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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 07/26/2012

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 358.93  Surface Temperature - 86

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 358.90  Surface Temperature - 86
Both lakes are about a tenth of an inch below summer pool.  Kentucky Lake actually reached summer pool level of 359 feet at 1:00 a.m. this morning for the first time this season but has since dropped about one tenth of an inch.  This rise in the lake levels over the past two weeks is due to an inflow of water from some heavy rains up river from the lakes.  

Kentucky Dam has been generating an average of around 18,000 cfs for the past 24 hours but we did see some peak current during the day on Tuesday and Wednesday on Kentucky Lake of around 25,000 cfs.  This is the first time in a long time we have seen more that the 18,000 cfs we have been seeing around the clock.  

Barkley Dam has been generating an average of around 7800 cfs around the clock with the exception of a few hours of current flow around 15,000 cfs this past Tuesday and Wednesday.  Kentucky Lake is projecting an average current flow of 21,000 cfs tomorrow and 26,000 cfs on Saturday as the lakes are projected to start a slow drop back to 358 feet msl which is normally where we are at the end of July.  
The drought of course continues here in the lakes area as it is in most of the heartland.  The only rainfall we have seen is from pop up afternoon and early evening thunderstorms associated with the higher humidity levels and hot summer afternoon temperatures.  We do have a front coming through the lakes area this evening with a chance of severe thunderstorms associated with the front.  

Most of the days over the past week have had the afternoon heat indexes well over 100 degrees but at least we have had some wind with these temperatures to make it a little more bearable.  The forecast for the lakes area is for more heat indexes over 100 tomorrow with west wind around 11 mph.  Saturday and Sunday are calling for temperatures in the 90's with post frontal north wind on Saturday around 10 mph and light east wind on Sunday around 6 mph.  

A return to southerly breezes and high's in the mid to upper 90's is in the forecast for early next week.  Anglers on the lakes should keep and eye on the sky and check the latest forecasts when venturing on the water, especially during the afternoon and early evening hours.  These pop up summer thunderstorms form quick and move quick.  They have dangerous lightning and localized high winds so if you see approaching storms, seek safe port as soon as possible.  
The Largemouth ledge fishing has still been holding its own with numbers of keeper and larger sized fish taken this past week.  The best bite continues to be on slower techniques such as the Carolina rig, Texas rigs, dragging jigs, shaky heads and drop shots.  We have taken a few fish on deep diving crankbaits and spoons but again, the best approach is slower finesse techniques. 

The summer fry pattern in the creeks and bays is also holding up with Largemouth being taken on the flats and on secondary points in the bays on topwater lures and spinnerbaits early and late in the day.  During the day, these shallower fish can be taken around wood cover and docks with Texas rigs, shaky heads and senko type lures.  Reports I have received from the locals is that the White Bass bite is holding up good with the primary pattern being fishing vertically with inline spinners and small spoons along the old river channel ledges.  
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth Bass 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 deep diving crankbaits, spoons, Carolina rigged creature baits, Texas rigged large worms, football head jigs, drop shots and shaky heads.  

Largemouth are also being taken in the creeks and bays where they are feeding on schools of spring fry.  These fish are being taken on secondary points, around docks and around wood cover especially early and late in the day.  These fish are being taken on topwater lures early, spinnerbaits, Texas rigged creature baits, senkos baits and shaky heads.
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth Bass are being taken on the old river and creek channel ledges on the main lakes on Carolina rigged creature baits and dragging jigs.  Some Smallmouth are also being taken on main lake gravel points early in the morning on jigs and tube jigs.  The numbers of these fish are low, but some nice single fish are being taken.
Night Fishing:  A good night fishing bite on both Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass is being reported.  The better bite is coming off main lake points and the first secondary points in the creeks and bays.  Slow rolled large dark colored spinnerbaits, jigs and tube jigs are the most productive lures being reported.  
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Strike King XD6 series crankbaits in sexy shad and chartreuse shad, Bag 5 custom painted deep diving crankbaits in green gizzard shad, Lucky Craft Sammy in aurora black and ghost pearl lemon,  Charmer 10.5" ribbon tail and gator tail worms 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 deep diving crankbaits with attached inline spinners and small spoons.  Good catches of Whites have been reported all week.  I did not see any jumps this week nor did I have any jumps reported to me this week.  
Bluegills:  Bluegills are being taken early and late in the day around mayfly hatches near overhanging trees and around docks.  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 mayfly hatches 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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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!

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Fallow Deer
Photo by Murray Blake

There are only a few small herds of fallow deer in Land Between The Lakes, but occasionally a lucky explorer will catch a glimpse of one.