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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 09/29/2011

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Ky Dam - 356.37   Surface Temperature - 71

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 356.45  Surface Temperature - 71
 
Both lakes are about 2 and one half feet below summer pool and on a slow drawdown to winter pool.  Our water temperatures are still about 4-5 degrees below what we would normally have at this time.  We can expect the water temperatures to drop more over the next few days as north winds and cooler nights are in the immediate forecast for the next couple of days.  
 
The forecast for tomorrow is for NNW winds at 16 with a high temperature in the low 70's.  The current forecast for Saturday and Sunday is for highs in the mid 60's and low's in lower 40's. with sunny skies.  The wind for Saturday is currently forecast to be from the N at 16.  On Sunday light winds are in the current forecast from the NNE.  If the tomorrow and Saturday wind forecasts hold true, expect some rough water, especially on Ky Lake and mid Barkley lake.  Always check your latest wind forecasts before venturing on the lakes this time of year as they can change quite often.  
 
 
As I have previously reported the past couple of weeks, we are in the transition period now from summer to fall patterns and the schools of baitfish are moving a lot during this period and so are the bass that are following them.  As is normal during the fall transition, the bass are spread out and moving so a lot of different patterns are taking fish but this constant movement of the bass makes it tougher to put limits of keeper sized and better bass in the boat.  

As I have mentioned in the past, during this transition period, most big tournaments are won with an average of 15-16lbs per 5 fish limit per day.  The winning weight in largest one day tournament this past weekend was just at 17lbs which was brought to the scales by a team made up of two very good local tournament anglers.  

Another tournament that had quite a few very good bass anglers was won with 12lbs.   We still have bass roaming the ledges, roaming main lake flats, on main lake points and in the creeks and bays on secondary points, channel banks and on the flats.  We have the first wave of Threadfin Shad in the creeks and bays now.  These are the young smaller Threadfin and there are a lot of short bass in the creeks and bays with them but there are some keeper sized and better fish also with them.  It is an angler's choice of which pattern you want to fish from ledges to the backs of the creeks and bays right now.  

As for myself, I tend to spend more time in the creeks and bays during the transition once the first wave of Threadfin have come in.  I look at it this way, the majority of the shad will go to the creeks and bays to feed up for winter and once they are in there, they are not leaving until the unstable winter weather arrives, thus the bass in there are not leaving either and these areas will only get better as more shad come in. 

Just as I mentioned last week, we are getting a limit of keepers and more most days right now.  We are doing this by concentrating our fishing in the creeks and bays.  Our most productive pattern is early topwater on shallow flats and then moving a little deeper to work the shad schools with swim baits, spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits.  This pattern will only get better as more shad move into the creeks and bays to feed up for winter.  
 
 
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. Although there are still fish being taken on ledges, this pattern is spotty as the shad are moving a lot right now and the bass are following them. 

A ledge may produce on day and not the next as the shad and bass have moved.  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), swim baits, 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. Largemouth are also being taken on the flats creeks and bays on early morning topwater lures, spinnerbaits, swim baits and lipless crankbaits.  
 
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth are being taken on main lake points and on seconday points in creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on crankbaits, spinnerbaits, swim baits, jigs and shaky heads.  A few nice fish have been reported but no one has reported that they are taking these fish in any numbers.  
 
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Lucky Craft Sammy in chartreuse shad and ghost pearl lemon,  Lucky Craft Gun Fish in ghost pearl lemon,  Slong's spinnerbaits in blue glimmer, Strike King 6XD and 3XD series crankbaits in sexy shad,  Bandit crankbaits in rootbeer, Big Hammer swim baits in sexy smelt and shad, Strike King Red Eye Shad in sexy shad,  chrome sexy shad and blue/chrome, Charmer Timber Pups in green pumpkin, Charmer Shaky Head worms in green pumpkin candy and Alabama bug, Zoom trick worms on shaky heads in green pumpkin and Last Cast Hairy Bug jigs in green pumpkin with matching Net Baits Kickin Chunk.  
 
Crappie:  Crappie are being taken over brush piles around the mouths of the creeks and bays in 10-15 ft of water by spider rigging with small minnows and jigs.  
 
White Bass:  White Bass are being taken on the humps and ledges around the mouths of the creeks and bays by vertically fishing with inline spinners and small spoons.  Some White Bass are being taken in the creeks and bays on the flats by casting  inline spinners and spoons into schools of fish feeding on schools of small baitfish but these fish are running small.
 
Bluegill:  Anglers are reporting that they are catching some nice Bluegills while Crappie fishing the brush piles in 10-15 ft of water on small Crappie jigs.  Might be a good idea to try these depth brush piles with some small jigs tipped with a worm.  
 
Catfish:  Catfish are being taken in 20-30 ft of water on the old river channels with bottom rigs baited with yellow tails.  Note: I mentioned last week that we have been catching a number of good sized Channel Cats in the creeks and bays under the schools of small baitfish while fishing for bass with lures.  We caught a number of catfish again this week... might be a good idea to put some jugs out back there.

More Kentucky Lake Fishing Reports

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Fishing at Sunset
Photo by Sherry Bailey

So many childhood memories have been made on the banks of Kentucky and Barkley Lakes. These boys are determined to fish until the sun goes down.