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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 10/27/2011

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Ky Dam - 354.75   Surface Temperature - 62

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 354.85  Surface Temperature - 62
Both lakes are about 4 ft below summer pool with little fluctuation this past week.  The TVA has been pulling water on Kentucky Lake at an average rate of 34,000 cfs around the clock the past few days but stepped it up to 46,000 cfs this afternoon.  

Lake Barkley has been pulling water at an average rate of 8500 during the early morning hours and stepping up to around 17,000 during the day and evening hours.  I expect the lake levels will remain pretty stable over the next week barring any unforeseen influx of water from up the rivers.
We had another cold front come through the area last night and of it brought with it some colder weather and rain last night and today.  The forecast for tomorrow and the weekend is for post frontal conditions with sunny skies and cooler temperatures with north quadrant winds.  

The highs for tomorrow and the weekend are forecasted to be in the low 60's with night time lows in the mid 30's.  A slight warming trend is in the forecast for early next week through the mid week with sunny skies and highs in the mid to upper 60's and night time lows in the mid 40's.   The water temperatures dropped 2 degrees over the past week and I expect they will drop a couple of more degrees over the next few days with the colder nights and cooler days.  
As I mentioned last week, the Largemouth fishing is good on some days and slower on other days, mostly due to the cold fronts now coming through the area about once a week.  We had a couple of slow days this past week and we had some good days, which is normal for the fishing this time of year.  We are concentrating our efforts in the creeks and bays where large schools of threadfin shad are present and Largemouth as well as many other species are feeding on them in preparation for the coming winter.

More and more adult threadfin are coming in to the shallows now and a few gizzard shad are starting to show up.  More gizzard shad will be moving in shortly as the water temperatures drop.  Of course as more shad move into the creeks and bays, more bass will follow.  A number of the Largemouth we caught this week were light colored indicating they had just come in from deeper water.  

On the good bite days we are catching  numbers of smaller bass ranging from 1.5 to 3lbs with an occasional big fish in the 4lb plus range.  One of my clients did boat a 7lb Largemouth this week and that is one really nice fish for this time of year.  Congratulations to Bill Winters for the that catch.  Bill has been booking with me for a couple of years now in search of that big fish and we were both so happy that he got this one in the boat as more than a few times in the past Bill had some bad luck and lost a number of big ones before we could get them in the net.  

The fall topwater bite has not picked up as good as I would like to see it, but we are still getting some topwater bite on some mornings.  I expect this will increase as the water cools a little more.  Most of our fish are coming on crankbaits, spinnerbaits and swim baits as we are working the schools of shad on lead in banks and the flats in the creeks and bays.  Some anglers are reporting some success with crankbaits, spinnerbaits, shaky heads, Carolina rigged creature baits and jigs on the primary points and secondary points as well as lead in channel banks in the creeks and bays also.
Anglers that are visiting the lakes for the first time should make sure you follow the navigation buoys when running.  It is better to idle your boat if you find yourself in unfamiliar water outside of the navigation lanes until you are sure you are in safe water.  I have been seeing a lot of folks running in areas I would never run in this time of year with the lower water levels and I am sure some of them will be spending money on new lower units and props.
Largemouth Bass:   Largemouth Bass are being taken on primary points as well as secondary points and associated creek channel banks in the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on crankbaits, spinnerbaits, Carolina and Texas rigged creature baits, jigs and shaky heads.  Largemouth are also being taken on the flats in the back halves of the creeks and bays as well as on flats on the main lakes as they are feeding on schools of shad.  These fish are being taken on topwater lures early and then on spinnerbaits, lipless and shallow running crankbaits, swim baits, blade baits and spoons.  
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth are being taken on main lake points and the first secondary points in the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on topwater lures early in the morning, suspending jerkbaits, crankbaits, jigs and spoons.  I have not received any reports of limits of Smallmouth taken this week but have received a few reports of some nice single fish.    
Some of the more productive lures reported this week are:   Lucky Craft Gunfish and Lucky Craft Sammy in ghost pearl lemon,  Zara Spooks in white, Lucky Craft G-splash in ghost pearl lemon, Strike King series 3 crankbaits in sexy shad, Norman Deep Little N in rootbeer,  Strike King 1.5 series in green gizzard shad, Strike King Red Eye Shad in sexy shad and blue/chrome, Big Hammer swim baits in sexy smelt and bay smelt,  Slong's spinnerbaits in blue glimmer,  Charmer Timber Pups in green pumpkin, Last Cast jigs in green pumpkin with matching Net Baits trailer, Charmer Shaky Head worms in bama bug and green pumpkin candy.
Crappie:  Crappie anglers are reporting that they are having about the same success as we are on the bass, that is, some good days and some slow days depending on weather patterns.  Crappie anglers are still taking their fish in the 10-15 ft depths reported last week while fishing over brush and deep stake beds but a few of the folks are saying they are catching Crappie in the shallower brush around 5-8 ft deep early in the morning and late in the evening.  These fish are being taken by vertically fishing with small jigs tipped with Crappie Nibbles and minnows.  
White Bass:  White Bass are being taken on the humps around the mouths of the creeks and bays by vertically fishing with inline spinners, blade baits and small spoons.  Whites are also being taken on the flats in the back halves of the creeks and bays as they are feeding on schools of shad.  These schooling Whites are being taken on inline spinners, spoons and small crankbaits cast into and around the feeding fish.  
Bluegills:  Bluegills are being taken around brush piles and deep stake beds in 10-15 ft of water on small jigs tipped with worms worked near the bottom.  
Catfish:  I did not receive any reports on the Catfish this week, but we are still catching one or two nice Catfish most days while bass fishing on the flats in the backs of the creeks and bays.  

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Fallow Deer
Photo by Murray Blake

There are only a few small herds of fallow deer in Land Between The Lakes, but occasionally a lucky explorer will catch a glimpse of one.