July 19, 2018
Kentucky Lake: Water Level at Kentucky Dam – 358.74 Surface Temperature – 90
Lake Barkley: Water Level at Barkley Dam – 358.65 Surface Temperature – 90
Both lakes are about one half foot below summer pool and on a slow draw down. Kentucky Dam was generating at an average rate of 35,000 cfs this afternoon. Barkley Dam was generating at an average rate of 17,400 cfs this afternoon. In accordance with the TVA River Operating System Schedule, the TVA has started the slow draw down of the lakes to winter pool levels. Barring any unforeseen influx of water, you can expect the lakes to be drawn down about one foot per month now until we reach winter pool levels. The latest lake levels , current flows and forecasts for all the TVA lakes can be found at http://www.tva.com/river/lakeinfo/index.htm.
Current Conditions: The heat wave we have been having over the past few weeks continued into this week with daily heat indexes exceeding 100 degrees. We did get a reprieve from the humidity yesterday and today but the heat will return tomorrow as a front approaches the lakes area. We have been doing half day trips during the early morning hours to avoid the heat of the day. The ledge bite continues to be slow and scattered. The better bite has been early in the morning in the creeks and bays where bass are feeding on schools of fry. We are having better success by going extremely shallow in the backs of the creeks and bays before the sun is up with top water lures and then backing out to fish channel banks and secondary points with wood cover after the early morning top water bite is over.
Although the bite is over all slow for keeper sized and better fish, we are managing to catch a number of short fish with an occasional nice fish mixed in. Our best fish this past week was a nice 6 lb Largemouth on top water early in the morning.
LARGEMOUTH BASS: Largemouth are being taken on the ledges on the main lakes and around the mouths of the deeper creeks and bays. The ledge bite is slow. These fish are being taken with Carolina rigged creature baits, Texas rigged large worms, jigs, drop shots, shaky heads and swim baits. Largemouth are also being taken early and late in the day in the backs of the creeks and bays on top water lures where they are feeding on schools of fry. Largemouth are also being taken in the creeks and bays on channel banks and secondary points, especially those with wood cover. These fish are being taken on spinner baits, shaky heads, Texas rigged creature baits and finesse jigs.
SMALLMOUTH BASS: Smallmouth are being taken on main lake points and on the ledges. These fish are being taken on Carolina rigged creature baits, jigs and swim baits. This bite is slow also.
White Bass: White Bass are being taken by vertically fishing with blade baits and inline spinners along the river channel ledges. White Bass are also being taken around Mayfly hatches early in the morning in the creeks and bays on inline spinners. We have been catching some White Bass also while bass fishing during the early morning hours on top water baits in the shallows in the backs of the creeks and bays before the sun gets up on the water.
PRODUCTIVE LURES: D&L jigs in Cumberland craw and oops patterns, Slong’s jigs in mustang, Charmer timber pups on Carolina rigs and Texas rigs in green pumpkin, green pumpkin/blue and watermelon/purple, Charmer 10.5″ ribbon tail and paddle tail worms in plum and green pumpkin on Texas rigs, Big Hammer swim baits in bay smelt and Robo worms on drop shot in mean green. Yamamoto Senko in green pumpkin/black, green pumpkin magic and Charmer Slim Jim in blue craw on shaky heads. Strike King top water splash bait in white and whopper plopper top water in monkey’s butt and Slong’s spinner baits in blue glimmer.
IF YOU ARE PLANNING ON VISITING OUR LAKES I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THE FOLLOWING BUSINESSES FOR ALL YOUR FISHING AND BOATING NEEDS:
Fisherman’s Headquarters is located in Draffenville at the U.S. 68/U.S. 641 triangle, or the Draffenville “Y”. FHQ stocks everything an angler could need, from live bait, hooks and bobbers to top of the line tournament bass tackle. More than a “bait and tackle” store, Fisherman’s Headquarters is a true “pro shop”, offering advice, training and special order assistance not found online or at the big box retailers. Services even include custom electronics training and installation. The store offers a wide variety of nationally known brands as well as many regional and hard to find items we use on Kentucky and Barkley Lakes. They stock many of the products I rely on daily, such as Charmer Baits, Slong’s lures and Pro Tungsten weights. From bluegill to bass and catfish to crappie, FHQ has you covered! Stop by and visit or phone 270-527-5938.
Jet-A-Marina: If you have a problem with your boat while you are visiting our great fisheries, let me recommend you have the folks in the service department at Jet-a-Marina check it out. These folks have a well known reputation for trying to keep our visitors on the water while they are here if they can possibly do so, especially you tournament anglers. Hopefully you will not need this kind of assistance but if you do, you can find Jet-a-Marina located on U.S. 62 in Calvert City, just a couple of miles north of Kentucky Dam. Jet-a-Marina also has a great showroom for all your boating accessories and check out the new Ranger bass boats too as well as bulk oil at rock bottom prices for your engine. Phone: 270-395-4030.
For those of you that may not be familiar with my service: I am a full time catch and release bass fishing guide. I only guide for bass. I have been guiding for bass full time on these lakes for over 20 years and bass fishing the lakes for over 30 years. I do not go out and fish panfish for 4 or 5 days and then try to guide on bass for one or two days.
No one knows everything the bass are doing but one thing is for sure, if you only fish for bass day in and day out, you will have a lot better idea of what they are doing and also be familiar with all the different techniques it takes to be a successful bass angler.
If you book with my service, you will have me as your guide and you will be guided in the comfort of a late model Z522 Ranger Comanche equipped with Lowrance HDS electronics and top of the line tackle. I provide just for fun bass fishing trips, tournament preparation trips, focused teaching trips and technique instruction. If you are in need of a bass fishing guide give me a call or drop me an email.
July: 25, 26
I am also taking reservations also for August, September, October and November.
Captain Dave Stewart
Bass Buster Guide Service
“Fish With A Professional”