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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 03/22/2012

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 355.34    Surface Temperature - 64  

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 355.45  Surface Temperature - 64
Both lakes are about one and one half feet over winter pool.  Kentucky Dam is spilling at a rate of 78,000 cfs at noon today.  Barkley Dam is spilling at a rate of 44,200 at noon today.  
Continued unseasonably warm weather and south winds this week have combined to continue the rise in water temperatures over the past week.  Our water temperatures right now are about 3 weeks ahead of schedule for this time of year.  This rapid rise in the water temperatures has made the Largemouth fishing both challenging and fun.  By this I mean that on some days you can fish just about any pattern that you want from the front to backs of the creeks and bays and catch good numbers of fish.  Then again on some days the Largemouth pull off the banks and shallow areas and suspend.  

On these days the bite is scattered and you have to settle for a fish here and there to put any numbers in the boat.  Of course with these water temperatures we are on a prespawn bite on the north ends of the lakes where as normally this time of year we would still be on an early prespawn bite.  I have had three reports this week that some Largemouth are already starting to bed on the south end of Kentucky Lake, of course the water temperatures that far south are ahead of us here on the north ends.  

If this trend in rising water temperatures continue, I expect we certainly will see some Largemouth start to spawn early on the north ends of the lakes also in the next week or two, especially around the full moon in early April.  The Black Crappie are definitely in a late prespawn/spawning mode from all the reports I am receiving from the slab hunters. 

Reports indicate the White Crappie are on late staging areas too and probably will go early just like the Largemouth if this warm weather continues, which according to the latest forecasts it seems this warm weather will continue.  The forecast high for tomorrow is 72, for Saturday 68 and back up to 77 on Sunday.  Night time low's are forecasted to be in the 50's.  More of the daytime highs in the 80's is forecasted for early next week.  
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth are 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 Alabama rigs, crankbaits, Carolina rigged lizards and creature baits and jigs.  

Some Largemouth are also being taken shallow in coves and on the flats in the backs of the creeks and bays on some days.  These fish are moving in and out as they are searching out nesting areas.  These shallow fish can be taken on topwater lures, lipless crankbaits, spinnerbaits, chatterbaits and Carolina rigged lizards.  
Smallmouth Bass:  The Smallmouth Bass for the most part are spawning now with a few late prespawners.  These fish are being taken on gravel banks in the main lake cuts and also in the front halves of the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on Carolina rigged lizards and creature baits, jigs and tube jigs.  No large numbers of fish are being reported but some nice females are being taken.
Some to the productive lures reported this week are:  Chatterbuzz buzzbaits in white,  Slong's spinnerbaits in white/chartreuse and blue glimmer, Chatterbaits in blue glimmer and green pumpkin,  Waterdog Retriever rigs baited with Big Hammer swim baits in pearl and sexy smelt as well as Keitech swim baits and Net Bait swim baits in shad patterns, Bag 5 custom painted crankbaits in crawfish patterns, Bandit crankbaits in rootbeer/chartreuse, Rapala shadraps in original crawdad and black/silver, Charmer lizards and timber pups on Carolina rigs in green pumpkin, Charmer tubes in green pumpkin, Slong's flat top jigs in green pumpkin and D&L jigs in "oops" pattern, both with net baits baby paca chunk or baby kick n b trailers in green pumpkin.
Crappie:  Crappie are being taken by casting curly tail jigs and road runners around brush piles in 4-8 ft of water as well as by vertically fishing the brush with curly tail jigs or minnows under bobbers.  Crappie are also being taken in 8-12 ft of water over staging brush piles by spider rigging  with curly tail jigs and minnows.  The Crappie bite is reported to be good.

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Photo by Murray Blake

This stoic heron is looking at more than just his own reflection. He is looking at the fish that will become his lunch.