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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 04/18/2013

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 359.18  Surface Temperature - 63

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 359.45  Surface Temperature - 63
Both lakes are a few inches over summer pool.  The lakes have been on a drawdown for the past few days.  Kentucky Dam is currently generating an average outflow of 78,400 cfs which is down from 109,000 cfs earlier today.  Barkley Dam is spilling at an average rate of 45,500 cfs. 
As predicted in last week's report, the lakes went over summer pool by two feet after the heavy rains late last week.  The TVA increased the flow earlier in the week to bring the lakes back down to present levels over the past couple of days.  

The TVA forecast is showing that the lakes will drop another 6 inches by midnight Saturday night but I am not sure I put a lot of stock in their predictions right now as they seem to change rapidly.  We have a strong cold front coming through the lakes area this evening, bringing with it some strong thunderstorms and a possible 1 - 2 inches of rain.  

Basically, what I am saying here is the lakes have had a rapid rise of 2 ft and then a lowering of 2ft since my report last week at this time.  We had some great weather this week until today with highs around the 80's which made for some pleasant fishing conditions.  Today we had lake wind advisories with winds in the 20+ miles an hour range with gusts to 45 mph so that pretty much kept anglers at home getting their gear ready for tomorrow.  

The forecast is post frontal for tomorrow and Saturday with a forecast high tomorrow of 55 and low of 37 with W wind at 17.  Saturday is forecasted to have a high of 64 and low of 43 with wind NNW at 5.  The forecast for Sunday is for a high of 69 and low of 51 with ESE wind at 9.  The extended forecast is calling for high's in the low 70's and upper 60's through midweek with low's in the 40's.  
We had a good week on the bass this week despite the rising and dropping water levels.  Our efforts this week was mostly concentrated on fishing the shallow brush and lead in banks off the brush.  Our most productive pattern was dragging Texas rigged lizards around the brush and throwing finesse jigs on lead in banks and staging points.  We also took bass on whacky rigs, crankbaits and spinnerbaits around the brush.  

As is normal when the Largemouth are coming in for spawn, the smaller buck bass will be there in numbers but there will be some larger females there too.  A good number of the females are still staging on lead in banks and points but I expect we will see a big move of these fish into the spawning shallows next week after this cold front.  The water temperatures rose 5 degrees since last week and this has put a lot of Bass moving  to the shallows and staging areas just off the shallows.  The water on Barkley ranges from stained to heavily stained.  

The water on Kentucky Lake ranges from clear to slightly stained.  There is debris floating on both lakes, especially Barkley so be careful when you are running.  Remember, these are river lakes and just because there was not a log hung up on a flat you ran yesterday does not mean there is not one there today.  
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth are being taken on staging points and channel banks in the back halves of the creeks and bays.  Largemouth are also being taken on the shallow flats near button brush and vegetation.  The Largemouth on the staging points and channel banks are being taken on medium running crankbaits, Texas and Carolina rigged lizards and creature baits, shaky heads and jigs.  The shallow fish are being taken by flipping lizards, tubes and jigs around the brush and with square billed crankbaits, topwater lures, Texas rigged lizards and tubes as well as whacky rigs worked around and just off the brush and vegetation.  
Smallmouth Bass:  The Smallmouth are bedding now and can be found on gravel banks in pockets on the main lake and on gravel banks in the front halves of the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on slow rolled medium running crankbaits, jigs, shaky heads and tube jigs.  
Some of the productive lures this week include:  Lucky Craft Sammy in ghost pearl lemon, Chatterbuzz buzzbaits in white and white/chartreuse, Bag 5 medium running crankbaits in green gizzard shad, Bandit medium running crankbaits in rootbeer/chartreuse, Slong's spinnerbaits in white and white/chartreuse, Charmer shaky head worms in green pumpkin on Slong's shaky head jigs, Charmer lizards in green pumpkin and watermelon red flake, Charmer tubes in green pumpkin and road kill,  Zoom trick worms on whacky rigs in watermelon/red and green pumpkin/purple, D&L advantage jigs in Cumberland Craw and "oops" patterns with green pumpkin Net Baits Mini Kickin B trailers.
Crappie:  The Crappie bite has been reported as good this week.  The warming of the water has some Crappie starting to spawn.  These Crappie have been taken on banks in 4-5 ft of water and around the buck brush in 2 - 3 ft of water.  These Crappie are being taken with jigs and minnows under bobbers as well as by casting curly tail jigs.  

Good catches on staging Crappie in brush piles and around stake beds in 5 -8 ft of water has also been reported.  These fish are being taken with minnows and jigs under bobbers and by casting curly tail jigs.  There also have been reports of Crappie coming from deeper water on bottom bouncing rigs baited with minnows and spider rigging in 12-15 ft of water.  Basically, what this is telling us is that the Crappie spawning has started and should be getting even better over the next week or two as more Crappie move to the spawning areas.  
Catfish:  I had two reports this week of Channel Cats being taken on rocky shorelines on the main lake by fishing with nightcrawlers under bobbers and on bottom rigs.  I will also note that we caught a few nice Channel Cats cruising the flats near the brush when the water was over summer pool earlier in the week while we were bass fishing.  

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Shy Doe
Photo by J. Kent Harmon

The dense forests in Land Between The Lakes make the perfect hiding place for deer and other native species. You never know who might be peeking at you from the treeline.