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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 09/27/2012

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 356.68  Surface Temperature - 74

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 356.65  Surface Temperature - 74
Both lakes are about two and one half feet below summer pool and on a drawdown.  The lakes have dropped almost a foot over the past week as the TVA is bring the lakes back in line with the TVA River Operating Schedule for this time of year.  The forecast short term forecast is for the lakes to reach 3 feet below summer pool by midnight Saturday night.  

Kentucky Dam has been generating at an average rate of around 59,000 around the clock this past few days.  Barkley Dam has been generating at an average rate of around 16,400 around the clock the past few days.  

We had a cold front come through the lakes area this evening which triggered wide spread rain and thunderstorms in the lakes area last night and early today.  The forecast for tomorrow and the weekend is for post frontal conditions with high's in the upper 70's, low's in the mid 50's with north quadrant winds.  

A return to a southerly wind flow is forecasted for early next week with high's around 80 and low's from the low to mid 50's through mid week.  As always, it is wise to always check the latest weather and wind forecasts before venturing on the lakes because forecasts can change.  
The water temperatures have dropped two degrees since this time last week.  This drop in water temperature has put a few more shad and bass in the creeks and bays but as per last week and will be for the next few weeks, we are in the fall transition period and the Bass are scattered from the ledges to the backs of the creeks and bays. 

Although there are still plenty of fish that can be taken on the main lake ledges and points, these fish are moving quite a bit and the bite is feast or famine there.  We are concentrating our efforts in the creeks and bays where there are shad and fish that have already moved in for the fall feeding patterns as well as some on shallow main lake flats where some shad and bass will feed up for the on coming winter.  

As is typical with this time of year, tournament weights are down in most tournaments.  It took 30lbs (5 fish limit per day) over two days to win the Angler's Dream Classic late last week, it took 25lbs( 5 fish limit per day) over two days to win the Kentucky chapter of The Bass Federation.  In contrast, it took nearly 25 lbs (5 fish limit)  to win the one day Hopkins County Annual Bass Classic this past weekend.  

So as usual during the fall transition period, it can be feast or famine with most tournaments showing lower weights to win than during the spring or summer tournaments.  For example, on some days we are grinding it out to get a limit of keeper plus fish in the boat right now, we also have some days like today where we had a limit in the first 6 casts this morning.  

One thing is for sure, the fish are moving and most are only moving in one direction and that is into the creeks and bays to feed up for winter.  This means the best is yet to come and the shallow water bite will only get better as the transition continues.  
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth are being taken on a myriad of patterns.  Some Largemouth are being taken on the ledges around the mouths of the creeks and bays on Carolina rigged small creature baits and by dragging football head jigs.  Some Largemouth are being taken on main lake points and on secondary points and creek channel banks in the creeks and bays.  

These point fish are being taken on crankbaits, jigs and tube jigs.  Largemouth are also being taken on shallow main lake flats with submerged grass and in the backs of the creeks and bays on matted and submerged grass beds. Largemouth are also being taken on the flats in creeks and bays with no grass present.  These shallow water fish are being taken on topwater lures , spinnerbaits, lipless crankbaits,Texas rigged worms and senko type baits.  

We concentrated our efforts on these shallow fish this past week with walking topwater baits early in the backs of the creeks or on main lake flats, spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits on the flats under schools of shad and senko type lures around submerged grass or wood and docks when the reaction bite was slow.  
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth are being taken on main lake points as well as on secondary points and channel banks in the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on jigs, tube jigs with a few fish taken on these points on early morning topwater lures.  We also had a few Smallmouth on topwater lures early in the backs of the creeks and bays and also on senko type lures around the edges of deeper grass.  
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Lucky Craft Sammy in ghost pearl lemon, Lucky Craft Gunfish in ghost pearl lemon,  Slong's spinnerbaits in blue glimmer, Strike King red eye shad in sexy shad and chrome sexy shad,  Charmer Timber Pups in green pumpkin and watermelon/purple on C-rigs, D&L jigs in "oops" and Cumberland craw patterns with green pumpkin trailers as well as Yamamoto Senkos in green pumpkin. 
Crappie:  Crappie anglers are taking fish at the mouths of the creeks and bays as well as in the creeks and bays by fishing vertically with small jigs and minnow/jig combinations over brush piles in 10-15 ft of water.  Reports indicate that the Crappie bite is picking up as the water is cooling.
Catfish: Catfish are being taken along the old river channels on bottom rigs baited with cut baits and night crawlers. These fish are being taken in 20-30 ft of water along the old river channel ledges.  

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Big Bass
Photo by Brandon Hunter

Nathan Long holds up two nice bass while fishing with guide Brandon Hunter recently on Kentucky Lake.