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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 12/29/2011

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Ky Dam - 355.43  Surface Temperature - 50

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 355.60  Surface Temperature - 50
Both lakes are about one and one half foot over winter pool.  Kentucky Dam is spilling at a rate of 147,000 cfs.  Barkley Dam is spilling at a rate of 59,500 cfs.  Both lakes are on a slow drawdown to winter pool.  
Well here we are nearing the end of the a year of new records for the lakes area.  We have a new record for annual rainfall here in the lakes area with 75 inches of rain recorded this year.  We set new lake level records for both lakes on May 4, 2011 with both lakes reaching 374.49.  We certainly do not want any droughts in the new year, but we could use just a little less rain in the coming year and certainly fewer floods.  
On the up side, overall bass fishing was pretty darn good this past year, even during the record flood.  Also on the upside is the fact that we have been experiencing some great mild weather so far this winter and this coupled with good current on both lakes has produced some good bass fishing this past month.  Water temperatures are still running about 5 degrees above normal with the milder weather we have had.  I have received numerous reports over the past couple of weeks of hefty limits of Largemouth Bass and some nice Smallmouth being taken.  

The most productive pattern has been on main lake channel points and on main lake ledges and ledges around the mouths of the creeks and bays using Alabama rigs and suspending jerkbaits.  The Alabama rigs have been the most reported technique with a number of reports of multiple hook ups on this relatively new technique for bass fishing that became very popular after some major tournament wins on Tennessee River reservoirs this past fall, including right here on Kentucky Lake.  
The weather outlook is good for the weekend with a high's in the upper 50's tomorrow and Saturday and in the low 50's on Sunday.  There is a slight chance of rain at this time on Sunday.  Southerly winds are in the forecast for Friday and Saturday with a shift to the west/northwest on Sunday as our next cold front approaches.  Cooler temperatures are in the forecast for next week, but still relatively mild for this time of year with high's in the low to mid 40's.  Dry weather is in the forecast for next week, which is a blessing with all the rain we have had lately.  
If you are going on the lakes this weekend to enjoy some of the good fishing being reported, take care and be aware of the fact that our water temperatures are in the range for hypothermic conditions so be prepared for this with a survival kit in your boat consisting of a protected set of dry clothes, dry soup and fire starter.  

Don't forget that cell phone and remember, keep the cell phone in a protected waterproof bag also, they don't work real well after they get soaked.  Let someone know where you will launching and fishing and let them know when you expect to return.  Winter fishing can be a lot of fun, but it can be a really bad experience if you are not prepared for the possibility of getting wet and/or stranded on the water.  
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth are being taken in good numbers on main lake points as well as on ledges on the main lake and around the mouths of the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on Alabama rigs, suspending jerkbaits and jigs.  The Alabama rig has been reported as the most productive technique overall.  
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth Bass are being taken in the same areas as the Largemouth Bass on the same techniques and lures.  
Productive lures reported this week were:  Net Baits BK swimbaits in pearl and blue pearl and Big Hammer swim baits in pearl and sexy smelt fished on Alabama rigs.  Lucky Craft pointers in aurora black and table rock shad, D&L jigs in Cumberland craw.
Crappie:  Crappie anglers are reporting numbers of fish by spider rigging over deep brush on the main lake ledges in the 15-25 ft depth range.  Small jigs and minnows have been the baits of choice.

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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.

Fall at Kentucky Lake
Photo by Shane Dunnaway

A beautiful palette of colors can be experienced at Kentucky Lake during autumn. It's a site to see!