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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 04/30/2015

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 359.08  Surface Temperature - 65

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 359.25  Surface Temperature - 64
 
Both lakes are at summer pool.  Kentucky Dam was had closed the gates and was now generating at 64,500 cfs this afternoon.  Barkley Dam had closed the gates and was generating at 21,200 cfs this afternoon.  The 

Both lakes are clear.  There is some debris floating on both lakes but more on Barkley than Kentucky from the drawdown this past few days. 
 
General Conditions:  What a week.  Late last week the bass were moving in shallow and the late prespawn bite was on with the lakes reaching levels of almost 3 feet over summer pool.  We had a nasty cold front come through the lakes area last Saturday night and we have dealt with below normal temperatures and north winds since.  

This dropped the water temperatures, especially in the shallows in the creeks and bays.  If that was not enough, the TVA pulled the plug on the lakes and dropped the lake levels almost 3 feet over the past 4 days.  Of course the vast majority of the fish that were shallow as well as the bait fish pulled back out and are somewhat scattered.  

For the past 4 days we have been concentrating on the staging creek channel banks and associated points off the spawning areas and fishing slow to put some fish in the boat.  Our best producers this week has been Carolina rigs, jigs and shakey heads in these areas.  I have received a few reports of some folks getting some on deep diving crankbaits and spinnerbaits but this has not worked well for us.  
 
The good news is that the lakes reached summer pool again today and the TVA has shut the gates and the lakes are stable and forecasted to remain so over the next few days.  The weather forecast is looking good with no major cold fronts in the immediate future.  Tomorrow is forecasted with a high of 71, low of 47 with wind N7.  

Saturday's high is forecasted to be 77 with a low of 52 and wind WSW3.  Sunday shows a high of 80 with a low of 57 and wind S7.  With the lakes now stable and the warming trend, we should start seeing some of the bass moving  back shallow again to spawn so over the next few days you need to check the spawning areas for returning fish and if they are not there, move out to the staging areas. 
 
Largemouth Bass: Largemouth are being taken on secondary points and channel banks inside the creeks and bays leading into the spawning areas. These fish are being taken on Carolina rigged creature baits, jigs and shakey heads.

There are a few of these fish post spawn but most are still prespawn fish that pulled out of the shallows with the lakes being drawn down.  The bite over the past few days has been slow and scattered but should get better with the stable water conditions and warming forecast.

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 and creature baits, tube jigs and jigs. 
 
Productive Lures: Some of the more productive lures this week have been: Charmer Timber Pups on Carolina rigs in green pumpkin, Yamamoto Senkos on shakey heads in green pumpkin and Slong's football head jigs Mustang and variations of brown and black with Net Baits Baby Paca Craw trailers.  

Crappie: The Crappie anglers were struggling this week with the fast drawdown.  Reports indicate that what fish are being taken are being taken over brush piles by spider rigging jig/minnow combinations in 15-20 ft of water.  Reports also indicate that it is one or two fish here and one or two fish there.  
 
Catfish: The Channel Catfish bite that was doing well on rocky banks and points on the main lake and in the creeks suffered from the drawdown also but I observed and have reports of some still being taken with night crawlers under bobbers in these areas.  I would expect this bite to pick up again now that that the water has stabilized and will be warming.
 
Bluegill/Red Ears:  These fish are certainly in the creeks and bays and some were being taken back shallow just before the draw down but the draw down pulled these fish out deeper also.  The reports I have indicate that the Bluegills, although scattered are being taken on rocky secondary points and banks just off the spawning flats with crickets and worms under bobbers.  

I have spoken to a number of folks fishing for Red Ears and they are all telling me they are catching some on gravel bars in 8-10 ft of water by dragging split shot rigs with worms but they are scattered.  Again, we should start seeing numbers of both these species moving up to the shallow to start bedding next week and these should only get better over the next couple of weeks.

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Paddleboarding
Photo by Cliff Grizzard

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