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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 04/24/2014

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 358.72  Surface Temperature - 65

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 358.85  Surface Temperature - 65
Both lakes are just slightly under summer pool and on a slow rise.  At the present rate, expect the lakes to reach summer pool late this weekend barring any unforeseen large influx of water.  Kentucky Dam has been generating between 7,000 cfs and 20,000 cfs over the past day.  

Barkley Dam has been generating an average of 8,100 cfs over the past day.  

Kentucky Lake is clear with only a little stain in the backs of some creeks.  Lake Barkley is stained but definitely fishable.  
I have had a health issue come up and I will not be on the water starting next week for one month.  I have an abdominal aortic aneurism which has grown rapidly over the past few months according to my doctor and this needs to be addressed.  

I have been scheduled to be operated on next Wednesday morning at Vanderbilt Hospital to have a stint placed in my abdominal aorta.  I have been ordered off the water for one month following the operation so I will be resuming my guide service duties the first of June.  

I appreciate the understanding of all my clients that were scheduled for May that I have had to cancel and all the kind words of support I have received over the past few days.  I will only publish reports during the month of May if I have enough valid information to do so.  I do have a very good network but will not publish a fishing report unless the information I am getting is validated by a number of my network folks.  
The bass fishing has been fair to good depending on the day this past week.  As expected the water temperatures did rise with the warmer weather last weekend and I have seen some movement of the Largmouth near the spawning areas but most of the fish we are taking are still holding just off the spawning areas on the lead in banks and adjacent secondary points.  

I have seen a number of large females cruising the shallows during the warmer parts of the day this past week and we did manage to catch a few of them.  Our best bite has still been on Texas rigged lizards and jigs on the staging banks and points but we are getting some fish on the flats in front of the spawning areas on the lizards and also on a whacky rigged trick worm as well as chatterbaits and spinnerbaits.  

We have yet to catch any Largemouth showing signs of having been fanning nests...so as I expected, the late rise in water temperatures and the up and down raising and lowering of the water levels last week has kept the majority of the Largemouth from moving up to spawn.  I expect this will change rapidly over the next few days and we will start seeing more Largemouth in the spawning areas if the water continues to rise.
We have a front coming thru the lakes area tonight and the forecast for Friday is post frontal with a high of 75, low of 50 with wind WNW at 14.  Saturday looks good with a high of 81, low of 56 with wind SSW at 11.  Another slow moving front is forecasted to approach the area Sunday and the forecast is for a high of 83, low of 64 with a 30% chance of isolated thunderstorms and wind SSE at 13.  

As the front moves closer on Monday, we can expect an 80% chance of rain with a chance of severe thunderstorms.  The extended forecast for mid week is a cool post frontal period with high's in the low to mid 60's and low's back into the 40's for a few days.
LARGEMOUTH BASS:   Largemouth are  being taken on channel banks and secondary points just off the spawning areas on Texas rigged lizards and creature baits, jigs and tube jigs.  Largemouth are also being taken on the 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, spinnerbaits, Texas rigged lizards and whacky rigged worms.  There is a lot of buck bass activity and numbers of smaller Largemouth are being taken but we are also getting some nice 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  jigs and tube jigs as they are spawning.  Although the numbers are few, some nice fish have been taken.  
Productive lures:  Spro Little John crankbaits in spring craw pattern.  Strike King Red Eye Shad in chrome sexy shad, Slong's spinnerbaits in blue glimmer and white/chartreuse, Chatterbaits in shad patterns,  D&L baby advantage jigs in Cumberland craw and "oops" patterns. Last Cast Hairy Bug jigs in green pumpkin. Charmer lizards in green pumpkin, green pumpkin/blue and watermelon/red, Charmer tubes in green pumpkin with orange and purple flake and smoke purple and whacky rigged Zoom trick worms in watermelon/purple and watermelon red.   
CRAPPIE:   Crappie reports indicate that some of the Crappie have now spawned and that some are still to spawn.  The post spawn fish are being taken by vertically fishing with curly tail jigs and jigs tipped with minnows on spider rigs and by long line trolling in 8-14 ft of water.  There are still some spawning Crappie moving to the banks in 4-6 ft of water during the warm part of the day.  These spawners are being taken by casting curly tail jigs and by fishing with minnows under bobbers.  

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Now That You're 'Hooked' on Fishing... Come See Us!

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 Ray Stainfield

No camping excursion is complete with a serenade from the resident bullfrog. There are a vast variety of amphibians to be found throughout the Land Between The Lakes Area.