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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 04/10/2014

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam -  358.19  Surface Temperature - 57

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 358.20  Surface Temperature - 56
Both lakes are about one foot below summer pool and rising.  Kentucky Dam has been generating an average rate of 52,000 cfs the past day or so.  Barkley Dam has been generating an average rate of 22,800 over the past couple of days.  

Due to some heavy rains late last week and earlier this week, both lakes are ahead of schedule on the rise to summer pool which is 359 msl.  We have more rain in the forecast tonight and tomorrow as well as early next week.  At this point there is no way to tell for sure if the TVA will keep the lakes rising at their present rate or if they will slow down the rise, but at the present rate of rise, I expect the lakes will reach summer pool by next mid week.  

You can monitor the lake levels with the link to the TVA site mentioned above.  With the rising lake levels I am seeing some floating debris on both lakes.  It is scattered but one needs to pay attention when running to avoid a mishap with the debris.   The water color on Kentucky Lake is good with only some stain on the shallow flats on windy days.  The water color on Barkley is stained but more than fishable with only a few of the creeks showing heavy stain.  
Cooler weather last weekend and then a nasty cold front earlier this week has kept the water temperatures down through mid week but they are starting to rise today with temperatures today reaching into the 70's and strong south winds.  The forecast is for the warming trend to continue through the weekend with Friday's forecast showing a high of 70 and low of 56 with a 50% chance of scattered thunderstorms and wind SW at 11.  

Saturday is showing an expected high of 78 and low of 63 with a 20% chance of rain and wind S at 15.  Sunday's forecast is for a high of 76 and low of 57 with wind SSW at 17.  Another cold front is due to come through the area late Sunday night bringing with it some cooler temperatures through next mid week.  Highs are projected to be in the high 50's to low 60's with night time low's in the mid 30's to low 40's.  Rain is expected on Sunday night and into Monday with the frontal passage.  All in all the upcoming weekend looks good temperature wise but watch the wind forecasts as it will be coming from the south.
We spent most of the week targeting Largemouth in the creeks and bays where they are staging in large numbers on secondary points and channel banks with some moving shallow during the warmer part of the day.  The best bite for us this week was on jigs and Texas rigged lizards on these staging areas with some medium running crankbait bite also.  

Lipless crankbaits with some spinnerbaits are working in the shallows on warmer days after the shallows have warmed up a few degrees.  With the big warming trend today and over the next few days coupled with the rising water, I expect the shallow bite on the flats off the spawing areas is going to increase in activity.  We did spend a little time and I did receive a number of reports of bass being taken on main lake primary and secondary points also on crankbaits and jigs with some suspending jerk bait bite still producing some fish.  

As with last week, we are catching large numbers of smaller buck bass on the staging points and banks but we are also catching some nice fish up to 5lbs plus by backing off and fishing a little deeper on those areas where we are catching the bucks.  
LARGEMOUTH BASS: Largemouth are being taken by slow rolling medium running crankbaits, jigs, tube jigs and suspending jerk baits on primary points and main lake secondary points.  Largemouth are also being taken on secondary creek channel points and channel banks in the creeks and bays. These fish are being taken on medium running crankbaits, jigs and Texas rigged lizards.   

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 black/silver and also in rootbeer painted by BAG5 Baits.  Strike King DT6 in red crawfish .  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 lizards in green pumpkin and watermelon/red, 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.  Expect the Black Crappie to be active this weekend with the warming waters.  

More Kentucky Lake Fishing Reports

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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.