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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 08/02/2012

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam -   358.30   Surface Temperature -  87

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam -  358.30   Surface Temperature -  87
Both lakes are slightly over one foot below summer pool and on a slow drawdown.  We actually had a few hours of more current this week than we have seen all summer with the lakes being drawn down to reach normal levels this time of year in accordance with the TVA River Operating Guide.  

Normally the lakes are drawn down one foot per month starting in July.  The lakes are now in normal limits and should be drawn down another foot during the month of August which again should mean some periods of better current flow.  This past week we saw what we normally see during the summer and that is lower current flow in the morning hours and higher current flow during the late morning thru early evening hours.  

This past week, Kentucky Dam generated periods of flow averaging from around 18,000 cfs during the morning hours with some peak flows of around 33,000 cfs during the afternoon hours.  Today they have been generating around 25,000 cfs all day.  The predicted forecast for the next three days is an average flow of around 24,000 over the 24 hour period for each day.  

This of course means we could see some lower periods of flow and some higher periods of flow.  Barkley Dam had been generating an average of around 7900 cfs during the morning and peaking around 16,000 cfs in the afternoons.  
The ledge patterns I have been reporting the past few weeks are pretty much the same this week with numbers of fish being taken on the ledges by fishing slower moving techniques such as Carolina rigs, Texas rigs, dragging football head jigs, shaky heads and drop shot rigs.  The backup shallower water summer pattern of Largemouth feeding on schools of fry is also holding up.  

Numbers of good White Bass catches have been reported all week on the main lake ledges.  We had another week of primarily hot weather with heat indexes over 100 most days and scattered afternoon and early evening thunderstorms most days.  

The forecast for tomorrow and the weekend is for slightly higher chances of thunderstorms, highs in the mid 90's tomorrow and Saturday with south winds as another front is approaching the area.  The front is currently forecasted to pass through the area on Sunday with highs around 90 and west winds.  

Chances of thunderstorms are forecasted as 30% tomorrow and peaking at 50% on Sunday.  A return to the low to mid 90's is forecasted for next week with north quadrant post frontal winds on Monday and a return to southerly flows the rest of the week.  Make sure you carry plenty of cold water and sunscreen with you when you get on the lakes and make sure you drink the water and keep hydrated.  

Becoming a heat casualty is a quick way to ruin a good fishing vacation.  Keep an eye on the sky, especially during the afternoon and early evening hours for pop up thunderstorms and do not wait too long to find safe port if you see any coming in your direction.  These hot weather storms have a lot of dangerous lightning and localized high winds.  
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:  Charmer 10.5" ribbon tail and gator tail worms in plum and green pumpkin.  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!

The perfect place to start looking for a place to stay at Kentucky or Barkley Lakes?  Right here on our main lodging page.

Eagle Eye View
Photo by Ray Stainfield

This eagle has "puffed up" his feathers to appear more threatening. He hopes to intimidate a nearby enemy.