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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 05/03/2012

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Ky Dam - 356.13   Surface Temperature - 71

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 356.25   Surface Temperature - 71
 
Both lakes are basically 4 ft below summer pool.  Both lakes have been dropping an inch or so over the past few days as we still have not had any significant rain.  Just as I mentioned in last week's report that I did not see anything in this week's weather forecast that would start bringing the lakes up to summer pool, I do not see anything in next week's forecast to make me believe this situation will improve.  

Actually, the TVA forecast is for the lakes to drop another couple of inches over the next few days.  Kentucky Dam has been generating around 14,000 cfs the past few days with a few hours of peak generation of 21,000 - 25,000 cfs for a few hours each day.  Basically, this means no real current on the lake.  Barkley Dam has been generating at 6200 cfs around the clock for the past few days, which of course means no significant current has been present there either.  
 
The weather forecast for tomorrow and through Monday is for south quadrant winds with daytime high's around 90 degrees and night time low's in the lower 60's.  The next frontal passage is presently forecasted for sometime on Monday.  A chance for isolated and scattered thunderstorms are forecasted each day.  

Make sure you check the latest wind and weather forecasts before venturing on the water.  These pop up thunderstorms can bring localized high winds and dangerous lightning.  Please remember, the lake levels are low for this time of the year.  Use caution when running the lakes and use the navigation aids.  
 
We have experienced some days of moderate south winds and a couple of days of higher south winds over the past 4-5 days.  We have had lake wind warnings two days this past week, including today.  These south winds of course have had us in summer like weather most days and the water temperatures have risen 5-6 degrees over the past week.  

Here is my take on the Largemouth:  Most of the late prespawn bass we had been catching last week on the lead in banks have started bedding and the bedding fish we were finding last week on these same banks have moved to post spawn patterns.  Each day this week we have experienced more and more of the larger bass on post spawn patterns and more of the fish coming from lead in banks just off the normal spawning areas being bucks guarding the nests.  

The shad have started spawning in a number of the creeks and bays and the earlier spawners are now rested up and feeding on them.  Those larger females that have just recently come off the nests have backed out are resting up on secondary points and channel banks around the mouths of the spawning coves.  Of course this still gives us a myriad of patterns to choose from. There are Largemouth on the ledges around the mouths of the creeks and bays and also some showing up on main lake ledges.  

Although these ledges seem spotty right now, this should improve over the next week or so when more shad move out to deeper water.  Our most consistent pattern the past few days has been fishing for the more active post spawn bass that are feeding on the spawning shad. We have taken these fish on the flats in the creeks and bays in 5-10 ft of water as well as on deeper secondary points and channel banks in the creeks and bays.  

Crankbaits and swim baits have been the ticket on these fish.  We have taken some of the more finicky females that have just come off the nests and sitting on the deeper secondary points and channel banks with finesse jigs, Texas rigs and shaky heads.  Of course there are still a few late prespawn bass on the final lead in banks just off the normal spawning areas in the backs of the creeks, bays and associated spawning coves.  These fish, along with numbers of buck bass guarding the nests are being taken on finesse jigs, Texas rigs and shaky heads.  

We have taken fish on everyone one of the afore mentioned patterns this week and I have received numbers of reports of other anglers having done likewise, so take your pick on which pattern suits you.  
 
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth are being taken from the ledges to the backs of the creeks and bays.  The ledge fish are being taken on deep diving crankbaits, swim baits, Carolina rigged creature baits, Texas rigged large worms and dragging football head jigs.  Post spawn bass are being taken on the flats in 5-10 ft of water and on secondary points and channel banks in the creeks and bays as they are feeding on schools of shad.  These fish are being taken on deep and medium running crankbaits, spinnerbaits and crankbaits.  

Early post spawn bass are being taken on secondary points and channel banks on finesse jigs, Texas rigged creature baits and shaky heads.  Late prespawn and bedding bass as well as bucks guarding nests are being taken on the final lead in banks just off the spawning flats in the creeks and bays with finesse jigs, Texas rigged lizards and creature baits and shaky heads.  
 
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth Bass are being taken on main lake points as well as on secondary points and channel banks in the front part of the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on Carolina rigged creature baits, jigs and shaky heads.  A few nice fish are being reported but low numbers.  
 
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Strike King series 6 and XD 6 in sexy shad and sexy chartreuse shad, Bandit 200 and 300 series crankbaits in red crawfish and rootbeer/chartreuse, Bag 5 custom painted medium running crankbaits in green gizzard shad, Big Hammer 5" swim baits in sexy smelt and bay smelt, Charmer lizards in green pumpkin and watermelon/red, Charmer timber pups in green pumpkin, Charmer shaky head worms on D&L shaky head jigs, Yamamoto senko's in green pumpkin/black fleck on Slong's shaky head jigs and D&L advantage jigs in "oops" pattern with Net Baits mini kickin b trailers in summer craw and green pumpkin.
 
Crappie:  The Crappie bite this week was reported as scattered and somewhat slow.  Some Black Crappie are still hanging around shallow cover and are being taken with minnows under bobbers.  Most of the Crappie reported caught this week were taken over brush piles in 10-15 ft of water by vertically fishing with minnows and small jigs.
 
Bluegill/Redear:  Bluegills and Redears were reported to be actively spawning and feeding this week with the approaching full moon.  Bluegills are being taken around wood cover on gravel flats with crickets and worms fished under bobbers and on split shot rigs baited with worms and crickets slow rolled on the bottom.  Redears are reportedly being taken on gravel bars in 5-6 feet of water by slow rolling worms and bug jigs tipped with worms on split shot rigs.  
 
Catfish:  With the water having warmed back up, Channel Catfish are now again being taken on rocky flats and rocky shorelines by fishing with nightcrawlers on bottom and under bobbers.

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Elk
Photo by Melodie Cunningham

When exploring the Elk and Bison Prairie in The Land Between The Lakes, it's always exciting to catch a glimpse of a bull like this one!