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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 03/27/2014

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 355.78  Surface Temperature - 51

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 355.75  Surface Temperature - 51
Both lakes are about one and three quarters feet above winter pool and there has been little change over the past few days.  Kentucky Dam has been generating at varying rates between 7,000 cfs and 29,000 cfs over the past few days.  Barkley Dam has been generating at varying rates between 8,600 cfs and 27,000 cfs over the past few days. 

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.  One can expect the lake levels to begin rising next week as the TVA starts to bring the lakes up to summer pool levels.  Unless there is a large influx of water due to heavy rains here or up the rivers, the lakes should reach summer pool by the end of April in accordance with the TVA River Operating Schedule.  
Well we are still in early March weather patterns with early March water temperatures here at the end of the month.  We continue to get cold fronts about every 48-72 hours through the lakes area.  This week we even woke up to snow covering the ground one morning.  

These cold fronts are keeping our daytime high temperatures well below normal for this time of year and of course our night time low's much lower than normal with the only exception of a nice warmer day just now and then.  These unseasonably lower temperatures have kept our water temperatures still running about 7-8 degrees below normal for this time of year.  

The Bass patterns have not changed nor have the Crappie patterns and won't until we get some extended warmer weather to bring up the water temperatures.  The Bass on the north ends of the lakes is still in early prespawn patterns with the far south end of Kentucky Lake on prespawn patterns where the water is a little warmer and the fish a little more active. 
Today we have lake winds warnings out with high south winds as another cold front approaches the area.  At least this cold front is not quite as harsh as those earlier this week and the weekend outlook is better than the weather we have had this past week.  Friday's forecast is for a high of 66 and a low of 47 with a 20% chance of rain.  Wind is forecasted to be a post frontal wind from the N at 10. 

Saturday's forecast looks like it may get some rough water with a high of 58, low of 35 with more post frontal wind of NNW at 15.  Sunday is looking pretty good with a high of 66 and a low of 43 with a light post frontal wind of ESE at 5.  The extended forecast into mid next week is showing more seasonable temperatures with day time high's ranging from low 60's to low 70's with slight chances of rain on Monday and Wednesday.  The best advice I can give anyone is to keep an eye on the weather and wind forecasts right now as I have seen the forecasts change a number of times during each day this past week.
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.  
Productive lures:  Rapala Shadraps in orginal crawdad, and also in rootbeer painted by BAG5 Baits.  Strike King DT6 in red crawfish and Demon.  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 by long lining (trolling) jigs and 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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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

This coyote stares down a local photographer in the Land Between The Lakes area. Coyotes are quite common in this region.