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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 04/16/2015

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 358.83  Surface Temperature - 64

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 359.00  Surface Temperature - 64
Both lakes are at summer pool level.  Kentucky Dam is spilling at an average rate of 93,000 cfs this afternoon.  Barkley Dam is spilling at an average rate of 50,000 cfs this afternoon.  

Kentucky Lake ranges from slightly stained to clear.  Lake Barkley ranges from heavily stained to muddy.  
I do not normally advertise tournaments in this report but there is an up coming tournament on the Cumberland River that I would like to mention.  This tournament is being held on the behalf of Jenna King, a sweet 9 year old girl that has Leukimia.  

Jenna has already under gone a heart catheter operation and is now receiving chemotherapy and her family needs your help and support.  The tournament is a Team Tournament and will be held at The Clarksville Marina on Saturday, April 25th.  The entry fee is 100.00 per team with a 10.00 Big Bass optional pot.  There is a 2000.00 guaranteed first place and 1000.00 guaranteed second place for this tournament. 

All proceeds from the tournament will go to Jenna's family to assist with her care. Contact Todd Phillips at 931- 980-3450 or email:  atphillips62@yahoo.com for details.  
General Conditions:  We have received a lot of rain here and up the rivers over the past few days and both lakes have been rising to present levels.  These heavy rains has some stained water in the backs of some creeks and bays on Kentucky but overall the fishing conditions are good.  

Lake Barkley has gotten heavily stained from these rains with some areas down right muddy.  The forecast thru the weekend is showing a high of 80/low of 59 tomorrow with a 20% chance of rain and wind ENE5.  Saturday looks good with a high of 78/low of 64, 20% chance of rain with wind ESE10.  Sunday is forecasted with a high of 78/low of 60 with a 90% chance of thunderstorms and wind SW11 as another cold front approaches.  

The extended forecast into early next week is for post frontal conditions with highs in the 60's and low's in the high 40's.  Make sure you check the latest wind and weather forecasts before venturing on the lakes as the forecasts can change on short notice this time of year.  
The Largemouth are now in late prespawn patterns for the most part.  We are taking fish on lead in banks and points just off the spawning areas and also some on the flats just in front of the spawning areas.  With the water rising into the abundance of mustard flowers this year we are starting to pick up fish where the water has come up over some of them.  

We fished Barkley last weekend and on Monday and the Largemouth there seemed to be more established on the late prespawn bite than on Kentucky which we fished the past few days, but I expect Kentucky Lake will catch up real quick with the rising water and the warm up today and forecasted warm up over the weekend. 

We are still getting fish on the channel banks and points about half way into the creeks and bays as more fish are staging to come in shallow.  Expect the shallow bite to just get better over the next couple of weeks with the exception of a slow day or two with passing cold fronts.  
Largemouth Bass: Largemouth are being taken on 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 Carolina rigged lizards and creature baits, crankbaits, jigs and shakey heads. 

The closer staging fish off the spawning areas are taking shallow running crank baits, spinnerbaits, Texas rigged lizards and creature baits, jigs and shakey heads.  Some Largemouth are also being taken on shallow flats in front of the spawning areas on lipless crankbaits, spinnerbaits, Texas rigged lizards and jigs. Our best bite over the past week has been on Texas rigged lizards and jigs on the lead in banks just off the spawning areas. 
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 slow rolled crank baits, Texas and Carolina rigged lizards and creature baits, tube jigs and jigs. 
Productive Lures: Some of the more productive lures this week have been: 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,  D&L jigs in Cumberland Craw and Oops patterns with Missle Turbo Tail trailers, Last Cast jigs in green pumpkin with Baby Paca Craw trailer, 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 and Yum Dingers on D&L and Slong's shakey head jigs in green pumpkin.
Crappie: Crappie are moving the spawning banks early and late in the day in 3-5 ft of water... gravel banks with flowers or wood cover are reported to be working good.  These fish are being taken by casting curly tail jigs, road runner baits and under bobbers with minnows.  There are still staging Crappie in 8-12 ft of water over brush piles and these fish are being taken by spider rigging minnows and small curly tail jigs, minnows under bobbers.  

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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.

Down the River
Photo by Melodie Cunningham

This father-son team has found adventure out on the water at Kentucky Lake! There are so many places to explore in LBL that can't be accessed by land!