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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 03/24/2016

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam – 354.03  Surface Temperature – 57

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam -  354.45  Surface Temperature – 57
Both lakes are at winter pool.  Kentucky Dam was generating at a rate of 36,685 cfs this afternoon.  Barkley Dam was generating at a rate of 12,800 cfs 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 big nasty cold front that passed through the lakes area last weekend dropped the water temperatures 5 degrees in 2 days. The TVA also has dropped the lakes one and one half feet since last week.  We have had  some nice warm days this week but the wind has wrecked havoc with trying to get on the water to fish.  We were only able to get out one day since last week with all these winds.  The water temperatures are recovering slowly and with the current forecast we should see them climbing again over the weekend and into next week.  The weekend forecast looks good for Saturday but be careful on Sunday.  We are going to see some storms maybe by Sunday afternoon and into the evening, some of which could be severe.  
The forecast for tomorrow is for a high of 55, low of 36 with wind NNE at 8.  Saturday is looking good with a high of 66, low of 45 with wind SSE at 4.  Sunday is calling for a high of 65, low of 38 with wind S at 10-12 but I would expect we will see some higher wind in the afternoon as the next front approaches.  The extended forecast into next week is calling for post frontal sunny days through mid week with high’s in the upper 60’s, low’s in the upper 40’s and north and east quadrant post frontal winds.
LARGEMOUTH BASS: Largemouth are being taken on main lake points and on the main lake channel banks.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 on the main lake and inside the mouths of the deeper creeks and bays on Alabama rigs and jigs. 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 channel banks. 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. Crappie are also moving shallow and some are being taken on banks around cover in 4-6 feet of water.  The Crappie fishing was reported as slow this week with the wind and lake draw down but I would expect the Crappie to start moving shallow in large numbers this next week as the water temperatures rise

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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.

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.