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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 07/12/2012

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 357.80  Surface Temperature - 86   

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 357.80  Surface Temperature - 87
Both lakes are about one and one quarter feet below summer pool with little change forecasted.  Kentucky Lake has been generating an average of about 18,000 cfs around the clock for the past week.  

Barkley Dam has been generating an average of 6000 cfs around the clock for the past week.   
Well we can't say the drought here has been broken, but we finally are getting some rain in the area although it has been spotty as is normally associated with late afternoon and evening scattered and isolated thunderstorms during the summer months.  

We actually had about 1.5 inches of rain at my house here near The Moors late last weekend.  As I mentioned was in the forecast in last week's report, the record setting heat wave we had for the past two weeks was broken early this week with temperatures this week in the high 80's and night time low's in the lower 70's.  This coupled with some breezes this past week has made fishing much more pleasant.  

The only down side is the higher levels of humidity we normally see in the summer have returned but that can't be all bad since it is the daytime heating of this more moist air that is providing us with the afternoon and early evening showers and thunderstorms.  I certainly do not care for thunderstorms but we will take whatever rain we can get.  The forecast for tomorrow and through the weekend as well as next week is for highs around 90, give or take a degree or two, night time low's in the lower 70's with a chance of thunderstorms each day.  

The biggest chance for these storms is tomorrow and Saturday at 60%.  A 30-40% chance of these storms is in the forecast each day for the next week.  Anglers should be keep an eye on the sky this time of year for approaching storms, especially in the afternoon and early evening hours.  These summer storms tend to form quick and move quick.  

Dangerous lightning and localized high winds are associated with these storms, so if you see a storm approaching, you should find a safe port before the storm reaches your area.  Also, just because the record heat has broken, don't neglect making sure you have plenty of cold water aboard and of course, sunscreen.  Nothing can spoil a fun fishing vacation than a heat related illness or a nasty sunburn.  
As I mentioned last week, the ledge fishing for the bass is holding its own with each day producing numbers of Largemouth and a few Smallmouth.  As I have been repeating for some weeks now, the most productive techniques have been slower techniques such as Carolina rigs, Texas rigs, jigs, shaky heads and drop shots.  Our best numbers and larger fish are still being taken on Carolina rigs, Texas rigs and dragging jigs on the ledges.  

We are getting into a few feeds on the tops of the ledges but these are short lived.  Most of our fish are coming over the sides of the ledges where the bass are sitting on cover or deep on the ledges where the bass are schooling under suspended schools of shad near the bottom.  The summer back up pattern to the ledges of fishing schools of fry around docks and near wood cover on shallow flats in the creeks and bays is holding up.  

These fish can be taken early on top water lures and spinnerbaits early and late in the day and on finesse baits such as small Texas rigged creature baits, shaky heads and weightless senko type baits during the day.  I have had a number of reports this week that the night time bite has been productive on main lake points with spinnerbaits and jigs.  Some of these reports are indicating an increase in the numbers of night feeding Smallmouth over the past week.  

One of the things I have noticed the past two days is a large number of surface feeding White Bass around the gravel points and humps near the mouths of the creeks and bays.  We observed one jump yesterday that went on and off for over 2 hours.  Most of the folks I have talked to or observed are taking their White Bass along the river channel ledges by vertically fishing and doing good, but I think many of them are missing out on some fast action on these jumps, as I have not seen one boat the past two days fishing these jumps.  
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth are being taken on the old river and creek channel ledges on the main lakes and around the mouths of the deeper creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on  Carolina rigged creature baits, Texas rigged large worms, dragging football head jigs, drop shots and shaky heads.  The slower presentations are producing more fish for us when fished very slow.  

You must pay close attention because many of the bites are very light.  Largemouth are also being taken around docks with wood cover and also in shallow water near wood cover.  These shallower fish are feeding on schools of fry and can be taken with senko baits and shaky heads around the docks and on spinnerbaits Texas rigged small creature baits around the shallow wood.  
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth Bass are being taken on the old river and creek channel ledges on the main lakes.  These fish are being taken on Carolina rigged creature baits and dragging football head jigs.  Some Smallmouth are also being taken early and late in the day on main lake gravel points with Carolina rigged tubes, shaky heads and jigs.  The numbers of Smallmouth being taken during the day are low but a few nice fish are being caught.
Night Bass Fishing:  The night bass fishing reports I received this week are still showing that main lake channel points and the first secondary points in the creeks and bays are producing on large dark colored spinnerbaits and jigs.  Reports received this week are touting catching more Smallmouth and a fair number of Largemouth at night this past week.      
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:   Charmer 10.5" ribbon tail worm in plum, Charmer Timber Pups in green pumpkin and watermelon/purple, Charmer shaky head worms in green pumpkin and green pumpkin candy on shaky heads and drop shot rigs, Slong's spinnerbait in blue glimmer and D&L football head jigs in Missouri Craw, Cumberland Craw and "Oops" patterns with Net Baits Kick NB trailers in green pumpkin and summer craw.  Hoppy's spinnerbaits in black/blue and black/purple are working on the night bite as well as D&L jigs in black/blue with matching trailers.  
White Bass:  Whites are being taken along the old river ledges by vertically fishing with inline spinners and small spoons as well as minnow rigs.  Whites are also being taken by trolling inline spinners and small spoons behind deep diving crankbaits.  As I mentioned above, I have not received reports this week of Whites being taken in the jumps, but the past two days we have seen numerous jumps of these fish on gravel points and over gravel humps near the mouths of the bays.  
Bluegills:  Bluegills are being taken early and late in the day as well as at night around docks with wood cover.  Blue gill are also being taken along deep rocky channel banks with deep wood cover.   These fish are being taken on bobber rigs baited with crickets and small worms around the docks and on split shot rigs tipped with pinched night crawlers on the deep rocky channel banks.  
Catfish:  Catfish are being taken along the old river channel near ledges in 20-30 ft of water with bottom bouncing rigs baited with leeches and shrimp combinations.  Some Catfish are also being taken on bottom rigs with cut baits.

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.

Photo by Melodie Cunningham

Springtime is the perfect time to explore the wide variety of native plants growing in the lakes region! Over 1,130 native flora species live in LBL.