Dave Stewart's Fishing Report
Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 07/18/2013
Kentucky Lake: Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 359.61 Surface Temperature - 84 Lake Barkley: Water Level at Barkley Dam - 359.70 Surface Temperature - 84 Both lakes are about one half foot over summer pool and on a draw down. Both dams have gates open and are spilling water. Kentucky Dam has been spilling today at an average rate of 164,000 cfs. Barkley Dam has been spilling at rates between 35,000 - 55,000 cfs. Outflow rates on both lakes increased significantly late last week when the both lakes reached levels at 2 feet over summer pool. As mentioned in last week's report, many of the shad and bass had vacated a number of the main lake ledges because of the heavy current and had moved into the mouth of the creeks and bays. The rate of outflow has decreased somewhat today and I saw a number of fish returning to some of the main lake creek channel ledges which had previously been vacated. Both lakes are forecasted to reach near one foot below summer pool by midnight Sunday...of course this could change depending on weather patterns. We have been experiencing a heat wave this week with afternoon heat indexes over 100 degrees. A cool front is expected to pass through the area sometime on Sunday and hopefully this will cool things down a little. The forecast for tomorrow is a high of 94 and low of 75 with 20% chance of thunderstorms with wind SSW at 10. The forecast for Saturday is a high of 92 and low of 73 with a 30% chance of thunderstorms with wind SW at 10. Sunday's forecast shows some cooling with a high of 86 and low of 74 with a 50% chance of thunderstorms. The extended forecast through next midweek is showing highs around 90 and low's in the lower 70's with a 40% chance of thunderstorms each day. Boaters need to keep an eye on the sky with these summer afternoon isolated thunderstorms. These storms form quickly and move quickly and have a lot of nasty lightning and localized high winds. We found the ledge fishing to be somewhat slow early this week although we were able to manage limits plus of keeper fish. The ledge bite picked up and was better today with the decrease in the very heavy current flow. There was a lot of schooling of fish today and this makes for some fun ledge fishing. We did have a good early topwater bite all week in the backs of the creeks with the higher water. These shallow schooling bass were not big....ranging from 10 inches to a little over keeper sized but they were aggressive and in good numbers. 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 and popping frogs in white over submerged grass, 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. We have seen a lot of White Bass in the jumps all week around the mouths of the creeks and bays and on the main lake flats near creek channels. These jumps are not lasting very long in duration but White Bass anglers should be rigged and ready for some surface feeding fish. 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 received a number of reports of Catfish being taken in the creeks and bays on flats where they are feeding on schools of fry. These fish are being taken on jugs baited with yellow tails and on bottom rigs baited with night crawlers.
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