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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 04/04/2013

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 357.44  Surface Temperature - 52

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 357.50  Surface Temperature - 52
Both lakes are three and one half feet above winter pool.  This is 2 feet higher than this time last week.  The TVA normally starts raising the lake levels to summer pool this first week of April on a schedule to reach summer pool by the end of the month.  The lakes are currently about two and one half feet higher than normal for this week of April.  

I am not sure why the sudden rise was allowed to occur as the TVA and Corps shut the gates on both lakes this past week and are now generating through the turbines only.  Whether or not the TVA lets the lakes stay at the present levels until they get back on schedule with the normal rise in waters this month or not remains to be seen.  

The present forecast is showing that they may level the lakes off for a while, but it would not be unusual for them to drop the lakes again to get back within normal range.  We will just have to wait and see and of course we are talking here without the thought of any unforeseen heavy rains that could change the whole picture.  Kentucky Dam has been generating an average of between 45,000 - 60,000 cfs over the past 24 hours.  Barkley Dam has been generating an average of 17,400 cfs over the past 24 hours.  
The perfect storm (bite):  Late last week we had a warm front move south through the area on Friday bringing with it, warming rains in the morning hours and then a warming during the afternoon hours.  This front passed over the lakes area and traveled south to about mid-Tennessee.  

On Saturday this warm front reversed course and moved back north coming through the lakes are during the day on Saturday bringing more warmer weather into the area.  This weather pattern warmed the water temperatures up and it seems the bass were just waiting on this warming period to put on the feed bag.  This all occurred during the Jet-A-Marina tournament held last Saturday and the weigh-in was a sight to behold.  

Not only did it take 29 lbs to win the tournament, but there were thirty-three 5 fish bags weighing over 20lbs each brought to the scales.  Even with 313 boats in the tournament... that was a lot of big bags of fish.  
Of course a cold front came through the area on Monday and brought with it more cold and nasty weather with north quadrant winds which has lasted through today. The water levels shot up along with the cold front this week and the bass fishing slowed down from what is was last weekend.  

We did catch bass this week while battling the north winds and from what I observed it seemed more of the big shad schools were moving to the mouths of the creeks and leaving the deep main lake areas and this had the fish scattered somewhat.  The good news is that if the present weather forecast is correct, we may finally see Spring come in with some warmer temperatures and thus warmer water which no doubt will start more fish moving into the creeks as they make their way to the staging areas before spawn.  

The forecast for tomorrow is for a high of 68 and low of 45 with what is hopefully the last of the north wind for a while at 8 mph.  The forecast for Saturday is for a high of 72 and a low of 56 with some gusty South wind at 20 mph.  Sunday is looking good with a high of 70 and a low of 60 with South Southwest wind at 11.  The extended forecast is showing high's in the 70's and low's in the 60's through next mid week.  This forecast will certainly move those water temperatures up and get the fish moving as well as hungry.  
Largemouth:  Largemouth are being taken on main lake points and channel banks as well as secondary points and channel banks in the mouths of the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on Alabama rigs, slow rolled crankbaits, suspending jerkbaits and jigs.

Largemouth are also being taken on the ledges around the mouths of the creeks and bays on Alabama rigs and jigs.  There are also some early Largemouth being taken near shallow gravel banks in the creeks and bays on warmer days on lipless crankbaits and shaky heads.  I expect we will see more fish on the primary points and on the secondary points and channel banks in the creeks and bays as the water warms this coming week.  
Smallmouth:  Smallmouth are being taken on main lake points and the first secondary points in the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on medium running crankbaits, suspending jerkbaits, Alabama rigs and jigs.  I expect we will see the Smallmouth on late prespawn gravel banks on the main lake and in the front halves of the creeks and bays by the end of next week if the present weather forecast holds.
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Bag 5 suspending jerkbaits in ghost pearl ayu, Lucky Craft pointers in ghost pearl ayu, Rapala Shadraps in blue bleeding shad, black/silver and original crawdad, Bag 5 medium running crankbaits in green gizzard shad, Strike King red eye in sexy shad and gold sexy shad, D&L baby advantage jigs in oops and Cumberland craw patterns, Charmer shaky worms in green pumpkin on Slong's new trokar hook shaky head jigs and Big Hammer swim baits in pearl on Alabama rigs.
Crappie:  Crappie are being taken over early staging brush piles in 15-20 ft of water on the main lakes around the mouths of the creeks and bays.  Some Crappie are also being taken over staging brush piles, mats and stumps in 10-12 ft of water.  These fish are being taken by spider rigging and vertical jigging with jigs and jigs tipped with small minnows.  

I did not see anyone casting jigs to the banks for Crappie this week but I can tell you that we did catch a few Crappie this week on the banks while fishing for bass using suspending jerkbaits in 6-10 ft of water on gravel banks.  We caught these fish in the early afternoon which has been the warmest part of the day.  

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Colorful Bridge
Photo by Shane Dunnaway

In the back of Hematite Lake in LBL are a series of boardwalks and bridges. In autumn, spectacular colors of foliage are scattered throughout, as seen here on this "colorful" bridge.