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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 04/10/2015

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 356.68  Surface Temperature - 62

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 356.80  Surface Temperature - 62
Both lakes are about 2.5 feet below summer pool.  Kentucky Dam was generating at an average of 58,000 cfs this morning.  Barkley Dam was generating at an average of 50,000 cfs this morning. 

Both lakes reached a level of 357 this week which is higher than normal for this week in April.  The TVA is now lowering the lake levels to get the lakes back on track with the River Operating System.  The lakes have been lowered almost 6 inches in the past 8 hours and are projected to be lowered another 6 inches by Sunday.  

I would expect the lakes to then begin a slow rise toward summer pool again next week with the lakes reaching summer pool levels by the end of the month barring any unforeseen influx of water.
General Conditions:  We experienced near record breaking high temperatures the past few days and the water temperatures have risen to be 4 degrees higher than this time last week. Last week I predicted that we will see the Largemouth moving to full blown prespawn patterns this week and that is exactly what has happened with this warm up.  

More fish are showing up in the creeks and bays and staging on lead in channel banks and points off the spawning coves and flats.  There are some early fish already fanning beds in some of the spawning areas as well as some roamers during the day in the shallows.  Most of the fish however, as I mentioned before are staging on points and banks off the spawning areas.  

The Smallmouth are starting to bed on gravel banks and points on the main lake as well as inside the front halves of the creeks and bays.  

The Crappie are staged to spawn in numbers now and with these water temperatures we should see them in full blown spawn this coming week once the water levels stabilize.  
We had a cold front pass through the lakes area last night and the forecast for the weekend is for post frontal conditions.  The forecast for Saturday is for a high of 70/low of 46 with sunny skies and wind NE5.  Sunday is showing a forecasted high of 75/low of 62 with wind SE9.  

The forecast through next mid week is for high's around 70/ low's in the 50's with chances of rain each day, especially on Monday.  It is that time of year that forecasts can change so one needs to check the latest wind/weather forecasts before venturing out or you may find yourself caught out in one of our spring thunderstorms.
Largemouth Bass: Largemouth are being taken on main lake points as well as secondary points and channel banks inside the creeks and bays. More of these fish are showing up on the staging points and banks leading into the spawning areas every day now. The deeper fish are being taken on Alabama Rigs, Carolina rigged lizards and creature baits, suspending jerk baits.  

The closer staging fish off the spawning areas are taking medium running crank baits, spinnerbaits, swim baits, Texas rigged lizards and creature baits, 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 shallow main lake gravel  points and banks near the channels and on gravel secondary points and banks in the creeks and bays. These fish are being taken on Alabama rigs, suspending jerk baits, slow rolled crank baits, Texas and Carolina rigged lizards and creature baits, tube jigs and jigs.  These fish are on a late prespawn/spawn bite now.   
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, Bandit crankbaits in rootbeer and rootbeer/chartreuse,  Strike King Red Eye Shad and Excaliber One Knocker lipless crankbaits in red or orange with black crawdad patterns as well as chrome sexy shad, Smithwick suspending Rogues in chrome with black back, 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, Big Hammer swim baits in sexy smelt and bay smelt,  D&L jigs in Cumberland Craw and Oops patterns, Slong's spinnerbaits in white/chartreuse, Charmer lizards and timber pups on Texas and Carolina rigs in green pumpkin and watermelon/red, 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 10-15 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 and the White Crappie should be staging on the points and banks in the creeks and bays.

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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 Jill Asher

The Elk and Bison Prairie in Land Between The Lakes is one of the most popular attractions for visitors year-round.