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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 09/10/2014

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 356.32  Surface Temperature - 82

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 356.55  Surface Temperature - 82
 
Both lakes are hovering  about 2.5 feet below summer pool as the TVA is on the slow draw down to winter pool in accordance with the TVA River Operating Schedule.  

Kentucky Dam has been generating an average of 43,000 cfs the over the past day.  Barkley Dam has been varying generation between 8,00-24,000 cfs over the past 24 hours with the higher rate during the mid to late afternoon hours.   

Before I give the report, I just wanted to thank so many of you for your contacting me and lending your support and prayers as I have been working through my recovery from the operation I had back in July.  

My recovery has taken longer than expected due to some complications but I am now back up and running and on the water again as of this week.  It is has been very comforting to have so many of you friends, clients and even those I have never met to send me and my family your kind words of encouragement.  
 
Here is a synopsis of what I have gleaned from the reports I have received over the past few weeks with the bass fishing.  We had the big heat wave that hit the lakes area a few weeks ago and the water temps rose quite a bit and hit us during late August and early September and this really put a slow down on the bass bite.  

We typically get a slow down during this period at the end of summer anyway, and these rising temperatures just managed to impact the bite even more.  The higher temperatures dropped the oxygen levels and this in has had the fish somewhat less active and spread out.  

The better bite has been during the late afternoon hours and at night when there is current during the heat of the day and after the water cools down at night.  I have had a number of reports of a good bass bite at night but the early morning and day bite has been slow.  
 
Now, as I mentioned above, I am back up and running now as of this week and got out the past few days to get a handle on the bass situation.  What I mentioned above is still going on but you can catch some fish early and during the day but it is a little slow as I expected.  

The better early bite is to work main lake points and secondary channel points in the creeks and bay with mostly slow moving baits but there is a little scattered topwater bite on the points early.  The topwater bite is hit and miss.  Work the main lake points with jigs, Carolina rigs, shakey heads and flick shake lures.  

Work slow and feel for a soft bite.  Just after the sun comes up you can go shallow on the flats in the creeks and you will some scattered bass chasing small shad where they are mixed in with small White and Yellow Bass.  These fish can be taken with spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, lipless crankbaits and square billed crankbaits.  There is some spinnerbait bite and topwater bite on main lake flats early and late in the day also on main lake shallow flats near stump fields.  

Most of the fish are still on the main lake ledges but they are scattered and finicky but they can be taken if you down size your baits and fish slow.  Carolina rigs, shakey heads and flick shakes are working best on these  fish.  
 
Here is the good news:  We have the first big fall cold front coming through the lakes area tonight and the extended forecast is looking good to start dropping the water temperatures and get the fish moving into early fall transition patterns.  The front will be coming through the area tonight which is giving us high south winds today with lake wind warnings and we will have some heavy rains and thunderstorms late tonight and early tomorrow with frontal passage.  

The forecast for Thursday is for  a high of 76, low of 60 with 80% chance of thunderstorms early and wind N8.  Friday's forecast begins post frontal with a high of 77 and low of 57 with wind NNE8.  The weekend forecast is for highs on Saturday and Sunday in the mid 70's and low's in the mid 50's with post frontal north winds.  The extended forecast into next week is showing daytime highs in the 70's and night time low's in the lower 50's.  

This cooler weather is going to start bring the water temperatures down, increase the oxygen and signal the baitfish and bass it is time to start moving to the creeks and bays for the beginning of the fall migration.  This will have the fish scattered still as they begin this annual ritual but I expect by the end of the next week or so we will start seeing more activity in the creeks and bays if this weather forecast holds.   
  
LARGEMOUTH BASS: Largemouth are being taken on ledges on the main lakes as well as on main lake points and on secondary channel points in the front halves of the creeks and bays.  There is some early and late topwater bite on the points but it is scattered.  

The ledge fish and the fish on the points are more consistent using slow techniques with smaller lures such on Carolina rigs, shakey heads, jigs and flick shake techniques.  Some  bass are also being taken early and late on main lake flats near stumps on topwater lurses and slow rolled spinnerbaits.

Some bass are also being taken during late morning and during the day on flats in the creeks and bays where they are chasing small shad.  These fish are being taken on spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, lipless crankbaits and slow rolled square billed crankbaits.  The fish are scattered there but can be taken with patience.  Overall, the Largemouth bite during the day is slow.  

The better bite is consistently being reported late in the afternoon on ledges with current and better at night on main lake points.  The night fish are being taken on dark colored spinnerbaits and jigs and the bite has been reported as good.   
 
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 and Lucky Craft Sammy in ghost pearl lemon,  Bag5 custom painted lipless and square billed crankbaits in blue glimmer pattern, Charmer timber pups in green pumpkin and watermelon with purple flake on Carolina rigs,  D&L football head jigs in Cumberland craw and Oops patterns, Chatterbaits in blue glimmer,  Slong's spinnerbaits in blue glimmer, Charmer shaky head worms in green pumpkin blue and green pumpkin on Slong's shakey heads, Yum Dingers in green pumpkin on flick shake heads.
 
 
White Bass: White Bass are being taken along the river channel ledges and adjacent flats by vertically fishing with inline spinners and small spoons as well as by trolling with small spinners behind deep diving crankbaits. The better bite is reported with the vertical fishing and the White Bass bite is reported as good right now.  
 
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 cut baits.   

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Honker Lake
Photo by Jennifer Dunnaway

In June these beautiful lily pads are in full bloom at Honker Lake in Land Between The Lakes. Honker Lake is a great place for wildlife viewing and hiking.