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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 03/14/2013

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 355.17   Surface Temperature - 48

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 355.30  Surface Temperature - 48
Both lakes are about one foot over winter pool.  Kentucky Dam was spilling this afternoon at a rate of 117,000 cfs.  Barkley Dam was spilling at a rate of 65,000 cfs this afternoon.  
Heavy rains upriver on from both lakes late last weekend and earlier this week has kept the dams spilling and current flowing on both lakes.  The incoming water has stained the water on Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley ranges from stained to heavily stained.  

The roller coaster type weather has continued this past week as it seems that just when you think it is going to settle down and warm up, here comes another round of nasty weather.  This afternoon we had cold rain and sleet falling here in the lakes area.  

The forecast for tomorrow is for a high of 73... now that is what I call a drastic change of weather, but then again, it is March and during this time of year the weather patterns can change daily if not hourly.  I have checked 4 different weather forecasts for this weekend and early next week and none of them are in total agreement but here is a consensus of what we can expect at this time:
Saturday:  High of 60 and Low of 44 with wind NW 15 and a 25% chance of rain.  (This is somewhat misleading as actually what you can expect Saturday is SW winds in the morning, West winds at midday and a shift to the NW in the afternoon.  Basically we have a cold front coming through the area during the day on Saturday so if you go out, expect changing conditions during the day and be prepared for anything)
Sunday:  High of 46 and Low of 46 with post frontal wind NE14 and a 70% chance of rain with possible thunderstorms.  
Monday:  High of 59 and Low of 36 with wind WSW15 and a 60% chance of thunderstorms with some possibly severe thunderstorms.  (Another front is coming through on Monday)
Tuesday:  High of High of 54 and Low of 36 with WNW wind at 11.  
Our water temperatures continue to run about 5-6 degrees below normal for this time of year and we are still experiencing late winter patterns with the bass.  Tournament results last weekend continue to reflect some nice bags of fish coming in and it is taking over 20lbs to win the bigger tournaments but a good number of folks in these tournaments are struggling to put together a limit.  

The larger bags are still coming from the south end of the lake where the water is somewhat warmer and the fish more active than on the north end.  Hopefully the weather forecast for next week will hold true and the water will warm a little more and get us back in line with the prespawn bite we normally expect by this time in March.  
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth are being taken on main lake points and channel banks in the current breaks as well as secondary points in the front halves of the deeper creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on suspending jerk baits, Alabama rigs, jigs, and slow rolled lipless crank baits.  The Alabama rig has been putting the bigger bags of fish in the boat in the tournaments but numbers have been on crankbaits and suspending jerkbaits.   
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth are being taken on main lake points and channel banks in the current breaks on suspending jerk baits, Alabama rigs and jigs.  Some big early females have been taken but the numbers are low.  
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Bag 5 custom painted Mega Bass jerk baits in original rootbeer and aurora black,  Strike King jerk baits in green gizzard shad, Rapala Xraps in black/silver and olive,  Smithwick Rogue jerk bait in table rock shad, Rapala shadraps in original crawdad and black/silver, Bag5 custom painted shadraps in rootbeer, D&L jigs in Cumberland craw and  oops pattern, Slong's jigs in copperhead, Strike King red eye shad in lavender shad and orange craw and Big Hammer swim baits on Alabama rigs in pearl.  
Crappie:   Crappie are being taken on the main lake and around the mouths of the creeks over brush piles.  These fish are being taken on the main lake in 15-20 ft of water by vertically fishing with small jigs and minnows.  The fish around the mouths of the creeks are being taken in 10-15 ft of water on staging brush by vertically fishing with small jigs and small minnows with some reports of fish being taken by casting curly tails jigs to the brush.  

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Eagle Eye View
Photo by Ray Stainfield

This eagle has "puffed up" his feathers to appear more threatening. He hopes to intimidate a nearby enemy.