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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 09/05/2013

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 356.87  Surface Temperature - 84

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 356.85  Surface Temperature - 84
Both lakes are two feet below summer pool and on a slow draw down.  Kentucky Dam was generating an average of 28,000 cfs around the clock the past few days but this was stepped up this morning and the TVA has been generating an average of 46,000 cfs today.  

Barkley Dam has been generating around 15,300 cfs over the past few days with only a couple of hours in which the flow was cut down as low as 6800 cfs.
Both lakes actually rose about 6 inches as a result of heavy rains over last weekend but they have been drawn back down to their present levels.  Expect the lake levels to be on foot lower by the end this month in accordance with the TVA River Operating Schedule barring any unforeseen influx of water.  

Boaters should be aware of the lower levels now and use more caution when maneuvering outside of the navigation channels.  A cool front passage on Monday brought with it some cooler temperatures and less humidity making it very pleasant on the water this week.  A slight warm up is expected over the weekend and into early next week as another front approaches bringing us southerly wind flows and more humidity.  

The extended forecast late next week is showing another cool front expected to pass through the area next Wednesday bringing us more pleasant weather late next week.  The forecast for tomorrow is for a high of 85 and low of 64 with a 20% chance of rain and wind E3.  The forecast for Saturday is for a high of 90 and low of 64 with wind ESE6.  Sunday's forecast shows a high of 92 with a low of 69 and a 30% chance of isolated thunderstorms with wind SSW4.  
There hasn't really been any change in the Largemouth bite since last week.  The shad are scattered on the main lake for the most part as are the Largemouth.  The fish are moving quite a bit but one can find fish on the ledges that will bite but the bite is scattered for the most part.  

We have had some crankbait bite on the ledges but the better bite has been on Carolina rigged creature baits and drop shot rigs.  The early morning and late evening bite on the shallow fish in the creeks and bays is holding up but the numbers of keepers there is still a little lower than on the ledges but it is fun catching the early feed on topwaters, crankbaits and spinnerbaits.  The Smallmouth have been cooperating early some mornings on the main lake on gravel as well as rocky points with topwater lures and then on tube jigs and finesse jigs during the day.  
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 and swim baits but the more productive bite has been on Carolina rigged creature baits and drop shot rigs. 

The ledge fish have been scattered this week but we are still managing to find some actively feeding fish.  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.  
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth are being taken on main lake gravel and rocky points early and late in the day on topwater lures and then on finesse jigs and tube jigs during the day.  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, Spro Little John DD in chartreuse nasty,  Bag 5 custom painted square billed crankbaits in blue glimmer pattern, Bag 5 custom painted Strike King Red Eye shad in blue glimmer, Chatterbaits in blue glimmer with twin tail Yamamoto trailer in blue pearl, Charmer timber pups in green pumpkin and watermelon/purple on Carolina rigs, D&L baby advantage jigs in Cumberland Craw and "oops" patterns as well as Last Cast hairy bug jigs in green pumpkin, Charmer shaky head worms on drop shot rigs in green pumpkin candy and Charmer tubes in road kill and green pumpkin.  
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:  Catfish are being taken 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.  

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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.

Big Bass
Photo by Brandon Hunter

Nathan Long holds up two nice bass while fishing with guide Brandon Hunter recently on Kentucky Lake.