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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 07/04/2013

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 359.07  Surface Temperature - 82

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 359.10  Surface Temperature - 82
 
Both lakes are at summer pool.  Kentucky Dam generated flows varying from a low of 7,000 cfs to a high of 62,000 cfs over the past 48 hours.  Barkley Dam generated flows varying from a low of 8600 cfs to a high of 17,000 over the past 48 hours.  
 
The ledge fishing for bass was good over the past weekend and into this past Monday.  The bite slowed down some on Tuesday and was slower yesterday.  I received a number of phone calls Tuesday evening and also yesterday evening from anglers that reported a tough ledge bite over the past two days and wondering why the good bite we have had over the past few weeks had slowed down.  

I have been telling folks for the past week or so that this constant good bite we have been experiencing so far this summer would change once the constant current we have had all through the winter, spring and early summer started to slow down as the in-flow of water from up river slowed back to what we normally experience here on the lakes.

This change in the constant good current became reality on Tuesday and also our water temperatures dropped 3 degrees in 24 hours with some cooler days and nights coupled with some north winds.  Obviously, this was a big environmental change in a short period of time for the fish and I expect it will take a few days for them to adjust to this new environment.  

Basically, the conditions we now have is that some times you are fishing a lake and sometimes you will be fishing a river, depending on summer current flows.  If you check out the recent flow history on the TVA website for Kentucky and for Barkley you will see that we are now seeing periods on very little current generation during the early to late morning hours and higher current flow during the heat of the afternoon and early evening hours as more power generation is required at the dams to meet these peak power usage hours.  

This is what we normally experience here in the summer, it is that we have just gotten used to constant good current we have had over the past 6 months or so.  Certainly this does not mean we cannot catch bass but it does mean that we bass anglers need to adjust our patterns and techniques to match what is happening as far as the environmental changes of relatively no current and periods of good current through out the day as well as factoring in other environmental changes that can occur from day to day such as changing  oxygen levels, fronts, etc.  W

hat I expect to see now after all these months of relatively good catches every day is a return to some slower days and some very good days with most days being average.  Of course this is based on what I am currently seeing happening in the fish's environment and is always subject to change as the environment changes.  

Sometimes folks that inquire about my Eliminating Water class which I teach in the winter month's and is a part of my Ledge Teaching trip are surprised when I tell them the class takes 7-8 hours.  One of the reasons this is a long class is that part of what I teach you in this class is how to monitor and recognize environmental changes through out the year and also from day to day that can affect the fish and therefore affect your patterns, lure selection etc.  

You cannot measurably improve your fishing without this knowledge and you do not get this knowledge from staring at a sonar unit or running around the lake throwing lures at every spot you think "looks good".  
 
The weather looks good for the extended holiday weekend with a high today of 84 and a 30% chance of isolated thunderstorms with wind from the E at 8.  Friday's forecast is for a high of 87, low of 70 with a 30% chance of isolated thunderstorms with wind from the SSE at 4.  Saturday's forecast is a mirror of Friday's forecast with wind from the S at 10.  A high of 90, low of 73 and 10% chance of isolated thunderstorms with wind from the S at 6.  

The extended forecast through next midweek is for high's in the low 90's and a slight chance of isolated thunderstorms each day and southerly flow of wind.  Expect the lakes to be crowded over the extended weekend as folks flock to the lakes to celebrate Independence Day.  

Please be courteous of the other folks on the water and be cautious of the heavier boat traffic.  Not everyone knows the rules of the road on the water so drive defensively and have a great and safe time enjoying the weekend.  When you see all the red, white and blue displayed this weekend, take a few minutes to remember who gave us our freedom and those that are serving in harm's way every day to preserve our freedoms.  
  
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth are being taken on the old river and creek channel ledges on the main lakes and around the mouths of the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on deep diving crankbaits, swim baits, slow rolled spinnerbaits, Carolina rigged creature baits, Texas rigged large worms and football head jigs.

Some Largemouth are also being taken on main lake primary points and also secondary points in the front halves of the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on deep and medium diving crankbaits, Texas rigged large worms and jigs.   Some Largemouth are also being taken in the backs of the creeks and bays, especially near vegetation and wood cover.  These fish are feeding on schools of fry.  Topwater lures, spinnerbaits and Texas rigged creature baits are taking these fish.  
 
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth are being taken on main lake points as well as on old creek and river channel ledges on the main lakes and around the mouths of the creeks and bays.  The fish on the points are being taken on deep diving crankbaits, finesse jigs, tube jigs and Carolina rigged creature baits.  The ledge fish are being taken on deep diving crankbaits, Carolina rigged creature baits, Texas rigged large worms and football head jigs.  

The best bite on the Smallmouth is at night now fishing rocky points and banks on the main lakes and inside the mouths of the creeks and bays.  These feisty summer night feeders are taking spinnerbaits with dark colored skirts and large single Colorado blades as well as on jigs and tube jigs.    
 
Some productive lures reported this week are:   Lucky Craft Sammy in ghost pearl lemon,  Zoom horny toads in white and green pumpkin/red, Slong's spinnerbaits in blue glimmer, Strike King 5XD, 6XD and 10XD crankbaits in powder blue back with chartreuse side, chartreuse sexy shad and sexy shad, Rapala DT16 in parrot, Bag 5 deep diving crankbaits in green gizzard shad and Tennessee shad,  Big Hammer swim baits in sexy smelt, Charmer timber pups in green pumpkin and watermelon/purple on Carolina rigs, Charmer 10.5" ribbon tail worms in plum on Texas rigs, D&L football head jigs in Cumberland Craw, Perfect Craw and "oops" patterns, and Slong's football head jigs in Cumberland Craw (all with Net Baits green pumpkin trailers).
 
White Bass:  White bass are being taken along the old river channel ledges and sunken islands as well as on the humps and ledges around the mouths of the creeks and bays by vertically fishing with inline spinners and small spoons.  Whites are also being taken by trolling inline spinners behind deep diving crankbaits in these areas.  

I observed a few short lived fish in the jumps around the mouths of some of the deeper bays as well as on some of the main lake flats on Kentucky Lake earlier this week but this tapered off the past couple of days with the reduction in current.   
 
Bluegill:  Bluegills are being taken around overhanging trees and also around wooden docks early in the morning after mayfly hatches.  These fish are being taken on crickets and worms fished under bobbers.  
 
Catfish:  Catfish are being taken along the old river channel ledges in 25-30 ft of water.  These fish are being taken on bottom bouncing rigs baited with shrimp and leech combinations and on bottom rigs with cut baits.  This good bite is best during the hours when current is being generated.  

More Kentucky Lake Fishing Reports

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Hoot
Photo by Susan Eizenga

If you are visiting Land Between The Lakes after dark, you are sure to hear the hoots of one of the many species of owls that can be found in this region.