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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 09/17/2015

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam – 355.73  Surface Temperature – 78

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam – 355.85  Surface Temperature – 78
Both lakes are slightly more than 3 feet below summer pool and on a slow draw down.  Kentucky Dam was generating a little over 33,000 cfs today.  Barkley Dam was generating an average of 16,800 cfs today.

With the lake levels down, boaters need to be cautious when navigating the lakes. These are big lakes, but they are shallow river lakes. If you are not familiar with the lakes, make sure you use the navigation lanes and if you are not sure of the depths and locations of obstructions where you are, idle your boat until you are in safe water. 
General Conditions:  The post frontal cooler weather we had over last weekend and earlier this week has dropped the water temperatures 5 degrees since my report last week.  It has warmed up a little the past day or so but another cold front is coming and should pass through the lakes area sometime on Saturday bringing us some more fall like weather over the weekend and into next week.  

The forecast for tomorrow is for a high of 90/low of 66 with wind SSW7.  Saturday is calling for frontal passage conditions with a high of 79/low of 55 with a 60% chance of scattered thunderstorms with wind NW10.  Sunday is forecasted to have a high of 77/low of 52 with wind NNE8.  The extended forecast through next week is showing high’s in the upper 70’s to low 80’s with night time low’s in the 50’s with sunny post frontal conditions and north quadrant light winds.
We are still finding the fish scattered on the main lake as well as back in the creeks and bays.  We are catching fish but the numbers of keeper and bigger fish is low.  I have noticed a little more activity in the creeks and bays as the water is cooling down.  I expect with the current weather forecast that we will see the water temperatures drop a few more degrees over the next week and get the fish moving into the fall transition patterns.  

Once the transition begins, it normally lasts about 4-5 weeks with scattered fish as they are moving but the bite in the creeks and bays will continue to increase over this period as more schools of baitfish move toward the shallows to feed up for the coming winter.  Of course, the bass will be following these baitfish and actively feeding on them in preparation for the on coming winter also.  Changes are coming soon folks, so if you have not planned your fall fishing trips, now is the time to get it done!
Largemouth Bass: Largemouth are being taken on ledges on the main lake and around the mouths of deeper creeks and bays. These fish are being taken on Carolina rigged creature baits, dragging large football head jigs, shaky heads and drop shot rigs. 

Largemouth are also being taken on primary points and channel banks of the main lake using the same techniques as mentioned above. One can also catch fish on secondary points and on the flats in the creeks and bays where some bass are feeding on schools of fry . These fish are being taken on medium running crank baits, finesse jigs, tube jigs and shaky heads. 

Largemouth are being taken around grass beds in the creeks and bays south of Blood River early in the morning on top water lures and senko type baits. Overall the fish are scattered and bite is slow. Largemouth are also being taken at night on main lake points and points inside the mouths of the deeper creeks and bays. These fish are being taken on dark skirted spinner baits, jigs and tube jigs.
Smallmouth Bass: Smallmouth are being taken on rocky main lake primary points and secondary points in the front halves of the creeks and bays as well as on ledges. These fish are being taken on Carolina rigged creature baits, jigs, tube jigs and shaky heads. The bite on these fish during the day is slow. Smallmouth are being taken at night on main lake points on dark skirted spinner baits and tube jigs.
Productive Lures: Some of the more productive lures reported this week are: Lucky Craft Sammy in ghost pearl lemon and Strike King Splash baits in white near grass beds, Charmer Timber Pups in green pumpkin and watermelon/purple on Carolina rigs , Charmer shaky head worms on drop shot rigs in bama bug and watermelon/purple as well as Robo worms in green pumpkin variations, Slong’s trokar football head jigs in possum and Cumberland craw and D&L football head jigs in Oops and Cumberland Craw patterns, D&L baby advantage jigs in “oops” pattern and Cumberland Craw, Slong's shaky head jigs with Charmer shaky head worms in watermelon candy and bama bug as well as Yamamoto Senko’s in green pumpkin/black and Charmer tubes in road kill and green pumpkin/orange on tube jigs.
White Bass: Whites are being taken by vertically fishing inline spinners, blade baits and small spoons over schools of deeper fish along river channel ledges.  

Schools of smaller Whites and Yellow Bass are starting to show up on the flats in the creeks and bays where they are feeding on schools of small baitfish.  These fish can be taken on inline spinners and blade baits.  Overall, the reports I received this week indicate the numbers of keeper White Bass being taken is dwindling.  
Catfish: Catfish are being taken in the old river channels now in 20-30 ft of water on bottom rigs with cut baits, night crawlers. shrimp and leach combinations and yellow tails. This bite has been reported as slow due to the lack of current this 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 Jill Asher

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