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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 03/17/2016

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam – 355.50  Surface Temperature – 59

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam – 355.55  Surface Temperature – 59
Both lakes are one and one half feet over winter pool.  Kentucky Dam was spilling at a rate of 80.600 cfs this afternoon.  Barkley Dam was generating at a rate of 22,300 this afternoon.  

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 heavy rains we had last week took its toll on the water clarity on both lakes with Lake Barkley as usual getting the worst of it.  The water on Lake Barkley ranges from heavily stained to muddy for the most part.  Kentucky Lake ranges from lightly stained on the LBL side to heavily stained on the west side with some of the larger feeder creeks having muddied up.  The up side is the water temperatures jumped up to the present levels with this past week having presented us with some nice above average temperatures.  There is some debris floating on both lakes so be careful when running the lakes and keep an eye out for this debris.  We spent this week on the north end of Kentucky Lake and the myriad of patterns we reported last week are still working.  
The forecast for tomorrow is for a high of 65, low of 43 with wind ENE at 8. As one would expect for the month of March....the weather can and does change drastically from one day to the next and this will be true for this weekend.  Saturday is forecasted to have a high of 51, low of 35 with a chance of rain.  The wind is forecasted to be NNW at 12.  Sunday looks even worse with a high of 47 and low of 31 with a chance of rain with wind NW at 12.  The good news is a warming trend is forecasted for next week with temperatures returning to the high 60’s by Tuesday with south winds.  Watch your wind forecasts for next week, I am seeing some that have some nasty south winds forecasted in them.
LARGEMOUTH BASS: Largemouth are being taken on main lake points and on the main lake banks with current breaks. These fish are being taken on Alabama rigs, suspending jerk baits, slow rolled crank baits, slow rolled lipless crankbaits, jigs and shaky heads. Largemouth are being taken on ledges inside the mouths of the deeper creeks and bays on Alabama rigs, jigs and shaky heads. Largemouth are being taken on secondary channel points and banks inside the creeks and bays on Alabama rigs, slow rolled crank baits, slow rolled lipless crankbaits, suspending jerk baits, jigs and shaky heads. On warm days there are active fish being taken shallow in the creeks and bays on shallow running crank baits and lipless crank baits. 
SMALLMOUTH BASS: Smallmouth are being taken on main lake points and main lake banks with current breaks. Smallmouth are also being taken on ledges inside the mouths of the creeks and bays as well as on secondary channel points inside the mouths of the creeks and bays. These fish are being taken on Alabama rigs, suspending jerk baits, slow rolled crank baits and jigs.
PRODUCTIVE LURES: Some of the productive lures reported this week are: Picasso bait ball rigs with Keitech swim baits in pro blue and French pearl as well as Big Hammer swim baits in pearl and sexy smelt, Lucky Craft slender pointer suspending jerk baits in pearl ayu, Spro suspending jerk baits table rock shad and Rapala Xrap suspending jerk baits in clown, Rapala shadraps in demon and original crawdad, Strike King DT 6 and10 in red crawdad, Strike King red eye shad in red craw, Bill Lewis rattle traps in red crawdad patterns, Spro Little John shallow crankbaits in spring craw and black/chartruese, Slong’s football jig in black/blue and Cumberland craw, D&L baby advantage jig in Cumberland craw, Slong’s shaky head jigs with Charmer shaky head worm in green pumpkin and bama bug.
CRAPPIE: Crappie are being taken over brush piles in 10-12 ft of water in the creeks and bays by vertically fishing with minnows and jigs tipped with minnows. I have had a few reports of some Crappie being taken in 5-7 ft of water around brush and submerged stake beds on warmer days on minnows and by casting jigs.  Once this cold front passes this weekend and it warms up next week, we should start seeing more Crappie taken in the shallow depths.

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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.

Photo by John Mahler

If you've never visited The Land Between The Lakes in the fall, you are missing a real treat. Whether you are hiking, fishing, boating or just sight-seeing, fall is one of the most beautiful times to visit the lakes.