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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 01/17/2002

Kentucky Lake:  Headwater Elevation - 354.72  Surface Temperature - 42

Lake Barkley:  Headwater Elevation - 354.80  Surface Temperature - 43

The winds have kept myself and other anglers confined to the creeks this past week and the Crappie and Bass fishing has been slow.  

The Crappie are normally a good bite this time of year on the main lake over old creek channels but the wind has made it virtually impossible to fish these areas.  I and some other angler I have talked to have been trying the ledges in the bays this week but the bite has been slow on the fish there.  There is normally a fair bite on the Smallmouth Bass also on the main lake points on the LBL side of Kentucky Lake this time of year but again the wind has been such so far this year it is tough to try to fish for them.  

It seems that either the temperatures are too low to go out or when we get a nice day like the past couple of days here that the winds get up to high to fish the main lake.  Hopefully this weather pattern will change soon.  There are some reports of good Sauger being caught in the Canal that connects the lakes on the north ends and also around the rip rap at Paris Landing on Kentucky Lake.  These fish are being caught on 1 and 1 1/4 ounce jigheads in white and also blue tipped with minnows or small shad.  

Product Report:  As anyone that fishes these lakes knows, it has been many years since the last time topographical maps were updated for these lakes. 

Although there are some good maps available for these lakes that are pretty accurate such as the Hot Spots maps, many of the underwater features have changed some over the years due to current erosion and siltation.   I have recently been reviewing some new maps currently being produced by Kentucky Hydro-Grafx.  

This company is currently in the stages of mapping certain areas of both lakes.  They are targeting underwater features such as creek channels, main lake points, etc....all those areas that deep water anglers need to know to be productive especially when fishing for Crappie and Bass.  These maps are being produced on CD for your computer and have one dimension as well as three dimension capability and are also interactive with GPS.  

This means you can now look at your favorite underwater fishing areas or search new underwater fishing areas with maps that are in very minute detail, mark spots you pick out, chart GPS courses to those spots and download them into your GPS unit.  So far this company has charted Blood River, Jonathan Creek, Big Sandy River, Little River, and Eddy Creek and has these areas available for sale on CD.  

After reviewing these extraordinarily detailed maps I was surprised to see some areas of interest that I had no idea existed.  My personal evaluation of these new maps are that by using them in conjunction with the Topo-Log interactive Hot Spots Maps available on CD that one would have a winning combination that would be unsurpassed for pretournament or just prefishing planning and also be able to put this information to work on the water for you by downloading it into your GPS unit.  

If you don't have a GPS unit these maps would still be a great tool for you to use in preplanning your fishing trips.  You can get more information about these new maps by contacting Kentucky-HydroGrafx, P.O. Box 642, Murray, Kentucky 42071 or by visiting their website at www.kentuckyhydrografx.com .   These maps will also be available at the Western Kentucky Boat and Outdoor Show in Murray, Kentucky on January 25, 26, and 27 as well as at the Strader Outdoors Hunting and Fishing Show in Louisville, Kentucky on February 15, 16, and 17th.

Last year during the month of March we experienced one of the best Smallmouth Bass bites here on Kentucky Lake that we have had in many years and all indications are that it will be repeated again this year.  

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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.

In Flight
Photo by John Mitchell

Gliding gracefully over the water, this heron keeps a stealthy eye out for his next meal. Herons are one of the more common species of birds that can be seen at Kentucky Lake.