here during the transition, you will either win the tournament or place high in the tournament.  
 
This past week, we fished a number of patterns from ledges to points to the shallows in the creeks and bays.  We caught fish on all of these patterns with fair numbers most days but not a large number of keeper sized plus fish.  One things we did do, was we caught more Smallmouth than usual, probably due to the current on the lakes.  

Our most productive pattern this past week was in the creeks and bays, fishing secondary points and creek channel banks with spinnerbaits, lipless crankbaits, shaky heads and finesse jigs.  As the lake settles down from the drawdown now in progress, I expect the shallow water bite and the bank and point bite in the creeks and bays will pick up as the majority of the fish are only headed in one direction this time of year and that is shallow to feed up for the winter.  

We will still have numbers of fish on the ledges but these fish will be moving a lot and it will get harder to zero in on them, where as the fish in the creeks, once established, are not going anywhere until the cold weather moves the shad back to the deeper winter time haunts.  
 
We had another cold front move through the lakes area last night as a result, we had lake wind warnings today with north winds gusting in excess of 25 mph.  The forecast for tomorrow and Saturday is for post frontal conditions with light ENE winds, low's in the 50's and highs around 70.  

Sunday through next week the forecast is currently calling for highs in the low 80's and low's in the 60's with an increasing chance for scattered thunderstorms beginning on Sunday.  Of course the weather forecast can change, so let me encourage to always check the latest wind and weather forecasts before venturing on the water.  
 
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth are being taken on a myriad of patterns as we are in the fall transition now.  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 deep diving crankbaits, swim baits, Carolina rigged creature baits, shaky heads and jigs.  

Largemouth are also being taken on flats near the ledges on the main lake as schools of bass are chasing schools of baitfish.  These fish are being taken on crankbaits (both lipped and lipless), spinnerbaits and swim baits.  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 crankbaits (both medium running and lipless), spinnerbaits, Texas rigged creature baits, shaky heads and finesse jigs.  

There have been a few reports of some early morning topwater on the points with walking baits and chugging type baits.  A few Largemouth are being taken on the shallow flats in the backs of the creeks and bays on early morning topwater lures, spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits.  This pattern is spotty and will probably will remain so until the lakes stabilize from the drawdown.  
 
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth Bass are being taken on main lake points and on secondary points and creek channel banks in the creeks and bays.  There has been a few reports of Smallmouth taking some early morning topwater on gravel main lake points but the better bite is being reported on shaky heads and finesse jigs.  
 
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Lucky Craft Sammy in aurora black and ghost pearl lemon, Storm Chug Baits in shad patterns, Slong's spinnerbaits in blue glimmer, Strike King XD6 and XD3 series crankbaits in sexy shad, Bandit crankbaits in rootbeer, Norman Deep Little N in rootbeer, Strike King Red Eye Shad in sexy shad and chrome sexy shad, Charmer Timber Pups in green pumpkin and watermelon/purple, Charmer Shaky Head worms in green pumpkin candy and Alabama crawl and Last Cast Hairy Bug jigs in green pumpkin with matching Net Baits Kickin Chunk.  
 
White Bass:  White Bass are being taken on flats near the main lake ledges and around the mouths of the creeks and bays as they are chasing schools of baitfish.  Some jumps are being reported but they are short in duration.  These fish are being taken by vertical fishing with inline spinners and small spoons as well as casting these lures into surface feeding fish.  

Some White Bass are also being taken on shallow flats near the backs of the creeks and bays by casting inline spinners and small spoons into schools feeding on baitfish.  These fish are more smaller fish but the action is there.
 
Crappie:  Some Crappie are now being taken over brush piles and mats in 10-15 ft of water around the mouths of the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken by spider rigging small minnows and small jigs.  
 
Bluegill:  I have not received any reports on the Bluegill this week.
 
Catfish:  Catfish are being taken along the old river ledges in 20-30 ft of water on bottom rigs baited with yellowtails.  Some Catfish are also being taken on deeper flats in the creeks and bays on jug lines baited with yellowtails.  

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.


Pinta
Photo by Jennifer Dunnaway

Replicas of the Nina and Pinta occasionally dock at Green Turtle Bay. We snapped a photo of the masts of the Pinta last summer.