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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 10/31/2013

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 354.85  Surface Temperature - 62

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 354.85  Surface Temperature - 62
Both lakes are slightly less than one foot over winter pool.  Kentucky Dam has been generating at an average rate of 44,000 cfs over the past couple of days.  Barkley Dam has been varying generation between 8,400 -17,200 cfs over the past 24 hours.  

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 nights associated with the passing of the nasty cold front late last week served to drop the water temperatures another 3 degrees since my last report.  We are still a couple of degrees over average water temperatures for the end of October but I expect we will catch up and be back on schedule over the next few days. 

We have a major cold front coming from the west which is forecasted to pass through the area tomorrow.  We are experiencing gale force winds and storms today ahead of this front.  The forecast for tomorrow is for a high of 68 and low of 45 with wind WSW 14.  Saturday's forecast is post frontal with a high of 58 and low of 36 with wind NW 13.  

Sunday's forecast is calling for a high of 57 and low of 41 with wind E 5.  The extended forecast thru midweek is for high's in the mid 60's and low's around 50 with south quadrant wind.  Rain chances are forecasted to increase around next midweek with the approach of the next front.  
Bass fishing has been like a roller coaster this past week with some good days and some slow days.  The slower days were associated with post frontal flat water and on those days there was little fall schooling activity to be seen.  

On days we had a little more wind, the fish bass were getting very active late in the morning and into the early afternoon.  As I mentioned in my last report, you need to be versatile with your patterns this time of year.  On the slower days, the best pattern has been fishing finesse jigs and Texas rigged creature baits on lead in channel banks and secondary points out from the flats in the backs of the creeks and coves.  

On the more active days, the bass are schooling on shallow banks and the backs of the creeks and bays feeding on schools of shad.  Our best bite on the schooling fish have been on spinnerbaits, lipless crankbaits and square billed crankbaits.  There is some topwater bite early in the day in the backs of the creeks on some days but we have not taken any big numbers on this bite lately.  
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 with some crankbait bite 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. Some larger White Bass are now schooling on active days on the flats in the backs of the creeks and bays.  There are some Rockfish and Hybrids feeding in the back halves of the creeks and bays also on active bite days. 
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 lately on crankbaits while fishing for bass. 

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.

Kentucky Lake Sunset
Photo by Shawn Dunnaway

Sunsets at Kentucky Lake are special. You can find them on the eastern banks of Kentucky Lake looking west across a mile of ripples and waves. There's nothing quite like experiencing a sunset on Kentucky Lake.