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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 05/15/2014

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 359.30  Surface Temperature - 71

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 359.35  Surface Temperature - 71
Both lakes are a few inches over summer pool.  Kentucky Dam has been varying generation today between 14,000 cfs - 34,700 cfs.  Barkley Dam has been varying generation today between 84,00 cfs - 17,200 cfs.  
We started out this week with summer like temperatures reaching the high 80's to near 90.  Then a nasty cold front moved through the lakes area yesterday bringing with it some heavy rains and cooler temperatures.  One day your in shorts and t-shirts and the next day your back in Gortex.  

Early this week the lakes were back up almost a foot over summer pool and then the TVA pulled the bottom out again and dumped the lakes back to summer pool.  I have lost count how many times this has happened over the past month...it is no wonder the Largemouth spawn has been spread out for so long and that now we have every pattern going you could imagine.  

We still have late prespawn bass although the numbers are dwindling, we have Largemouth on the beds and we have post spawners in numbers.  The shad started their spawn early this week and the post spawn bass have been having a field day feeding on these easy targets with a few late prespawner's mixed in.  The cold front dropped the water temperatures a couple of degrees over the past two days and slowed the shallow spawning bite down and the post spawn bite slowed a little but it is still the more reliable pattern this week.  

The forecast for tomorrow and the weekend is for post frontal conditions with a high tomorrow of 63 and low of 45 with wind W at 13.  Saturday's forecast is showing a high of 67 and low of 47 with a 20% chance of rain and wind E at 4 (flat water).  Sunday's forecast continues post frontal with a high of 70 and low of 48 with wind NE at 5.  

We will start rebounding early next week with daytime high's reaching the mid 80's by midweek with low's in the 60's and south quadrant winds.  The Bluegill spawn went into full swing this week with the full moon as well as the catfish spawn.  Red Ears are also getting more active although the cold front did seem to slow these fish down the past couple of days according to the reports I received.
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth are being taken on a myriad of patterns.  Post spawn Largemouth are being taken on primary and secondary points in the creeks and bays as well as ledges in the deeper creeks and bays as they are feeding on large schools of spawning shad.  These fish are being taken on crankbaits, spinnerbaits, chatterbaits,  Carolina rigged creature baits, jigs, tube jigs and shaky heads. 

Our best bite on this pattern was on jigs with over 5 limits taken on Monday working points in the creeks and bays as I was preparing a client for an upcoming tournament.  We left fish biting on almost every spot we hit.  Largemouth are also still being taken in the shallow spawning areas around the bushes and on staging banks and points just off the spawning areas. 

Most of these fish are bucks guarding the nests but there are still females on the nests and some late prespawn Largemouth still feeding up.  We took a few very nice late prespawn bass shallow this past week also still full of eggs with only small spots on their tails where they had started fanning nests.  These fish are being taken on topwater lures, spinnerbaits, chatterbaits early in the morning and then jigs, Texas rigged lizards and creature baits and whacky rigged worms later in the day.  
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth are being taken on primary and  secondary points in the creeks and bays feeding on large schools of spawning shad.  These fish are being taken on crankbaits, jigs and tube jigs.  Some Smallmouth are also being taken early in the morning on gravel points on the main lakes on topwater lures, crankbaits and jigs.  We had some very nice Smallmouth this week feeding on the spawning shad.
Some of the more productive lures reported this week:  Bag5 custom painted medium and deep running crankbaits in green gizzard shad, Strike King XD 5 and XD6 series in sexy shad and chartreuse sexy shad, Chatterbaits in shad patterns, Slong's spinnerbaits in blue glimmer and white/chartreuse, Charmer lizards in green pumpkin, green pumpkin/blue fleck and watermelon with red fleck, Charmer timber pups in green pumpkin and watermelon with red fleck, Charmer tubes in smoke purple, D&L jigs in Cumberland craw and Oops patterns and Strike King trick worms on whacky rigs in green pumpkin, watermelon with purple fleck and watermelon with red fleck.  
Bluegill/Red Ears:  Bluegills are being taken off spawing beds in 2-4 ft of water by fishing with crickets and worms under bobbers and with split shot rigs on bottom baited with small jigs tipped with worms.  Red Ears are being taken on gravel bars in 3-5 ft of water with worms under bobbers and split shot rigs on bottom baited with small jigs tipped with worms.  
Catfish:  Channel Catfish are being taken on shallow rocky shorelines on the main lake as well as in the creeks and bays on rocky bottom flats.  These fish are spawning and being taken in large numbers with night crawlers fished both on bottom and under bobbers.  These fish are also being taken in deeper water around riprap shorelines with night crawlers under bobbers.  

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Photo by Jennifer Dunnaway

Replicas of the Nina and Pinta occasionally dock at Green Turtle Bay. We snapped a photo of the masts of the Pinta last summer.