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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 04/03/2015

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 356.10  Surface Temperature - 58

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 356.15  Surface Temperature - 58

Both lakes are 3 feet below summer pool and on a slow rise.  Kentucky Dam is generating an outflow of 62,500 cfs this morning.  Barkley Dam is generating an outflow of 18,000 cfs this morning. The TVA has the lakes on schedule to rise to summer pool by the end of this month, of course this could change if we receive an unforeseen large influx of water. 

General Conditions:  Kentucky Lake water clarity ranges from clear to slightly stained.  Lake Barkley water clarity is stained with some heavy stain in some of the creeks and bays.  The water temperatures continue to rise with the warmer weather we have had over the past few days and this rise should continue with the forecasted warm weather over the next week. 
We do have a cold front that will pass through the lakes area today and we can expect some possibly severe thunderstorms and high winds with the frontal passage.  We will be post frontal on Saturday with sunny skies, a high of 62/low of 38 and wind N7.  

Temperatures will begin to rebound on Sunday with a forecasted high of 66/low of 52 and winds shifting to the S12.  The forecast has us back in the 70's through next mid week with a chance of scattered thunderstorms each day and south quadrant winds.  Boaters should check the latest forecasts before venturing on the lakes as this is the time of year that we get a lot of thunderstorms and changing weather conditions.
The Largemouth are still on early pre spawn patterns and the Smallmouth are on pre spawn patterns.  We should see the Largemouth into full blown prespawn patterns and the Smallmouth on late prespawn and spawning patterns within the next week. 

The Alabama rig is still producing some good bags of fish as are crank baits, suspending jerk baits and jigs.  The Carolina rig and spinner bait are starting to come on now with some of the fish on staging points in the creeks and bays.  Largemouth are also being taken on shallow flats in the creeks and bays near deeper water with lipless crank baits, shallow running crank baits and chatterbaits. 
Largemouth Bass: Largemouth are being taken on staging ledges around the mouths of the creeks and bays, also on main lake points as well as secondary points and channel banks inside the creeks and bays. These fish are being taken on Alabama Rigs, Carolina rigged lizards and creature baits, suspending jerk baits, medium running crank baits, spinnerbaits, jigs and shakey heads.  Some Largemouth are also being taken on shallow flats in the creeks and bays near deeper water with lipless crank baits, shallow running crank baits and chatterbaits. 
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth are being taken on main lake ledges as well as points and banks near the channels on the main lake and on secondary points in the creeks and bays. These fish are being taken on Alabama rigs, suspending jerk baits, slow rolled crank baits and jigs. The Smallmouth bite has picked up as these fish are feeding up just before they begin spawning. 
Productive Lures: Some of the more productive lures this week have been: Rapala Shad Raps, DT6 and DT10 crankbaits in Demon and Red Craw, Excite and Strike King medium running crankbaits in black/chartruese, Strike King Red Eye Shad and Excaliber One Knocker lipless crankbaits in red or orange with black crawdad patterns, Smithwick suspending Rogues in chrome with black back, Big Hammer swim baits in pearl, sexy smelt and bay smelt on Alabama rigs, Rapala X-raps in black/silver, Bag 5 custom painted Mega Bass jerk baits in Blue Glimmer, Lucky Craft Pointers and Bag 5 custom painted Mega Bass jerk baits in Aurora Black, D&L jigs in Cumberland Craw and Oops patterns, Charmer lizards and timber pups on Carolina rigs,  Charmer shakey head worms as well as Yamamoto senkos on D&L and Slong's shakey head jigs in green pumpkin.
Crappie: The Crappie bite is being reported as improving with some fish still being taken over brush piles in 15-20 ft of water inside the mouths of the creeks and bays by spider rigging with small jigs dressed with small minnows. 

The Black Crappie are staging on points and banks in the creeks and bays with wood cover and are being taken by casting curly tail jigs and road runner type baits to the shoreline. There are also some reports of Crappie now being taken around shallow wood cover in the creeks and bays with minnows under bobbers and slow rolled curly tail jigs under bobbers.  With the warming water temperatures, the Black Crappie should be spawning actively over the next week.  

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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 Angela Smith

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