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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 07/24/2003

Kentucky Lake:  Water level at Ky Dam - 358.17  Surface Temperature - 85

Lake Barkley:  Water level at Barkley Dam - 358.30  Surface Temperature - 85
The lakes have remained fairly stable at near one foot below summer pool over the last week.   A severe cold front came though the lakes area and slowed fishing down some for the past two days but the bite should recover nicely by the weekend.  Some big willow fly hatches occurred yesterday morning and this morning which is unusual for this late in July.  
The Largemouth Bass are being taken both shallow in the bays and on deep summer patterns.  The shallow fish can be found on secondary points in the backs of the bays and on the flats in the backs of the bays near vegatation and wood cover.  These shallow fish are feeding on schooling fry and can be taken on top water lures early and late, shallow running crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and Texas rigged tubes and creature baits.  

The deeper fish are being taken on the main lake ledges and humps as well as ledges and humps near the mouths of the bays.  These fish are being taken on Carolina rigged worms, lizards, tubes, and creature baits as well as deep running crankbaits and jignpig.  The deeper fish are biting best early and late and during the day when there is some current present.
The Smallmouth Bass are being taken during the day on the same deep summer patterns as the Largemouth ie..on ledges and humps using the same lures and techniques.  Some Smallmouth are also feeding on the fry in the bays on secondary points and are taking the same lures as the Largemouth feeding there.  The Smallmouth are also being taken at night on the LBL side of Kentucky Lake on main lake rocky points and the first secondary points in the bays.  These fish are being taken on slow rolled dark spinnerbaits, jignpig, and Carolina rigged dark tubes.
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Rebel Pop R in black/silver, Bandit crankbaits in rootbeer/chartruese, Rapala DT 16 in bluegill, Zoom baby brush hogs in watermelon/red and pumpkin/red, Hook Some Bass brush hounds in green pumpkin, Hook Some Bass jigs in black/blue, Hook Some Bass spinnerbaits in blue glimmer and black/purple, Berkley Power Worms in red shad, and Snoozer tubes in watermelon burst and road kill cammo.
The White Bass are active on the main lake ledges and at the mouths of the bays.  Some jumps are being reported but still seem to be of short duration and scattered.  These fish are being taken best by vertically jigging inline spinners and small spoons along the ledges or by trolling the same on a leader behind deep diving crankbaits.
The Catfish are being taken at the mouths of the bays near the river channel ledges by fishing with bottom rigs using large minnows, nightcrawlers, leeches, and cut baits.  
The Bluegill are being taken around docks with wood cover and along rocky creek channel banks in the bays.  These fish are also being taken near the willow fly hatches that occurred over the past couple of days.  The Bluegill can be readily taken by fishing crickets and wax worms under bobbers.  

More Kentucky Lake Fishing Reports

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.

Fallow Deer
Photo by Murray Blake

There are only a few small herds of fallow deer in Land Between The Lakes, but occasionally a lucky explorer will catch a glimpse of one.