Dave Stewart's Fishing Report
Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 03/21/2014
Kentucky Lake: Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 354.95 Surface Temperature - 51 Lake Barkley: Water Level at Barkley Dam - 354.90 Surface Temperature - 49 Both lakes are about one foot over winter pool. Kentucky Dam is generating an average rate of 14,500 cfs. Barkley Dam is generating an average rate of 30,600. Kentucky Lake water clarity ranges from clear to slightly stained. Lake Barkley ranges from stained to heavily stained. 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. High winds were the scenario here on the lakes many days this past week but we did get a couple of nice warmer days which allowed anglers to get on the water. Water temperatures dropped a little earlier in the week with a cold front but rebounded nicely the past couple of days although we are still running about 6-7 degrees below normal for this time of year. The far south end of Kentucky Lake where the water is warmer and the fish are in prespawn patterns produced some very nice bags in tournaments with some bags topping the 30lbs range. The north end of Kentucky Lake is still in early prespawn patterns but the slowly warming water is getting the bass more active and numbers of fish taken increasing. What we are seeing on the north end is a lot of buck bass activity with some of the larger females starting to get more active. We have more wind in the forecast today with a high of 69 and low of 46 associated with another frontal passage. Wind today is forecasted to be SSW at 15. We are in for another cool down behind this front with Saturday's temperatures showing a high of 57 and low of 36 with a slight chance of rain and wind N at 11. A high of 49 is forecasted for Sunday with a low of 28 with wind N at 13. The colder weather is forecasted to continue through mid week with daily high's in the 40's and low's in the 20's-30's. The good news is that another warming trend is forecasted to begin after the mid week with temperatures going back up to more normal for this time of year with high's in the 60's. No doubt we are in the typically unpredictable March weather patterns with it being cold a few days after frontal passages and followed by a warmer day or two as the next front approaches. The Largemouth patterns have pretty much remained the same except we are now starting to see some early Largemouth now roaming a little more shallow in the creeks and bays during the warm part of the days. Slow rolled crankbaits have been the best producers this week both on the main lakes and in the creeks and bays with lipless crankbaits, spinnerbaits, suspending jerkbaits, Alabama rigs, tube jigs and jigs also producing. The reports I have received on the Crappie indicated that they were still somewhat scattered but fish were being taken here and there over staging brush piles around the mouths of the creeks and bays as well as in the front halves of the creeks and bays in the 12 - 16 ft range. LARGEMOUTH BASS: Largemouth are being taken by slow rolling deep diving crankbaits on primary points on the main lakes and deep secondary channel points in the mouths of the creeks and bays. Medium running crankbaits, lipless crankbaits, slow rolled spinnerbaits, tube jigs and jigs are taking Largemouth on gravel bars and shallow chunk rock banks near deep water on the main lakes and in the creeks and bays during the warm part of the day. Largemouth are also being taken on suspending jerkbaits on the main lake points and on channel points in the mouths of the creeks and bays. Largemouth are also being taken by slow rolling Alabama rigs near cover on the main lakes and on shallow ledges in the mouths of the creeks and bays. SMALLMOUTH BASS: Some Smallmouth have been taken on main lake gravel banks and points on suspending jerkbaits and slow rolled crankbaits. Although the numbers are few, some nice fish have been taken. These fish are starting to get a little more active with the warming water. Productive lures: Rapala Shadraps in orginal crawdad, and also in rootbeer painted by BAG5 Baits. Strike King DT6 in red crawdad and Bandit medium runners in red crawfish and rootbeer/chartreuse patterns. Strike King Red Eye Shad in red craw and chrome sexy shad, Slong's spinnerbaits in blue glimmer and white/chartreuse, Lucky Craft pointers in aurora black and pearl ayu. BAG5 custom painted megabass jerk baits in aurora black. D&L baby advantage jigs in "oops" pattern and black/blue. Charmer tubes in green pumpkin with orange and purple flake and Big Hammer swim baits in pearl and sexy smelt on Alabama rigs. 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 and by spider rigging. The Crappie were reported as scattered for the most part but some nice fish have been taken.
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