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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 11/15/2012

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 355.45  Surface Temperature - 56

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 355.40  Surface Temperature - 56
Both lakes are one and one half foot above winter pool.  Water levels on both lakes came up about a foot over the past week.  Kentucky Dam has been generating an average of 32,500 cfs around the clock for the past few days.  

Lake Barkley has been generating an average of 17,000 cfs around the clock over the past few days.   
The frontal passage that followed the strong south winds we had last weekend cooled things down earlier this week with night time low's reaching at or below freezing.  We have been in a slow warming trend over the past few days and the forecast for tomorrow is a high of 59 with a low of 35.  

The weekend forecast is looking very nice with high's returning to a normal range of high's in the low 60's and low's into the 40's by Sunday.  The extended forecast for Thanksgiving week is also looking good with continued high's in the low 60's and low's in the 40's.  Light winds are forecast through out this period.  Of course weather forecasts can and do change so make sure you check the latest wind/weather forecasts before venturing on the lakes.  

With the lakes at or near winter pool, boaters are cautioned to be careful and use the marked navigation channels.  If you are not sure about the water depth where you are, idle your boat until you know for sure you are in safe water depths.  You should now be carrying a survival package in your boat as we are now have water temperatures that are conducive for hypothermic conditions should you get wet.  

A change of dry clothes, fire starter and high energy rations in a water proof bag can certainly make a big difference if you get wet and stranded on the water and you are not near any populated areas.  Having your cell phone in a waterproof bag is definitely a good precaution also as is letting someone know where you will be launching and fishing as well as the time you expect to return.  
The Bass fishing has remained about the same as last week with numerous patterns being reported from shallow water to deep water.  Some folks are struggling and some are reporting good catches.  We have taken Largemouth on the flats in the creeks and bays on topwater lures, spinnerbaits, lipless crankbaits, square bill crankbaits, senko baits and tube baits.  

Most of these fish were taken around submerged vegetation in the backs of the creeks and coves south of the U.S. 68 bridge on Kentucky Lake.   There is very little matted vegetation now since the high winds and heavy current early last week tore out the mats, but there is still some submerged vegetation in these areas.  

We have also taken Largemouth on primary and secondary points and creek channel banks in the creeks and bays on crankbaits, suspending jerk baits and jigs.  Another pattern that we have been getting some fish on is ripping spoons under schools of deeper shad near the mouths of the creeks.  Although I was not on Lake Barkley this past week, I had a couple of reports of fish being taken on shallow flats with square bill crankbaits, lipless crankbaits and Carolina rigged small creature baits as well as on secondary and primary points on suspending jerk baits.   
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth are being taken on the flats in the creeks and bays with topwater lures, spinnerbaits, lipless crankbaits, square bill crankbaits and tube baits.  Largemouth are also being taken on primary points, secondary points and channel banks in the creeks and bays on crankbaits, suspending jerk baits, jigs and tube jigs.  Largemouth are also being taken on deeper flats and around the mouths of the creeks and bays by ripping spoons under schools of baitfish suspending over brush piles.  
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth are being taken on main lake points and on secondary points and channel banks in the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on crankbaits, suspending jerk baits, jigs and tube jigs.  A few Smallmouth are being taken early in the morning on shallow flats on topwater lures, spinnerbaits and tube baits.
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Lucky Craft Sammy  and Gunfish in ghost pearl lemon, Lucky Craft pointers in aurora black,  Slong's spinnerbaits in blue glimmer, Strike King red eye shad in sexy shad and chrome sexy shad, Lucky Craft 1.5 crankbaits in sexy shad, Bag 5 custom painted medium running crankbaits in green gizzard shad, Strike King sexy spoons in sexy shad, D&L football head and advantage jigs in "oops" and Cumberland Craw, Charmer tubes in green pumpkin and Yamamoto senkos and Yum yumdingers in green pumpkin.
Crappie:  Crappie anglers are reporting to be taking fish over deep brush piles in 15-20 ft of water by vertically fishing with small jigs,minnow jig combinations and bottom bouncing rigs baited with minnows.  I did get a report of some Crappie being taken as shallow as 7-9 ft on minnows under bobbers. 
Catfish:  Some nice catches of big Catfish are being reported by fishing the old river channels with cut baits on bottom rigs in 20-30 feet of water on both lakes.  
Bluegills:  Bluegills are being taken around deep brush piles on small jigs tipped with pinched night crawlers in 15-20 ft of water.  

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Now That You're 'Hooked' on Fishing... Come See Us!

If you've dug this deep in our Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley fishing reports, you are probably just itching to come down and visit the South's biggest lakes.  Get started by finding that perfect place to stay!  Find a Kentucky Lake cabin or a Lake Barkley campground, a full-service resort or a marina.  Heck, there are even dozens of hotels off the water to choose from! 

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.

Big Bass
Photo by Brandon Hunter

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