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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 10/24/2013

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 354.65  Surface Temperature - 65

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 354.70  Surface Temperature - 65
Both lakes are about one half foot over winter pool.  Kentucky Dam has been generating at an average rate of 29,000 cfs over the past few days.  Barkley Dam has been generating at an average rate of 8,300 cfs over the past few days.  

With the water levels now well below summer pool, boaters should be cautious about navigating outside of the marked channels.  Just because these are big lakes does not mean they are deep lakes.  Certainly, nothing can ruin a fun fishing trip quicker than a damaged lower unit or even worse an injury caused by striking an unseen underwater object.  
The cold front that passed through the lakes area last Saturday brought us cooler temperatures, especially at night and these cooler temperatures dropped the water temperatures 7 degrees since my report last week.  These dropping water temperatures have moved more shad and bass into the creeks and bays.  

We had nice weather earlier this week and the bass turned on to the fall feed in earnest.  We have encountered a number of actively feeding schools of quality Largemouth in the creeks and bays. The better bite this week started late in the morning and heated up into the afternoon.  We had a nasty cold front move through the area yesterday bringing high NW winds and we are still feeling the results of this first blast of Arctic air as the temperatures today struggled to reach 50.  

Our first freeze warning of the season is out for the lakes area tonight with low's dipping below the freezing mark.  The forecast for tomorrow is for a high of 55 and low of 37 with wind NW6.  Recovery from this front begins on Saturday with a forecasted high of 63 and low of 41 with wind SW14.  Sunday's forecast is calling for a high of 62 and low of 42 with wind NW5.  

The extended forecast into mid next week is showing a warming into the high 60's with low's in the lower 50's with light south winds.  No doubt the fishing slowed some with this present cold front but I expect the fall feeding action to pick up again over the weekend and especially into early next week.  The fall feeding patterns are definitely here now and other than putting up with the expected nasty cold front now and then, we should have some good bass action for the next few weeks. 
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth are being taken on primary points at the mouths of the creeks and bays as well as on secondary points and creek channel banks in the creeks and bays.  These deeper fish are being taken on medium running crankbaits, Texas rigged creature baits and jigs.  

Largemouth are also being taken on the flats in the coves and backs of the creeks and bays as well as some fish being taken on shallow flats on the main lake.  These fish can be taken on topwater lures, square billed and lipless crankbaits, spinnerbaits and swim baits.  Our most productive lures this week on this pattern was lipless crankbaits and spinnerbaits on schooling 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.  We have also been taking some keeper Smallmouth in the creeks and bays on rocky channel banks on crankbaits, finesse jigs and tube jigs.  
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, Bag 5 custom painted square billed crankbaits in blue glimmer, Bag 5 custom painted Strike King Red Eye shad in blue glimmer, Strike King Red Eye Shad in chrome sexy shad, Charmer timber pups in green pumpkin on Texas rigs, D&L baby advantage jigs in Cumberland Craw and "oops" patterns as well as Charmer tubes in road kill and green pumpkin.  
White Bass: White Bass are being taken around the mouths of the creeks and bays schooling of gravel banks and over shallow humps.  These fish are being taken on inline spinners and small crankbaits.  White's are also being taken by trolling inline spinners and small spoons in the creeks and bays.

We encountered a number of larger White Bass starting to school on the flats in the back halves of the creeks and bays this week as they were chasing schools of shad.  As a note of interest, we also caught a few Rockfish and Hybrids while bass fishing the flats this week mixed in with the bass.  
Crappie:  Crappie are being taken by vertically fishing with jigs tipped with minnows over brush piles in 12-15 ft of water around the mouths and front halves of the creeks and bays.  Crappie are also being taken by casting jigs to brush piles in 8-10 ft of water in the creeks and bays.  
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. There are a number of Channel Catfish cruising the shallow flats in the backs of the creeks and bays and feeding on schools of baitfish.  We have taken a number of these Catfish this past week on crankbaits while fishing for bass. 
A new team tournament trail is coming to Kentucky Lake in 2014.  The Anglers In Action Team Trail will have their first tournament here in March.  You can find information and schedules for this trail at www.anglersinaction.com.

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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.

Photo by Melodie Cunningham

September and October marks prime rutting season for elk. Elk rut to defend their territory and females (known as cows).