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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 04/04/2014

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 357.12   Surface Temperature - 56

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 357.40  Surface Temperature - 55
Both lakes are two feet below summer pool and on a slow rise.  Kentucky Dam has been generating around 14,800 cfs over the past few days.  Barkley Dam has been generating an average rate of 9,300 cfs over the past few days.  
Spring has finally arrived in the lakes area and it did so with a bang as daytime temperatures earlier this week reached the mid to high 70's with light winds.  The warm up shot the water temperatures up and woke up both the Bass and the Crappie especially during the warm part of the days.  We actually found afternoon water temperatures in the low to mid 60's earlier this week on both lakes.  

The smaller Largemouth buck bass were very active this week as they were moving onto the staging banks just off the spawning areas and were readily being taken near the banks.  The larger female Largemouth were holding off the banks and staging points in the creeks a little deeper but they could be taken if you waded through the buck bass first which were taking the lures first and you backed off the banks and points to fish a little deeper.  

We did find some nice larger females on the warmer days during the latter part of the day cruising the flats in the backs of the creeks and bays and in spawning coves as they were feeding on schools of shad being drawn into the warmer water during the afternoon.  We took a number of nice females as shallow as 2-3 ft of water on the flats near wood cover.  

Crappie anglers benefited from the warm up too as the earlier spawning Black Crappie made a move to the staging areas in 3-5 ft of water and were being taken by anglers casting curly tail jigs, road runner type lures and vertically fishing with minnows under bobbers around shallow wood near the banks.  
The down side of this report would be that we had a major spring front come through the lakes area early this morning.  This front brought high winds and heavy rains on Wednesday night and again last night.  Just when Lake Barkley water color was clearing up good, here comes the heavy rains and now Lake Barkley has again become stained to heavily stained with some of the creeks now being down right muddy. 

Kentucky Lake water color is good so far with some stained to heavily stained in the backs of some of the shallower creeks and bays.  The up side to this report is that even though the this was a strong front, it was not an arctic type front so we should not see a large drop in the water temperatures.  

The forecast for today is a high of 60 with high winds of WNW at 20 and gusting.  We will be in post frontal conditions for the next few days with Saturday's forecast being a high of 59 and low of 39 with NNE wind at 7.  Sunday is showing a high of 66 with a low of 50 with wind E at 7.  The forecast through next mid week is showing post frontal with high's in the mid 50's on Monday and high's in the low 60's through Wednesday.  A slight chance of rain showers is in the forecast for early next week also.  
LARGEMOUTH BASS: Largemouth are being taken by slow rolling medium running crankbaits, jigs and tube jigs on primary points as well as secondary creek channel points and channel banks in the creeks and bays.   

Largemouth are also being taken on shallow banks just off the spawning areas and on flats adjacent to spawning areas in the backs of the creeks and bays during the warmer part of the day with lipless crankbaits, shallow running crankbaits and spinnerbaits.  There is a lot of buck bass activity and numbers of smaller Largemouth are being taken but we are also getting some nice early female Largemouth too.  The Largemouth fishing has been good this past week.  
SMALLMOUTH BASS:  Some Smallmouth have been taken on main lake gravel banks and also on gravel creek channel banks in the creeks and bays on  medium running crankbaits, jigs and tube jigs.  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. Spro Little John in spring craw pattern.  Strike King Red Eye Shad in red craw and chrome sexy shad, Slong's spinnerbaits in blue glimmer and white/chartreuse,  D&L baby advantage jigs in Cumberland craw and "oops" patterns. Last Cast Hairy Bug jigs in green pumpkin. Charmer tubes in green pumpkin with orange and purple flake and road kill.  
CRAPPIE:  Black Crappie are being taken over brush piles in 6-8 ft of water off spawning banks and points in the creeks and bays over brush piles and stumps by vertically fishing with minnows under bobbers and by casting curly tail jigs.  Black Crappie are also being taken by casting to the banks adjacent to these staging areas with curly tail jigs and road runner type jigs in 3-5 ft of water as well as by fishing with minnows under bobbers on these banks.

White Crappie for the most part are still being taken on staging brush in 8-15 ft of water over brush piles in the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken by vertically fishing with curly tail jigs and jigs tipped with minnows on spider rigs.  The Crappie fishing is reported to be good.  

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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 Nancy Smith

There are few things more beautiful than a Kentucky Lake sunset. The best place to view a sunset is from the western shore of Land Between The Lakes.