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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 07/17/2014

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 358.42  Surface Temperature - 82

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 358.50  Surface Temperature - 82
Both lakes are one half foot below summer pool and on a slow draw down.  Expect both lakes to reach one foot below summer pool by the end of the month in accordance with the TVA River Operating System Schedule barring any unforeseen influx of water.  Kentucky Dam has been generating at average rates of between 6,700 - 35,000 cfs today.  Barkley Dam has been generating at an average rate of 8,000 cfs today.  
This will be my last weekly report until late August as I will be undergoing an operation next week to correct an aneurism on my aorta at Vanderbilt hospital.  

I am expected to have a recovery period of 4 weeks so I will not be on the water again until late August.  I am already chomping at the bit to get back on the water and it hasn't even started yet!
We woke up Tuesday morning this week to air temperatures in the low 50's and north winds.  The past few days has felt more like October with morning low's in the 50's and high's of 70's in the afternoon.  Certainly this break from the normal hot summer temperatures has been nice but it seems to have taken it's toll on the bass bite.  

I mentioned for the past 2 weeks that the ledge bite has been spotty, well since the unseasonably cooler weather moved in the bite has moved from spotty to slow.  The forecast for tomorrow if for a high of 78 and low of 62 with high pressure east wind at 6.  Saturday shows more high pressure with a high of 83 and low of 65 with wind east at 7.  Sunday's forecast shows the beginning of a warming trend with a return to a high of 87 and low of 67, a 20% chance of rain with wind south southeast at 4.  

As you can see you can expect high pressure and flat water this weekend so it will be nice to be out there but I would also expect a slow bite on the ledges for bass. On the other hand, the cooler weather seems to have the white bass very active with suspending shad and the reports this week on white bass have been good.  The extended forecast though next mid week shows a return to the 90's with humidity and chance of thunderstorms each afternoon with southerly winds. 
LARGEMOUTH BASS: Largemouth are being taken on ledges on the main lakes as well as around the mouths of the deeper creeks and bays. These fish are being taken on deep diving crankbaits, spoons, swim baits, Carolina rigged creature baits, Texas rigged large worms and dragging football head jigs. Largemouth are also being taken on deep main lake points with Carolina rigged creature baits, Texas rigged large worms and jigs. 

Largemouth are also being taken on shallow flats in the creeks and bays near wood cover and around docks. These fish are being taken on topwater lures (early and late in the day), spinnerbaits, chatterbaits and Texas rigged creature baits as they are feeding on schools of small fry. Our best bite this week overall has been on Carolina rigged creature baits, Texas rigged large worms and dragging football head jigs on the ledges and on Texas rigged creature baits in the shallows near wood cover. 
SMALLMOUTH BASS: Smallmouth are being taken on main lake ledges on jigs and Carolina rigged creature baits. The numbers of fish are not great but some quality fish have been taken. Smallmouth are also being taken at night on rocky points and banks on Kentucky Lake with dark colored spinnerbaits and tube jigs. Good Largemouth are also being taken on this night pattern.
Some of the more productive lures reported this week: Strike King Splash baits in shad pattens, Bag5 custom painted deep running crankbaits in blue glimmer and green gizzard shad,  Big Hammer swim baits in sexy smelt and bay smelt, Stike King Sexy Spoons, Slong's spinnerbaits in blue glimmer, Charmer timber pups in green pumpkin and watermelon with purple flake, Charmer 10.5 inch ribbon tail worms in plum, D&L football head jigs in Cumberland craw and Oops patterns, Slong's football head jigs in mustard. 
White Bass: White Bass are being taken along the river channel ledges and adjacent flats by verictally fishing with inline spinners and small spoons as well as by trolling with small spinners behind deep diving crankbaits. 
Bluegill: Bluegills are also being taken around docks and on banks with overhanging trees early in the morning as they are feeding on Mayflies. The Mayfly hatches this week were spotty but those that found them reported a good bite. 
Catfish: Catfish are being on the main lake on river channel ledges in 20-30 ft of water by bottom bouncing shrimp and leach combinations and also on bottom rigs baited with night crawlers.  The catfish bite reportedly picked up the past two afternoons with current draw.  

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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 John Mahler

If you've never visited The Land Between The Lakes in the fall, you are missing a real treat. Whether you are hiking, fishing, boating or just sight-seeing, fall is one of the most beautiful times to visit the lakes.