February 28, 2014
Kentucky Lake: Water Level at Kentucky Dam – 355.35 Surface Temperature – 45
Lake Barkley: Water Level at Barkley Dam – 355.40 Surface Temperature – 44
Both lakes are one foot over winter pool. Kentucky Dam has been spilling at an average rate of 113,000 cfs over the past few days. Barkley Dam has been spilling at a rate of just over 34,000 cfs over the past few days. 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 . With the water levels well below summer pool, boaters should be cautious about navigating outside of the marked channels. Just because these are big lakes does not mean they are deep lakes. Certainly, nothing can ruin a fun fishing trip quicker than a damaged lower unit or even worse an injury caused by striking an unseen underwater object.
Well it is time to start a new season but someone has forgotten to tell mother nature. Certainly it has been a long rough winter and it just doesn’t want to go away it seems. I wish the weather forecast was better but it is what it is. Tomorrow shows to be the best day over the next week or so with a high of 52 and low of 43 with wind SSE6. Another arctic cold front is coming in on Sunday with an 80% chance of rain, sleet, ice and snow (take your choice as the weather man hasn’t made up his mind yet which it will be). The forecasted high on Sunday is 43 with a low of 21 with wind N14. Monday is going back to the deep freeze with a high of 27 and low of 8 with an early morning chance of snow or rain. Wind is forecast to be N16. The extended forecast shows temperatures reaching the mid 40’s for highs and mid 20’s for low’s by Wednesday.
As you can see, our water temperatures are running 5-6 degrees below average for the first of March so we are still in winter bass patterns. The bite is slow but some fish are being taken when the weather allows for getting on the lakes. The best producers have been suspending jerkbaits fished with long pauses, slow rolled Alabama rigs, fluttering blade baits around cover and medium running crawfish colored crankbaits slow rolled around shallow rock near deeper water. The better bite has been during the warmer part of the day on the few warmer days we have gotten between cold fronts. Hopefully we are going to see the weather turn for the better soon but this is not in the immediate forecast. The water color on Kentucky is stained for the most part both in the creeks and bays as well as on the main lake. The water color on Barkley is heavily stained on the main lake with some of the creeks being down right muddy.
LARGEMOUTH BASS: Largemouth are being taken on suspending jerkbaits both shallow and deep divers fished in current breaks on the main lake and on channel points in the mouths of the creeks and bays. Largemouth are also being taken by slow rolling Alabama rigs in current breaks near cover on the main lakes and on shallow ledges in the mouths of the creeks and bays. Some fish are also being taken by fluttering blade baits near cover in current breaks and off channel points in the creeks and bays. Another pattern that has been producing a few good fish is slow rolling crawfish colored crankbaits and working finesse jigs on shallow rocky banks near deep water on the main lake and in the mouths of the creeks and bays during the warmer part of the day.
SMALLMOUTH BASS: Some Smallmouth have been taken on main lake gravel banks and points on suspending jerkbaits. Although the numbers are few, some nice fish have been taken. These fish should be getting more active soon with just a slight warm up of the surface temperatures.
CRAPPIE: Some Crappie are being taken on the warmer days as they are suspending over brush piles in staging areas at the mouths of the creeks and bays in 12-16 ft of water. These fish are being taken primarily on jigs tipped with minnows fished vertically. The numbers are still being reported as low but some nice big winter time Crappie have been taken.
If you are coming to the big lakes here to enjoy our great fishing, make sure you stop by these businesses for all your fishing and boating needs:
The Cabin Bait and Tackle is located in Kuttawa on U.S. 62 about one mile west of the I-24/U.S. 62 interchange. The Cabin Bait and Tackle has a great selection of the latest in rods, reels, lures for you bass anglers and also a great selection of tackle for the panfish anglers to include live bait. You can also find a selection of bows and guns for the hunter as well as personal handguns in the store. The Cabin also hosts the a website where you can order all your fishing needs with free shipping on all orders over 50.00. Be sure to check them out at www.tackleexperts.com . The Cabin has a great delicatessen where you can get that early morning breakfast sandwich or enjoy a delicious lunch. Phone: 270-388-6440
Fisherman’s Headquarters is located in Draffenville at the U.S. 68/U.S. 641 triangle. Fisherman’s Headquarters boasts a great selection of the latest in rods, reels and lures for bass anglers that are on the market, not to mention one of the best selection of high end lures and local custom lures we use here on Ky/Barkley lakes. You can find many of the custom lures you see in my fishing reports there including the Bag5 custom painted crank baits and jerk baits. Fisherman’s Headquarters also has a really good selection of Crappie and panfish tackle featuring Wally Marshall “Mr Crappie” rods, reels, lures and line as well as live baits. 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, Stratos and Triton bass boats too as well as bulk oil at rock bottom prices for your engine. Phone: 270-395-4030
ELIMINATING WATER CLASS: I stayed very busy this winter teaching this class and I am sorry I could not accomodate everyone that wanted the class. Since winter has decided to stay around for a while, I have decided to continue to offer this class during the month of March when I am not scheduled to be on the water. If you wanted this class but could not get the dates you wanted or you would like to come take the class this month, give me a call or drop me an email and I will get you scheduled for the class if at all possible. These classes are limited to one or two people per class. The classes last approximately 8 hours. The cost of the class is 200.00 which covers one or two people. These classes have been very popular with my clients over the past few years and all the feedback I get is very positive. Here are some examples of that feedback:
**Dave … Harry and I took your “Eliminating Water” class and it has helped both of us like you wouldn’t believe! – J. Harris
**In the past 3 tourney’s I have managed to get a limit on 3 separate lakes. Old Hickory, Barkley, and Barren. Managed a 3rd place finish Sunday on Barkley with a 6lb kicker. I have a lot more confidence when I hit the water now. I no longer pull the old “that bank looks good, lets waste a few hours here”. Thanks Dave – M. King
**Well worth the money – and probably the most valuable thing I have purchased in the terms of fishing. – K. Stephens
**The eliminating water class is without a doubt the best money I’ve spent on fishing in my life. – D. Page
Here is a short description of the Eliminating Water Class:
“How to Eliminate Water”: This class is done in a classroom environment. In this class you learn the most important thing that you can learn as a bass fisherman, that is, how eliminate water to find the Bass by finding the highest percentage spots during all the different seasons of the year that will hold more fish, more often. In this class you will learn what information you need to know in order to eliminate water to find these high percentage spots during your preplanning for a trip and how to apply this information as well as current environmental conditions to make decisions on which techniques you should be using when on the water that day and how to adjust to environment changes that can move your fish or change the pattern from day to day, season to season. Basically, what I teach you in this class is how to use knowledge of mother nature by using scientific knowledge, logic and common sense to develop a system to find your fish as well as make decisions before you get on the water and while you are on the water to be a more consistent bass angler. What I teach you in this class is what I do every day as a bass fishing guide when I am trying to find and catch bass with my clients. What you will learn in this class will apply anywhere you go bass fishing, this is not specific to just Ky and Barkley Lakes. Finding bass and making decisions as how to catch bass is not done solely by looking at electronics, it is accomplished with knowledge. There is no button on your sonar unit or mapping unit that says “Go Find Fish”. Sonar units show you fish AFTER you find them. Mapping units show you just that, a topographical map of the body of water you are on. The mapping unit allows you to mark spots on your electronic map where you have found fish and assist you in navigating back to those spots. Just as with a paper topographical map, you can scan over an electronic map and mark “places of interest” or as I call them “looks good” spots to go check out when you get on the water…but finding high percentage spots are not “looks good” spots. High percentage spots are selected by having the knowledge of what type spots have the highest percentage chance of holding bass during the different seasons of the year coupled with how to apply what is going on in the environment that will affect the fish.
Call or email me to book your class date while dates are still available!
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 18 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 2 Lowrance HDS 10’s 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.
Available Dates: I still have dates available in March for guided trips and also the Eliminating Water Class. I also still have some dates available in April and May for guided trips. Call me or drop me an email to book your spring dates now. The sooner you book, the more likely you can get the dates you want. I also will take bookings for the rest of the season also.
Captain Dave Stewart
Bass Buster Guide Service
“Fish With a Professional”