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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 05/01/2014

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 359.85  Surface Temperature - 65

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 359.75  Surface Temperature - 65
Both lakes are about one foot over summer pool and on a drawdown.  Kentucky Dam has been spilling at an average rate of between 120.000 cfs and 88,000 cfs today.  Barkley Dam has been spilling at an average rate of about 85,000 cfs today.  

Kentucky Lake clarity ranges from lightly stained on the main lake to stained in many of the creeks and bays with a few creeks heavily stained but fishable.  Lake Barkley clarity ranges from heavily stained on the main lake to muddy in most of the creeks and bays.  
In last week's report I announced that I would be undergoing surgery this past week to correct an aneurysm in my abdominal aorta and thus would be out of pocket and not publishing a report during May as I would be recovering from my operation.  

My operation was cancelled at the last minute this past week (actually while I was on the operating table and already under anesthesia).  My operation will be rescheduled for later this summer after a new stint is fabricated to address my particular problem... so I am back on the water again and since I cancelled all of my May trips, I will certainly be contacting those folks I had to cancel to offer them a reschedule but I am sure I will have some openings this month if you wish to take a guided bass trip with me give me a call or drop me an email to check my availability.  

I wish to thank all the great folks that contacted me to let me know they were keeping me and my family in their thoughts and prayers.  It is very comforting to know that we have so many good friends.  
A lot has happened not only to me this past week but here in the lakes area.  Last weekend the lakes were close to reaching summer pool levels and the Largemouth were starting to move shallow in more numbers for the spawn.  We took a number of nice fish moving into the spawning areas last Saturday.  Then came the wind and rain from the slow moving cold front that moved across the area early in the week.  

The heavy rains here in the local area and up the rivers shot the lake levels up rapidly to one foot over pool and the TVA and Corps opened the gates on the both the dams.  The lakes are right now on a draw down back to summer pool levels. The Largemouth have moved into the shallows for spawning in big numbers now and the late prespawn/spawn bite is on.  

The heavy rains and inflow has muddied up Lake Barkley but fish are being taken.  Kentucky is stained on the main lake with some heavier stain in the creeks and bays but more than fishable and late prespawn bass are being taken.  Crappie anglers are reporting that most of the Crappie have now spawned but there are some late spawners still to be had.  

Most of the fish being taken the past couple of days are reported to be post spawn fish suspending over brush piles in 8-14 ft of water in the creeks and bays.  Some Crappie are still being taken shallow in 3-6 ft of water near wood cover. 
I received a number of reports of the Bluegill now staging in the creeks around flooded bushes in the 3-5 ft range for their up coming spawn.  I received some more reports that the Channel Catfish are now moving to the rocky banks on the main lakes and also in the creeks and bays to begin their spawning.  
After a few days of cooler post frontal weather associated with the big cold front, the weather outlook for the weekend and next week is looking good.  Friday's forecast is calling for a post frontal high of 66 and low of 46 with wind WSW at 13.  Saturday begins the warm up again with a high of 77 and low of 53 with wind WSW at 12.  Sunday is showing even warmer with a high of 84 and low of 58 with wind SSW at 12.  The extended forecast through mid next week is for high's in the mid 80's and low's in the 60's with a southern flow of wind.  
LARGEMOUTH BASS:   Largemouth are being taken in the spawning areas in the backs of the creeks and bays as well as the coves in the creeks and bays.  These fish are located around and in the button brush as well as cypress trees and other cover.  These late prespawn and spawning fish are being taken on a myriad of lures and techniques.  Texas rigged lizards and creature baits, jigs, spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, whacky rigged worms, lipless crankbaits and topwater lures are all being reported as catching fish.  

Our best bite during my last trip out was on Texas rigged lizards, whacky rigged worms and jigs.  There are still a number of Largemouth on the final  staging points and banks just off the spawning areas especially around wood cover and these fish are being taken on shallow running crankbaits, spinnerbaits, jigs, tube jigs and Texas rigged lizards and creature baits.    
SMALLMOUTH BASS:  Smallmouth are being taken on gravel banks and points on the main lakes as well as in the creeks and bays.  There are a few of these fish still spawning but the majority of these fish are now on post spawn patterns.  Jigs, shaky heads, tube jigs and Carolina rigged creature baits are taking some fish.  I expect we will see these fish on an early morning and late evening topwater bite very soon.    
Productive lures:  Strike King Red Eye Shad in chrome sexy shad and 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 and Timber Pups 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 most 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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Eagle Eye View
Photo by Ray Stainfield

This eagle has "puffed up" his feathers to appear more threatening. He hopes to intimidate a nearby enemy.