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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 11/17/2013

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 354.90  Surface Temperature - 55

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 355.00  Surface Temperature - 55
Both lakes are one foot over winter pool.  Kentucky Dam has been generating an average flow of 34,000 cfs over the past few days.   Barkley Dam has been generating between 8300-17000 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.  
I apologize for this report being three days late this week but the weather since last weekend has been less than hospitable for anglers here on the big lakes.  

I did manage to get out a couple of times just after my last report but not since then.  We had a nasty cold snap earlier in the week with high north winds and then even though it started warming up toward the end of this past week, the south winds were blowing and we had lake wind advisories.  

The water temperatures dropped a few degrees with the nasty cold weather we had earlier in the week and the few reports I have had were the bite has been slow which is what I would expect behind an arctic front this time of year.  We have strong storms and wind advisories out on the lakes again today as another front will be coming through the lakes area today.  

This front is not an arctic front so the weather looks pretty good this week for anglers to get back on the water to enjoy some late fall fishing.  The forecast for tomorrow is post frontal with a high of 61 and low of 37 with wind NW12.  Tuesday shows a high of 56 and low of 35 with wind ENE7.  Wednesday's forecast looks good with a high of 61 and low of 45 with wind SE9.  

A chance for some rain will return to the forecast late this next week with an approaching arctic front which if the forecast is accurate will bring more cold weather next weekend.  Winter is knocking on the door folks so if you want to get in on the late fall fishing, I would suggest you try to get out within the next few days.  The patterns we experienced prior to the last cold snap were pretty much the same as was reported in my last report.  

Our best bite was on schooling fish in the backs of the creeks and bays on topwater lures, spinnerbaits and flat sided crankbaits. The action was scattered and the better action was late morning through the afternoon. The few reports I have had since the latest warm up the past few days is pretty much the same.   
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 topwater lures, 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, 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.  

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.

Honker Bay
Photo by John Mahler

Honker Bay, located near The Nature Station, is a great place to hike or simply stop to observe a beautiful sunset.