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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 12/14/2012

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 355.48  Surface Temperature - 52

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 355.70  Surface Temperature - 52
Both lakes are about one and one half feet above winter pool. Little change is forecasted in lake levels over the weekend. Kentucky Dam has been generating an average of between 65,000 -  67,000 cfs over the past few days.  Barkley Dam has been generating an average of between 18,000 - 19,000 cfs around the clock the past few days.  
I just returned from a nice two week vacation this past weekend with my wife and was chomping at the bit to get back on the water when we got home but the nice weather that we left here prior to going on vacation had changed for the worse just before we got home and earlier this week the north winds were blowing and the daytime temperatures were struggling to get above the freezing point.  

The weather did recover though over the past couple of days and we were able to get on the water to get in some Bass fishing.  What we found was pretty much the same patterns as we were experiencing prior to vacation.  The shad schools are still scattered and so are the Bass.  The reports I received from other folks in my network pretty much mirrored the same thing.  

What I did notice over the past couple of days is that the Alabama rig bite that everyone was  anticipating all during the fall but did not develop has improved some and from our experiences this week and the reports I have received, some nice fish are being taken on the Alabama rig but not large numbers as of yet.  

Whether or not this bite will develop to be as good as it was last winter, especially during January is certainly dependent on the weather patterns we get over the next few weeks.  Currently we are experiencing similar weather patterns and water temperatures above normal for this time of year, just like last year and if this warm winter weather pattern continues, we may very well see a good Alabama rig pattern again this winter.  
The weather forecast for this weekend is for a high in the 60's on Saturday and Sunday and low's in the 50's with a 50% chance of rain on Saturday as another front approaches this weekend.  The wind is forecasted to be South at 19 on Saturday and South at 16 on Sunday so anglers can expect some rough water on the main lakes this weekend if this wind forecast holds true.  

The approaching cold front should pass through the area sometime late Sunday with early next week showing high's in the 50's with some north wind. 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. 
LARGEMOUTH BASS:  Largemouth are being taken on the old river and creek channel ledges and on primary and secondary points on the main lakes on Alabama rigs, suspending jerk baits, jigs and shaky heads.  Largemouth are also being taken on secondary points and creek channel banks in the creeks and bays on Alabama rigs, suspending jerk baits, slow rolled medium running crank baits, jigs and shaky heads.  

The bite has been scattered with one or two fish here and there.  Ledges with wood cover have been the most productive and points and banks in the creeks and bays with rock and wood have been productive.  
SMALLMOUTH BASS:  Smallmouth are being taken on the old river and creek channel ledges and on primary and secondary points on the main lakes.  These fish are being taken on suspending jerk baits, tube jigs, jigs and shaky heads.  Some nice fish have been reported but not numbers and the bite is reported like the Largemouth to be scattered.  Gravel banks and points on the main lakes has been reported as the most productive.  
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Lucky Craft Pointers in aurora black and chartreuse shad, Bag 5 Baits custom painted Mega Bass jerk baits in aurora black, Bag 5 Baits custom painted medium running crank baits in green gizzard shad, Big Hammer 4" swimbaits in pearl on Alabama rigs, D&L jigs in black/blue and Cumberland craw, Charmer tubes in green pumpkin and Charmer shaky head worms in green pumpkin and watermelon purple.  
CRAPPIE:  Crappie are being taken over deep brush piles and stumps on the main lake and around the mouths of the creeks and bays in 15-20 ft of water.  The Crappie bite slowed down with the nasty cold front earlier this week and reports indicate that it has been one or two Crappie on this spot and then one or two off the next spot this past few days.  Vertical jigging and spider rigging has been reported to be the most productive with small jigs and minnow/jig combinations.  
I did not get any reports on other species this week.  I did get some reports of Rockfish being taken on Alabama rig this past week by folks fishing for bass on the river channel ledges.  

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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.

Photo by Libby Mundy

This male eastern bluebird is looking for an insect to munch on. Easily spotted by binoculars, the males are bluer than the females which are mostly grey in color.