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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 08/22/2013

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 356.98  Surface Temperature - 82

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 357.10  Surface Temperature - 82
 
Both lakes are two feet below summer pool which is where they should be at this time in August in accordance with the TVA River Operating Schedule.  Kentucky Dam was generating at varying rates today ranging from 23,000 cfs to 71,000 cfs.  Barkley Dam was generating at an average rate of 16,300 cfs today.  

Expect the lake levels to remain fairly steady over the next week and then start a slow draw down of one foot during September barring an unforeseen influx of water.  
 
As I mentioned in last week's report, the lower water temperatures we were seeing last week did not last as the warm up with sunny skies and flat water this week served to raise the temperatures again to present levels.  This is pretty normal for the early fall transition as water temperatures tend to fluctuate up and down as we leave summer and move to the early fall as we get cool fronts followed by warm high pressure days.  

The patterns I mentioned last week of scattered shad and bass continued this week on the main lake areas.  Also the number of schools of young threadfin shad in the creeks and bays increased in the creeks and bays we fished this week as the week progressed.  We spent this week fishing some ledges but most of our time was in the creeks and bays.  We found the ledge fish bite to be scattered and slow.  

The shallow fishing in the creeks and bays was better but not for good numbers of keeper sized bass but the action was better than on the deeper main lake areas.  We took most of our fish in the creeks and bays by going shallow early for topwater action and then backing out onto deeper flats and fishing around the schools of small threadfin shad.  The best bite on the ledges was on Carolina rigged small creature baits.  

The best action in the creeks and bays was topwater walking baits early and then spinner baits, square billed crankbaits, lipless crankbaits and chatterbaits.  The square billed crankbaits provided the majority of the fish after the topwater bite this week.  
 
The weather in the immediate forecast is pretty much the same weather we have been having the past few days.  Friday's forecast is calling for a high of 89 and low of 68 and wind forecasted E4 with a 30% chance of isolated thunderstorms.  

The weekend is looking good with a high of 90 on Saturday and low of 66 with wind E8 and a slight 10% chance of rain.  Sunday shows a high of 89 with a low of 70 and wind ESE5.  The extended forecast is calling for high's in the upper 80's each day through mid week with light S winds.  
 
It is not very often that I highlight a new lure or item of fishing equipment in this report.  I only do this when I find something new that really impresses me with it's ability to assist me in producing fish for my clients.  

This week I had the opportunity to test the new BAG5 blue glimmer pattern square bill crankbait and I can honestly say that not only does this lure perfectly match a threadfin shad but it also proved itself to be a bass magnet.  This crankbait out performed all my tried and proven standard early fall transtion lures this week and when a new lure shows me that it can do that...I just have to let my readers know about it. 

As my readers already know, I have been using some of the custom painted BAG5 crankbaits since they first went into business and many of their patterns have proven to be good fish catchers.  This new color scheme on the square bill is no exception.  I highly recommend that you give one of these crankbaits a try during this tough early fall transition, I know you will find as I have that it produces fish and I expect it will only get better as we progress into full fall patterns.  BAG5 baits are sold locally at The Fisherman's Headquarters Tackle Shop located in Draffenville and The Cabin Bait and Tackle located in Kuttawa.  
 
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth are still being taken on the river and creek channel ledges on the main lakes as well as around the mouths of the creeks and bays.  Some fish are being taken on deep diving crankbaits, large slow rolled spinnerbaits and swim baits but the more productive bite has been on Carolina rigged creature baits, Texas rigged large worms,  drop shotting and slow dragging football head jigs.

The ledge fish have been scattered this week and although we are catching some on the ledges, the numbers have been down and the bite slower than one would expect at this time in August.  Largemouth are also being taken in the back halves of the creeks and bays as they are feeding on schools of young threadfin shad.  These fish are being taken on topwater lures early and late in the day, spinnerbaits, lipless and square billed crankbaits and chatterbaits.  

The better bite has been around schools of small white and yellow bass where the Largemouth are mixing in with these feeding smaller fish.  Although we are taking some numbers of fish on this shallow water pattern, most of the fish are small or just over keeper size with some occasional 3 lbs fish.  Overall the Largemouth bite was slow this week.
 
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth are being taken on main lake gravel points early and late in the day on Carolina rigged creature baits, tube jigs and finesse jigs.  There is some early morning topwater being reported on these fish using walking baits and poppers but it is short lived and scattered.  

The better Smallmouth fishing is still being reported at night.  These night feeders are being taken on rocky banks and gravel banks on the main lakes on slow rolled dark colored spinnerbaits with a single oversized Colorado blade.  
 
Some productive lures reported this week are:   Lucky Craft Sammy in ghost pearl lemon, Strike King KVD splash baits in bone,  Slong's spinnerbaits in blue glimmer, Strike King 6XD crankbaits in chartreuse sexy shad, Bag5 custom painted deep diving crankbaits in green gizzard shad, Bag 5 square billed crankbaits in blue glimmer pattern, Big Hammer swim baits in sexy smelt, Strike King Red Eye shad in chrome sexy shad, Chatterbaits in blue glimmer with twin tail Yamamoto trailer in blue pearl, Charmer timber pups in green pumpkin and watermelon/purple on Carolina rigs, Charmer 10.5" ribbon tail worms in plum and green pumpkin 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  paca punch green pumpkin trailers).
 
White Bass:  White Bass are being taken on the old river channel ledges where they are feeding on schools of baitfish.  These fish can be taken by vertically fishing with inline spinners and small spoons.  Some fish are also being taken by trolling inline spinners behind deep diving crankbaits along the river ledges and main lake creek channel ledges.  The bite has been reported as scattered also on these fish.  
 
Catfish:  A good Catfish bite is being reported on the old river channel ledges in 25-35 feet of water using nightcrawlers and cut baits.  The best bite is during periods of current.  

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.


Bald Eagle
Photo by Melodie Cunningham

This majestic bald eagle is keeping a close eye on his Kentucky Lake neighborhood. The months of January and February are the best times to catch a glimpse of bald eagles in Land Between The Lakes.