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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 11/17/2011

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Ky Dam - 355.71  Surface Temperature - 57

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 355.70  Surface Temperature - 57
Both lakes are 1.7 feet above winter pool.  Heavy rains in the lakes area earlier this week raised the lake levels nearly one foot.  We had almost 4 inches of rain on the north ends of the lakes during the first part of the week.  Kentucky Dam has stepped up the discharge rate to around 46,000 cfs.  Lake Barkley has been discharging at around 17,000 cfs.  

Expect both lakes to be drawn down to normal levels for this time of the year over the next week barring any more unforeseen large influxes of water.  We do have a chance for  some more rain in the forecast beginning on Sunday and lasting through mid next week.
South winds are in the forecast for tomorrow and continuing through the weekend as another cold front approaches.  This new front is forecasted to pass through the lakes area late Sunday or early Monday.  The wind on Saturday is forecasted to be over 20 mph from the south which of course will make it very rough water on the main lakes so if you are going out on Saturday, plan your trips with the wind in mind.  

Remember that we are now in the zone with water temperatures for hypothermia, so make sure you have a survival kit in the boat with you consisting of at least a change of dry clothes, dried soup, water, matches and of course put your cell phone in a water proof bag.  You should also have a plan on how you would board your boat if you should happen to fall into the cold waters.  
Although the wind has been brutal on many days this past week and then we had all that rain to deal with also, a few folks did get on the water.  Even though most of my week has been taken up with classes on how to eliminate water, I did manage a couple of afternoons to keep tabs on the bass.  The fall feeding patterns are still alive and well with some numbers of fish being taken in the creeks and bays as they are feeding up on the schools of shad in preparation for the on coming winter.  If you want to get in on some of this fall fishing, you should plan to get out soon because the cold fronts are now coming about every 3-4 days which is a definite signal that colder weather is coming soon which will drop the water temperatures to the point that the shad will move to winter locations as will the bass.  For right now our water temperatures are holding up nicely.  We have high temperatures in the low to mid 60's in the forecast through the coming mid week with low's in the high 30's to low 40's.  We are getting some below freezing temperatures on nights behind these cold fronts though.  
Largemouth Bass:   Largemouth Bass are being taken on secondary points and associated creek channel banks in the creeks and bays as well as on the flats in the coves and back halves of the creeks and bays.  These fish on the points and banks are being taken on suspending jerk baits, crankbaits,  Alabama rigs, shaky heads and jigs. The fish on the flats in the back halves of the creeks and bays are feeding on schools of shad.  These fish are being taken on topwater lures early and then on Alabama rigs,  spinnerbaits, lipless and shallow running crankbaits, swim baits, and spoons.  The over whelming majority of the reports I am receiving are indicating that most folks are doing very well on the Alabama rigs for numbers of fish.  
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 jerk baits, crankbaits, jigs and spoons.  I received two more reports this week of Smallmouth being taken on minnows by Crappie anglers fishing brush piles and deep stake beds in 10-15 ft of water.      
Some of the more productive lures reported this week are:   Lucky Craft Sammy in ghost pearl lemon,  Zara Spooks in white, Bandit crankbaits in rootbeer, Strike King Red Eye Shad in sexy shad and blue/chrome,Alabama rigs baited with Big Hammer swim baits in pearl and sexy smelt and Net Baits swim baits in shad patterns, Slong's spinnerbaits in blue glimmer,  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 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 reports are indicating they are catching Crappie in the shallower brush around 4-6 ft deep on the overcast days.  These fish are being taken by vertically fishing with small jigs tipped with Crappie Nibbles and minnows and also minnows  fished under bobbers.
White Bass  Whites are 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.  
Rockfish/Hybrids:  Schools of these fish are showing up in the creeks and bays now and feeding on schools of shad.  Watch for diving gulls as a good sign these fish are up feeding.  
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. 

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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.

Photo by Susan Eizenga

If you are visiting Land Between The Lakes after dark, you are sure to hear the hoots of one of the many species of owls that can be found in this region.