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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 09/13/2012

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam:  356.92  Surface Temperature:  79

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam: 357.05  Surface Temperature:  79
Both lakes are two feet below summer pool and on a slow draw down.  The lake levels rose about one half foot since last week due to a lower discharge rate at the dams as compared to the rate of water entering the lakes from up river.  Kentucky Dam has been generating at an average rate of 18,000 cfs around the clock most of this past week but the flow was stepped up to around 26,000 cfs late this afternoon.

The two day forecast by the TVA shows a higher rate of outflow than inflow from up stream so we should see the lakes slowly drop back to normal levels over the next week or so barring any unforeseen influx of water.  Barkley Dam has been generating at an average rate of 8,000 cfs around the clock this past week. 
A weak cold front will be passing through the lakes area tonight and we will be post frontal tomorrow and through the weekend.  High's in the upper 70's and low's in the 50's is in the forecast for the weekend.  Expect north quadrant winds at 10-11 mph tomorrow and Saturday with flat water on Sunday with the forecast showing ESE at 4.  The next frontal passage is due in on Monday with a 30% chance of rain.  

Daytime high's in the 70's with night time low's in the 50's.  Note that the current forecast is predicting a low of 47 on Tuesday morning....fall is in the air for sure.  The water temperatures dropped two degrees this past week and with the forecast we have, we should see the water temperatures drop again this coming week.  
I reported for the past two weeks that the fish were in the early stages of the transition to fall locations and scattered causing a scattered and slower bite.  Extreme high pressure moved into the lakes area earlier in the week following the cold front that came through the lakes area last weekend.  This coupled with very little to no wind, blue skies and lack or current made the bite even more challenging for the Largemouth most of this week.  

We managed to put fish in the boat but we had to hunt and peck and be versatile.  Again, we caught fish from as deep as 40 feet of water on the river channel ledges to as shallow as a couple of feet in the creeks and bays. 

The topwater bite was virtually non existent except for over grass beds with frogs and this bite was spotty.  We took most of our fish on Carolina rigs and dragging football head jigs very slowly on the ledges and on smaller jigs fishing secondary points in the creeks and bays as well as targeting docks and isolated wood on the flats.  We also took fish ripping spoons and blade baits off the bottom getting a reaction bite but the aforementioned patterns and lures were more productive for us.  
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth are being taken on main lake river ledges and on creek channel ledges around the mouths of the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on Carolina rigged small creature baits, dragging football head jigs as well as ripping spoons and blade baits.  Largemouth are also being taken on secondary points in the creeks and bays on jigs, tube jigs and shaky heads.  

Largemouth are also being taken around docks and isolated wood on shallow flats in the creeks and bays on jigs and tube jigs.  Largemouth can be taken around the grass beds south of the U.S. 68 bridge on Kentucky Lake with frogs fished on the mats and on spinnerbaits on the edges of the grass.  As you can see, the bite is scattered.  
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth are being taken on main lake points and secondary points in the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on jigs and tube jigs.  The numbers of these fish taken was low and the fish were scattered.  
Some of the productive lures this week were:  Charmer Timber Pups in watermelon/purple and green pumpkin on Carolina rigs, Charmer tubes in road kill, D&L football head jigs and D&L advantage jigs in Cumberland craw and "oops" with Net Baits Kick nb trailers in green pumpkin, Strike King sexy spoons, Steel Shad blade baits in silver and  Zoom horny toads in watermelon/red pearl.
White Bass:  White Bass are being taken on ledges around the mouths of the creeks and bays by vertically fishing with inline spinners and small spoons.  I did see some few short jumps of these fish chasing shad in the backs of the creeks today but they appeared to be smaller fish.
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. The catfish anglers were reporting a slower bite this week due to a lack of current.  Some Catfish are also being taken on bottom rigs with cut baits.  There are some channel cats in the creeks and bays feeding of schools of small shad as we caught a few of these this week fishing for bass.  

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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.