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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 11/02/2012

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 354.37  Surface Temperature - 58

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 354.35  Surface Temperature - 58
 
Both lakes are only a couple of inches above winter pool.  Kentucky Dam has slowed down the generation from around 45,000 cfs which we had been seeing all week to around 25,000 cfs today as they are leveling the lakes off at winter pool.  Barkley Dam has been generating an average of around 17,400 over the past couple of days.  
 
My report this week is a day later than normal because of the weather conditions we have had here that started last Friday and continued through Wednesday of this week.  The only way to describe it is:  Wind, Wind and more Wind.  High north winds every day during this period made conditions on the lakes too rough to take clients out to have any kind of safe and reasonably comfortable trip.  

The other folks that I network with through out the week also stayed off the water this past week for the same reason.  I will not write a report without good solid information as to what patterns and lures are working so I waited until I and my network folks could finally get back on the water for a couple of days to get a handle on the changes from last week's report.  

Here are the two big environment changes that have occurred since my report last Thursday.  The base water temperature has dropped 7 degrees in the past week.  The other big change is that the TVA pulled the bottom out of the lake and dropped the lake levels 2 feet since last Thursday.  I mentioned in last week's report that you should look for the TVA to drop the lakes very soon to get them back in line with the TVA River Operating Schedule....well, they did it in big fashion with the levels dropped 2 feet in one week. 
 
Well, after finally getting back on the water over the past couple of days I found pretty much what I was expecting to find.  The rapid water temperature drop coupled with the fast draw down moved the majority of the shad and Largemouth out of the shallows to deeper water.  

The high winds and rapid water drop also pulled the majority of the matted grass out of the backs of the creeks and bays but there is still scattered sub surface vegetation in these areas.  Yesterday (Thursday) we were finding most of the Largemouth and shad that had been shallow had pulled out to depths between 10-14 feet and were either suspended off the bottom around cover or were around wood cover on channel banks and secondary points.

The suspended fish were taking spoons, jigs and Carolina rigs.  The fish along the channel banks were being taken on jigs, tube jigs, shaky heads with some on suspending jerkbaits.  Late yesterday afternoon I noticed that the shad and Largemouth in the last bay that we fished were starting to move back toward the shallows again where there was some scattered vegetation. 

This was occurring with the passage of a warm front which came through the lakes area late yesterday afternoon.  Today, checking a number of creeks and bays, we found that in some of the creeks and bays, the shad and Largemouth had were moving back to the shallows again but in some they were still holding deeper.  It seemed the creeks and bays that had some of the sub surface vegetation were more progressed with fish moving back shallow again.  

I would expect that with the present weather forecast we will see more of the progression of fish moving back to the shallows unless another nasty cold front hits us like this last one, but thankfully, that is not in the present forecast.  The Crappie anglers I have talked to are telling me that what days they were able to fish that the Crappie were not as active with the changing conditions which should be expected.  What Crappie that was being taken, was being taken over brush piles in 12-14 ft of water by vertically fishing with minnows.  
 
The weather forecast for the weekend is for a high of 62 on Saturday with East winds at 12 and a 30% chance of showers and isolated thunderstorms.  Sunday's forecast is showing a high of 58 with NNE winds at 10.  Low's for the weekend are forecasted to be in the mid 30's.  Monday is showing a high of 54 with ENE wind at 6.  The present forecast is showing a shift to Southerly wind around mid week with highs returning to the 60's and low's in the 40's.  As always, forecasts can and do change, especially this time of year so make sure you check the latest weather and wind forecasts for the lakes area before venturing on the water and plan your trip accordingly.
 
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth Bass are being taken on channel banks and secondary points in the creeks and bays with jigs, tube jigs and suspending jerkbaits.  Largemouth are also being taken from around schools of suspending shad in 10-14 ft of water along channels by ripping spoons.  

Some Largemouth are recovering from the big cold front this past week and are following shad back to the shallows where they are being taken on topwater lures, spinnerbaits, lipless crankbaits, square bill crankbaits and senko type baits.  
 
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth are being taken on rocky channel banks and secondary points in the creeks and bays and on gravel channel banks and points on the main lake.  These fish are being taken on jigs and tube jigs.  
 
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Lucky Craft Sammy  and Gunfish in ghost pearl lemon, Lucky Craft pointers in aurora black and chartreuse shad,  Slong's spinnerbaits in blue glimmer, Strike King red eye shad in sexy shad and chrome sexy shad, square bill crankbaits in sexy shad (brand unspecified), Strike King sexy spoons in sexy shad, Charmer timber pups in green pumpkin and watermelon/purple on Carolina rigs, D&L football head and advantage jigs in "oops" and Cumberland Craw and Yamamoto senkos and Yum humdingers in green pumpkin.
 
Crappie:  Crappie are being taken over brush piles in 12-14 ft of water by vertically fishing with minnows on spider rigs and under bobbers.
 
I did not get any reports on Bluegill or Catfish this week. 

More Kentucky Lake Fishing Reports

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Beaver Dam Outlook
Photo by Melodie Cunningham

The view from the top of this beaver dam shows a Kentucky Lake inlet in late spring. An inlet like this one is habitat to a variety of exciting wildlife and plants just waiting to be explored!