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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 04/17/2014

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 358.41  Surface Temperature - 60

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 358.50  Surface Temperature - 60
 
Both lakes are about one half foot below summer pool.  Kentucky Dam has been generating an average rate of 60,000 cfs over the past day.  Barkley Dam has been generating an average rate of 34,000 cfs over the past day or so.

Kentucky Lake is clear with only a little stain in the backs of some creeks.  Lake Barkley is stained but definitely fishable.  
 
After the nice warm up period we had at the end of last week, we got hit with an arctic front early this week.  Base water temperatures went from 64 on Sunday to 59 by Wednesday morning.  As one would expect this drop in water temperatures slowed the bass bite some but we still managed to get some very nice fish and a lot of buck bass on Wednesday.  

The only tough day of fishing we had this week was this morning as cold wind and high pressure slowed the morning bite way down although we did manage some buck bass and one or two keepers.  Wednesday was a good day with some numbers of fish in the 3-5 lbs class and lots of bucks.  The warm up last weekend tuned the fish on until the cold front hit.  

Our best bass last weekend was a nice 8lb prespawn female.  Too add to the up and down of temperatures, the TVA has raised the lakes 6 inches, dropped the lakes 6 inches and then brought them back up 6 inches all within the past 4 days...and if the TVA's forecast is right, they are going to lower it 6 inches again by midnight tomorrow night.  

All this has kind of frozen the Largemouth on the staging points and lead in staging banks off the spawning areas.  Our best bite again this week was on jigs, Texas rigged lizards and tube jigs although lipless crankbaits, chatterbaits and spinnerbaits have produced some fish.  

The good news is that the extended weather forecast looks great and I expect to see the water temperatures rise fast over the next week which going to move some active feeding late prespawn bass into the shallows.  The Crappie reports this week indicated that the cold front took its toll also on the shallow spawning Crappie and that they had backed off and were suspending and scattered.  

Since the frontal passage, the Crappie being taken were being taken by folks trolling long lines on the deeper flats in the creeks and bays and by others spider rigging over brush piles in 8-14 ft of water in the creeks.  Again, I expect the rapid warm up we have coming will move a lot of these Crappie back to the shallow banks for spawning.
 
LARGEMOUTH BASS:  Largemouth are  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, tube 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, chatterbaits 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.   
 
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.  Spro Little John in spring craw pattern.  Strike King Red Eye Shad in 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, green pumpkin and road kill.  
 
CRAPPIE:   Crappie for the most part are  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 and by long line trolling.   Expect the Crappie to be getting more active this weekend with the warming waters and look for some numbers of them to move to spawning banks in 4-6 ft of water.

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.


Fallow Deer
Photo by Murray Blake

There are only a few small herds of fallow deer in Land Between The Lakes, but occasionally a lucky explorer will catch a glimpse of one.