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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 02/28/2014

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 355.35   Surface Temperature - 45

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 355.40  Surface Temperature - 44
Both lakes are one foot over winter pool.  Kentucky Dam has been spilling at an average rate of 113,000 cfs over the past few days.  Barkley Dam has been spilling at a rate of just over 34,000 cfs over the past few days.  

With the water levels 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.  
Well it is time to start a new season but someone has forgotten to tell mother nature.  Certainly it has been a long rough winter and it just doesn't want to go away it seems.  I wish the weather forecast was better but it is what it is.  Tomorrow shows to be the best day over the next week or so with a high of 52 and low of 43 with wind SSE6.  

Another arctic cold front is coming in on Sunday with an 80% chance of rain, sleet, ice and snow (take your choice as the weather man hasn't made up his mind yet which it will be).  The forecasted high on Sunday is 43 with a low of 21 with wind N14.  Monday is going back to the deep freeze with a high of 27 and low of 8 with an early morning chance of snow or rain.  Wind is forecast to be N16.  The extended forecast  shows temperatures reaching the mid 40's for highs and mid 20's for low's by Wednesday.  
As you can see, our water temperatures are running 5-6 degrees below average for the first of March so we are still in winter bass patterns.  The bite is slow but some fish are being taken when the weather allows for getting on the lakes.  The best producers have been suspending jerkbaits fished with long pauses, slow rolled Alabama rigs, fluttering blade baits around cover and medium running crawfish colored crankbaits slow rolled around shallow rock near deeper water.  

The better bite has been during the warmer part of the day on the few warmer days we have gotten between cold fronts.  Hopefully we are going to see the weather turn for the better soon but this is not in the immediate forecast.  The water color on Kentucky is stained for the most part both in the creeks and bays as well as on the main lake.  The water color on Barkley is heavily stained on the main lake with some of the creeks being down right muddy.
LARGEMOUTH BASS:  Largemouth are being taken on suspending jerkbaits both shallow and deep divers fished in current breaks on the main lake and on channel points in the mouths of the creeks and bays.  Largemouth are also being taken by slow rolling Alabama rigs in current breaks near cover on the main lakes and on shallow ledges in the mouths of the creeks and bays. 

Some fish are also being taken by fluttering blade baits near cover in current breaks and off channel points in the creeks and bays.  Another pattern that has been producing a few good fish is slow rolling crawfish colored crankbaits and working finesse jigs on shallow rocky banks near deep water on the main lake and in the mouths of the creeks and bays during the warmer part of the day.  
SMALLMOUTH BASS:  Some Smallmouth have been taken on main lake gravel banks and points on suspending jerkbaits.  Although the numbers are few, some nice fish have been taken.  These fish should be getting more active soon with just a slight warm up of the surface temperatures.
CRAPPIE:  Some Crappie are being taken on the warmer days as they are suspending over brush piles in staging areas at the mouths of the creeks and bays in 12-16 ft of water.  These fish are being taken primarily on jigs tipped with minnows fished vertically.  The numbers are still being reported as low but some nice big winter time Crappie have been taken.

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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.

Fishing at Sunset
Photo by Sherry Bailey

So many childhood memories have been made on the banks of Kentucky and Barkley Lakes. These boys are determined to fish until the sun goes down.