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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 07/11/2013

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 360.76  Surface Temperature - 84

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 360.75  Surface Temperature - 84
 
Both lakes are just a few inches short of being two feet over summer pool and rising.  Both lakes are currently forecast to reach three feet over summer pool by midnight Saturday night.  Kentucky Dam has been spilling water at rates between 115,000-128,000 today.  Barkley Dam has been spilling at rates between 60,000-61,000 today.

Last week I mentioned that the ledge bite had slowed some last Tuesday and Wednesday as all the steady current we had so far this summer had tapered off.  This week has been a total different story as the areas up both rivers received continuous heavy rains over the holiday weekend and the runoff from these rains is now coming through the lakes in large quantities.  

The lakes have risen to their current levels of above summer pool and are still rising.  We have had heavy current all week on both lakes.  This heavy current in the river channels caused most of the shad and bass that were residing there to move into the creek channels on the main lakes and also into the creek channels around the mouths of the creeks and bays.  

These creek channel ledges have been producing good catches of bass this week.  The bass are still being taken on a number of techniques on the ledges such as deep diving crankbaits, swim baits, slow rolled spinnerbaits, Carolina rigged creature baits, Texas rigged large worms and dragging football head jigs.  Our best bite this week overall has been on the football head jig and the Texas rigged large worms.  

We concentrated our efforts in these areas all week but I have also had a number of reports of an increased bite in the shallow water areas around the buck brush and vegetation where the rising waters have bass there feeding on schools of fry. I have been on Kentucky Lake all week and the water clarity is good.  I had reports that the main channel on Barkley has some stain but the creeks and bays on the north end of Barkley have normal clarity.  
 
We had some hot days this week with heat indexes topping 100 degrees in the afternoon but a cool front moved through the area last night and this has lowered the humidity and made that heat of the day fishing somewhat more tolerable.  

This lower humidity is forecasted to last through Saturday with the humidity levels beginning to rise again on Sunday and through next midweek.  The forecast for tomorrow is a high of 87 and low of 64 with post frontal wind NE at 12.  Saturday's forecast is showing a high of 88 and low of 68 with post frontal wind NE at 11.  Sunday is forecast to have a high of 89, low of 72 with ESE wind at 8.  A return to daytime highs in the 90's and night time low's in the 70's with light S winds are in the extended forecast for early next week.
 
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth are being taken on the old 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 in current breaks around main lake 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 buck brush.  These fish are feeding on schools of fry.  Topwater lures, spinnerbaits and Texas rigged creature baits and fluke style baits are taking these fish.  
 
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth are being taken  in current breaks on main lake points as well as on old creek 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 with current breaks 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,  chug baits in shad patterns,  Zoom horny toads in white, popping frogs in white, Slong's spinnerbaits in blue glimmer, Strike King 6XD and 10XD crankbaits in powder blue back with chartreuse side and chartreuse sexy shad, Bag 5 custom painted 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 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 creek channel ledges on the main lakes 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.  Some white bass are also being taken early in the morning around mayfly hatches.    
 
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:  I did not receive any reports on the Catfish this week but with the rising waters I would suspect there are some Catfish roaming the shallows as they are notorious to move and feed shallow when the waters rise over pool like they have the past few days.

More Kentucky Lake Fishing Reports

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.


Rocky Shores
Photo by John Mahler

Although the terrain in this part of the country is typically flat, you'll still find an occasional rocky shoreline like this one on Kentucky Lake.