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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 10/16/2014

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 355.26  Surface Temperature - 70 

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 355.35  Surface Temperature - 70
Both lakes are one foot over winter pool.  Kentucky Dam has been spilling water at an average rate of 133,000 cfs over the past 24 hours.  Barkley Dam has been spilling water at an average rate of 58,200 over the past 24 hours.  

With the lake levels down, everyone needs to be cautious when navigating the lakes. Use the navigation channels unless you know exactly where you are and if you are not sure, idle your boat until you are sure you are in safe water. 
Heavy rainfall in the lakes area and up both rivers late last week and this week has the gates open on both dams with strong current on both lakes.  As of yesterday the water clarity on Kentucky Lake and North Barkley good with only some slight stain in the backs of the creeks and bays and is more than fishable.  

We are still in the fall transitional patterns with the bass on the main lakes moving a lot following the schools of traveling baitfish.  The water temperatures are still about 4-5 degrees higher than is normal for this time in October and this stretching out the fall transition but we do have cooler temperature coming in the forecast and this should serve to drop the water temperatures over the next week.  

The forecast for tomorrow is a high of 77, low of 48 with wind WSW10.  High pressure will be moving into the lakes area on Saturday bringing with it the cool down we need to drop the water temperatures.  Saturday's forecast is for a high of 63, low of 41 with wind NNW10.  Sunday is showing a high of 63, low of 42 with wind NE5.  This trend is forecasted to continue through next week with day time high's in the lower 60's with night time low's in the 40's with north quadrant winds.
As I mentioned in my last report, we are concentrating our efforts in the creeks and bays now where the first wave of young threadfin have moved in to feed up for the coming winter.  We are taking numbers of small bass but also getting some nice keeper and larger bass but not in big numbers.  

We have on occasion this past week found some schooling fish both small and keeper sized on the flats in the creeks and bays but this is hit and miss so far but lots of fun when it happens.  Primarily we are going shallow for topwater fish early in the morning with some mornings being productive and others not.  We are concentrating out efforts during the day on staging points and banks in the creeks and bays with finesse baits and also checking the flats for feeding activity through out the day.  

The bite is still slow in keeper sized and bigger fish and fair on smaller bass.  Some folks are taking fish on the ledges and main lake points but these fish are moving a lot following shad and for the most part is very spotty and unpredictable.   
LARGEMOUTH BASS: Largemouth are being taken on ledges on the main lakes and in the mouths of the deeper creeks and bays 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 bite is scattered as the shad and fish are moving around a lot and it is hit and miss. 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, slow rolled spinnerbaits and square billed crankbaits. 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. 
SMALLMOUTH BASS: Smallmouth are being taken on the primary points and secondary 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. We are getting most of these fish on jigs and shakey heads. We have also taken some nice Smallmouth early in the morning on topwater lures on shallow flats on the main lake and in the creeks and bays.
Some of the more productive lures reported this week: Strike King Splash baits in shad patterns and Lucky Craft Sammy in ghost pearl lemon, Bag5 custom painted lipless and square billed crankbaits in blue glimmer pattern, Strike King Red Eye Shad in blue/chrome, sexy shad and chrome sexy shad, 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 as well as Yum Dingers and Yamamoto Senkos in green pumpkin.
CRAPPIE: Crappie are being taken on staging brush piles on ledges around the mouths of the creeks and bays in 12-16 ft of water by vertical jigging with small curly tail jigs tipped with minnows. There are some reports of some Crappie being taken in the creeks and bays over brush piles in 8 - 10 ft of water off secondary channel points being taken in the same manner.
White Bass: White Bass are being taken along the river channel ledges and on creek channel ledges around the mouths of the creeks and bays with inline spinners, blade baits 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.

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Photo by Shawn Dunnaway

One of the hidden gems is this beautiful small lake in Land Between The Lakes. This shallow lake features lily pads, abundant wildlife, and a two-mile trail circling the lake. The trail in the back features a unique boardwalk.