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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 09/25/2014

Kentucky Lake: Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 355.16 Surface Temperature - 75

Lake Barkley: Water Level at Barkley Dam - 355.25 Surface Temperature - 75
Both lakes are 4 feet below summer pool and holding at this time. Kentucky Dam has been generating at an average rate between 14,000 - 55,000 the past few days. The lower generation is occurring at night and during the morning hours with step ups to the higher rate during the afternoon. Barkley Dam has been generating an average between 8,200 - 24,900 the past few days with lower generation during the night and during the morning hours with higher rates during the afternoon. 

As I mentioned in last week's report, we are in the early stages of the fall transition here on the big lakes as the fish are traveling following schools of baitfish as they slowly start moving toward the creeks and bays to feed up for the coming winter. This transition lasts about 5 -6 weeks depending on lowering water temperatures. 

This makes for spotty bass fishing and a slower bite. I also mentioned that tournament weights normally drop during this period as the fish are traveling and moving around a lot making it harder to find and target them on any given day. An example of this slower production rate and slower bite would be results of the 2 day Walmart BFL Super Tournament held here last weekend. 

First let me congratulate Brent Anderson for a fine win with a total of 41.01 lbs for the 2 days. This weight blew away the rest of the field. Here are some numbers from the tournament: There were only 11 limits weighed in on Day 1 out of 77 boats. 28 boats had only 1 fish or zeroed on Day 1 with most of those showing a zero. It only took 10lbs to make the top 15 cut for Day 2. 

Weather conditions this week mirrored last week. We are having some beautiful early fall days with blue skies and light winds. We are sitting under high pressure and the forecast is for this to continue through the weekend and into next week. The forecast for tomorrow is for a high of 80, low of 60 with wind ENE 6. Saturday and Sunday are showing high's in the mid 80's with low's in the lower 60's with easterly quadrant winds at 5. 

This same pattern of blue bird skies, high pressure and light winds is in the extended forecast through next week. The days are going to be nice....but with this weather pattern and the bass and shad in transition, I expect the bite to continue to be slow. But, you can catch some fish and we have caught fish all week...just not big numbers, we have had a few really nice fish but just not numbers. 

We are concentrating our efforts in the creeks and bays where the first wave of young threadfin shad have moved in toward the shallows. We are spending some time on ledges but they are very spotty with the fish traveling. Look at it this way, the fish that have moved into the creeks are not going anywhere until the winter cold fronts come in... so the fish there are not traveling all over the lake and I would rather fish where I know the fish are hanging out and not go out and chase ghosts. 

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 on Carolina rigs, shakey heads and jigs but some of the fall transitioning fish are starting to school on main lake points and it is opportunity fishing and not consistent but there are reports of these traveling schools and when you find them you can get well quick with a crankbait. 

Some bass are also being taken early and late on main lake flats near stumps on topwater lures and slow rolled spinnerbaits. We are taking some shallow topwater bass in the backs of the creeks and bays early in the morning and late evening on walking baits and splash baits. 

We are taking bass on lead in channel banks and on staging points in the creeks and bays after sunrise and during the day on finesse jigs, shaky heads, and light Carolina rigs with creature baits. Some bass are also being taken during late morning and during the day on flats in the creeks and bays where they are chasing schools of 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 consistantly 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 as well as on main lakes points and the first points and channel banks in the front halves of the creeks and bays. 

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 on the ledges and the baby advantage jigs in the same patterns on the points and channel banks in the creeks and bays, 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 and shaky 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 with best bite during the current draw periods.

More Kentucky Lake Fishing Reports

Now That You're 'Hooked' on Fishing... Come See Us!

If you've dug this deep in our Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley fishing reports, you are probably just itching to come down and visit the South's biggest lakes.  Get started by finding that perfect place to stay!  Find a Kentucky Lake cabin or a Lake Barkley campground, a full-service resort or a marina.  Heck, there are even dozens of hotels off the water to choose from! 

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 Cliff Grizzard

Karson takes advantage of the last few minutes of daylight by paddleboarding on Kentucky Lake.