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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 09/26/2002

Kentucky Lake:  Headwater Elevation - 355.81   Surface Temperature - 79

Lake Barkley:  Headwater Elevation - 355.65  Surface Temperature - 79
Heavy rains again hit the area last week and more heavy rain is expected tonight and tomorrow.  The water levels are still fluctuating some each day around the 356 level as the water from all the rain here and upriver is being drawn off.  The water is fluctuating up and down as much as 6 inches either way just about every 24 hour period.  Taking note of  whether the water is rising or falling can be key in being successful on the Largemouth Bass patterns.  

If the water is falling expect the fish that are on the shallow water patterns to pull out to the first drops from the flats, if the water is rising expect the fish to be moving back toward the shallower water.  When the water is being pulled the fish that are still out on the ledges are getting active also so you can see that these changing conditions can change the productive patterns each day or even through out the course of the day you are fishing.  

The prevailing patterns are as follows:  

The Largemouth Bass are being caught both in the bays on or near the flats and shallow cuts near wood cover as well as on the secondary points in the back half of the bays as they are feeding on schools of shad.  These fish can be taken on topwater lures, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and Texas rigged soft plastics.  

There are also Largemouth Bass being taken on main lake points, ledges and humps and roadbeds especially during periods of current generation.  

These fish are taking deep running crankbaits, Carolina rigged plastics, and jignpig.  Most of the Largemouth that are being caught right now are short fish but the persistant angler can get some keeper fish by staying with the bite.  Expect this pattern of lots of short fish with few keepers to continue until the fish complete their transition from their summer patterns to fall patterns.
The Smallmouth Bass are being taken on main lake primary and secondary points as well as on the first secondary points in the bays along the creek channel banks.  

Although the bite on the Smallmouth has slowed down with all the weather and water fluctuations over the past week or so, they should be back to a better bite if the weather and water settles down next week.  The Smallmouth can be taken early on topwater and crankbaits on the points mentioned and then later switching to Texas and Carolina rigged tubes and lizards, crankbaits, and jignpig on the points and along rocky creek channel banks.  
Some of the lures reported as productive over the past week are:  Rebel Pop-R in shad patterns, Rapala Skitter Pop in chartruese and shad pattern, Bandit crankbaits in rootbeer, Fishco Crankbaits in grey ghost, Rattletraps in blue/chrome, X-wire spinnerbaits in blue glimmer, Snoozer's tubes in road kill cammo and smoke/purple, Zoom lizards in watermelon seed, Strike King Bitsy Flip jigs in watermelon with matching trailer dipped in chartruese, Stanley jigs in black/blue and green pumpkin with matching trailers.  
The White Bass have slowed considerably with some fish being reported caught by vertically jigging spoons and roostertails near the mouths of the bays and by trolling spinners along the main lake and creek channel ledges.  
The Crappie are still being reported as somewhat slow but a few reports have been received of fish being caught near the mouths of the bays in 15-20 ft of water over wood cover by vertically fishing small minnows and minnow/jig combinations.  
The Catfish are being caught along the main river channels and some creek channels using large minnows, shad minnows, and cut baits fished on bottom rigs in 20-30 ft of water.  This bite is reported to be best during periods of current generation.  
I have some days open in October and November if you are thinking about hiring a guide for tournament preparation, lake familiarization, technique instruction, or just some plain ol' fun fishing don't hesitate to drop me an email or give me a call.  The good fall bite is just around the corner and now is the time to make that call for lodging and guide reservations if you have not done so yet.  Latter October and November can be some of the best fishing of the year.  

More Kentucky Lake Fishing Reports

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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.

Down the River
Photo by Melodie Cunningham

This father-son team has found adventure out on the water at Kentucky Lake! There are so many places to explore in LBL that can't be accessed by land!