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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 05/09/2014

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 359.48  Surface Temperature - 68

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 359.45  Surface Temperature - 68
Both lakes about one half foot over summer pool.  Kentucky Dam has been generating at an average rate of 29,000 cfs today.  Barkley dam has been generating at an average rate of 19,200 cfs today.
This has been a week of above normal temperatures, sunny skies and lots of south wind.  We have had lake wind warnings out every day this past week.  Although the wind has made moving around the lakes and fishing somewhat of a challenge, it has not kept the anglers off the lakes for the most part.  

The winds this week were caused by a stationary line of low pressure sitting to our northwest all week with a high pressure area sitting to our east.  This line of low pressure is now slowly moving toward the lakes area today bringing with it some rain and scattered thunderstorms.  We are forecasted to have a chance of thunderstorms and south winds in our forecast through Monday until the front has moved through the lakes area.  

The extended forecast after Monday through next midweek is for post frontal conditions bringing more seasonable temperatures with a chance of thunderstorms through mid week.  The forecast for the weekend is as follows:  Saturday is calling for a high of 81 and low of 67 with wind S at 7 with a 30% chance of isolated thunderstorms.  Sunday's forecast is for a high of 83, low of 69 with wind S at 12 and a 40% chance of scattered thunderstorms.  
At the time of last week's report the lakes were one foot over summer pool.  Since last week the TVA drew the lakes down to levels just under summer pool and then they brought the lakes slowly back up to present levels.  The quick draw down had an impact on the Largemouth fishing.  

Just as large numbers of late prespawn Largemouth moved into the shallows to bed, the lakes were drawn down and many of these fish moved back out onto the adjacent staging areas and somewhat scattered these fish.  The fish that were already on the beds were not affected, but  many of the fish that had not locked on the beds moved out.  What we have going right now is some post spawn Largemouth from the early spawners, some Largemouth on the beds and some late prespawn Largemouth yet to move onto the beds.  

We took a some numbers of late prespawn Largemouth this week on the staging points and banks just off the spawning areas with only slight tail rubs or no signs of tail rubs that were full of eggs.  These are the fish that pulled back when the water was dropped.  We also had a few post spawn fish with bloody tails that had already spawned out in these areas, but we had more late prespawners than post spawners.

What this tells me is that we still have a number of Largemouth that have yet to spawn and these fish are now moving shallow with the rise in the water levels over the past 24 hours and with the full moon phase approaching early this next week, there are going to be numbers of Largemouth going on the beds over the next few days.  
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 as well as on staging points and lead in banks just off the shallow spawning areas.  The shallow 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, and topwater lures are all being reported as catching fish.  Our best bite this week was on spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, Texas rigged lizards and creature baits, whacky rigged worms and jigs working the staging areas just off the spawning areas where the late prespawn fish had moved out with the drop in the water levels.     
SMALLMOUTH BASS:  Smallmouth on post spawn patterns now and are being taken on gravel banks and points on the main lakes as well as in the creeks and bays.  Jigs, shaky heads, tube jigs and Carolina rigged creature baits are taking some fish.  There are some Smallmouth now being taken early in the morning on gravel main lake points on topwater lures.    
Productive lures:  Chatterbuzz buzzbaits in white and white/chartreuse, Lucky Craft Sammy in ghost pearl lemon,  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 with only a few late spawners.  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 early and late in the day.  These spawners are being taken by casting curly tail jigs and by fishing with minnows under bobbers.  
Bluegill/Redear:  The Bluegills have been active this week on gravel flats near the button brush and mustard flowers in the creeks and bays.  These fish are starting to come in numbers now and with the full moon approaching, this coming week should be very good for them.  

The Bluegills are being taken with crickets and worms under bobbers as well as on split shot rigs dragged on bottom with small jigs tipped with worms.  The Redears are starting to show up on gravel banks and especially on gravel bars in 3-6 ft of water and although I have not received any reports yet of big numbers, this should change also with the approaching full moon.  These fish are being taken on the same baits and techniques as the Bluegill.  
Catfish:  Catfish are now being taken in large numbers on shallow rocky flats and banks both in the creeks and bays and on the main lakes.  These fish are spawning and very active.  These fish are being best taken on nightcrawlers fished both on bottom and under bobbers.  A lot of jug fishermen are now working the shallow flats so boaters should be aware of these floating jugs when transversing the flats in the creeks and bays.  

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Photo by Jennifer Dunnaway

We photographed this doe peeking from behind some tall grass near Honker Bay in Land Between The Lakes.