March 27, 2014
Kentucky Lake: Water Level at Kentucky Dam – 355.78 Surface Temperature – 51
Lake Barkley: Water Level at Barkley Dam – 355.75 Surface Temperature – 51
Both lakes are about one and three quarters feet above winter pool and there has been little change over the past few days. Kentucky Dam has been generating at varying rates between 7,000 cfs and 29,000 cfs over the past few days. Barkley Dam has been generating at varying rates between 8,600 cfs and 27,000 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 . Kentucky Lake water clarity ranges from clear to slightly stained. Lake Barkley ranges from stained to heavily stained. 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. One can expect the lake levels to begin rising next week as the TVA starts to bring the lakes up to summer pool levels. Unless there is a large influx of water due to heavy rains here or up the rivers, the lakes should reach summer pool by the end of April in accordance with the TVA River Operating Schedule.
Well we are still in early March weather patterns with early March water temperatures here at the end of the month. We continue to get cold fronts about every 48-72 hours through the lakes area. This week we even woke up to snow covering the ground one morning. These cold fronts are keeping our daytime high temperatures well below normal for this time of year and of course our night time low’s much lower than normal with the only exception of a nice warmer day just now and then. These unseasonably lower tempertures have kept our water temperatures still running about 7-8 degrees below normal for this time of year. The Bass patterns have not changed nor have the Crappie patterns and won’t until we get some extended warmer weather to bring up the water temperatures. The Bass on the north ends of the lakes is still in early prespawn patterns with the far south end of Kentucky Lake on prespawn patterns where the water is a little warmer and the fish a little more active.
Today we have lake winds warnings out with high south winds as another cold front approaches the area. At least this cold front is not quite as harsh as those earlier this week and the weekend outlook is better than the weather we have had this past week. Friday’s forecast is for a high of 66 and a low of 47 with a 20% chance of rain. Wind is forecasted to be a post frontal wind from the N at 10. Saturday’s forecast looks like it may get some rough water with a high of 58, low of 35 with more post frontal wind of NNW at 15. Sunday is looking pretty good with a high of 66 and a low of 43 with a light post frontal wind of ESE at 5. The extended forecast into mid next week is showing more seasonable temperatures with day time high’s ranging from low 60’s to low 70’s with slight chances of rain on Monday and Wednesday. The best advice I can give anyone is to keep an eye on the weather and wind forecasts right now as I have seen the forecasts change a number of times during each day this past week.
LARGEMOUTH BASS: Largemouth are being taken by slow rolling deep diving crankbaits on primary points on the main lakes and deep secondary channel points in the mouths of the creeks and bays. Medium running crankbaits, lipless crankbaits, slow rolled spinnerbaits, tube jigs and jigs are taking Largemouth on gravel bars and shallow chunk rock banks near deep water on the main lakes and in the creeks and bays during the warm part of the day. Largemouth are also being taken on suspending jerkbaits on the main lake points and on channel points in the mouths of the creeks and bays. Largemouth are also being taken by slow rolling Alabama rigs near cover on the main lakes and on shallow ledges in the mouths of the creeks and bays.
SMALLMOUTH BASS: Some Smallmouth have been taken on main lake gravel banks and points on suspending jerkbaits and slow rolled crankbaits. Although the numbers are few, some nice fish have been taken.
Productive lures: Rapala Shadraps in orginal crawdad, and also in rootbeer painted by BAG5 Baits. Strike King DT6 in red crawfish and Demon. Bandit medium runners in red crawfish and rootbeer/chartreuse patterns. Strike King Red Eye Shad in red craw and chrome sexy shad, Slong’s spinnerbaits in blue glimmer and white/chartreuse, Lucky Craft pointers in aurora black and pearl ayu. BAG5 custom painted megabass jerk baits in aurora black. D&L baby advantage jigs in “oops” pattern and black/blue. Charmer tubes in green pumpkin with orange and purple flake and Big Hammer swim baits in pearl and sexy smelt on Alabama rigs.
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 by long lining (trolling) jigs and on jigs tipped with minnows fished vertically and by spider rigging. The Crappie were reported as scattered for the most part but some nice fish 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
Flash: The Cabin Bait and Tackle will be hosting their Customer Appreciation Day on Saturday, March 29th in conjunction with their 10 year Anniversary. There will be a free lunch provided with pork loin, hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, baked beans, lemonade and ice tea. There will be door prizes given away as well as special pricing through out the store. You don’t want to miss this so make your plans now!
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
Flash: Fisherman’s Headquarters just recently received a limited shipment of Lucky Craft Gunfish topwater lures in the 115 series size and ghost pearl lemon color pattern. I found many years ago that this is one of the most productive topwater lures on these waters in the fall but the dealers have a very hard time securing them for their customers. It took over a year and a half for FHQ to receive this limited shipment of their original order. I know that over the past couple of years I have even loaned some to my clients so they would have them to fish their fall tournaments. These lures won’t last long so if you want one or two, you should go by FHQ and get them or call them and have them ship them to you.
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
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 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. I am also taking bookings for my Ledge Teaching trip. The Ledge Teaching trip consists of both classroom and time on the water. This trip not only teaches you how to find the highest percentage ledges but also what you are looking for on your sonar and how to interpret what you are seeing, how to search the ledges, set up on the ledges as well as making decisions on what type lures you should be throwing depending on enviromental conditions.
Captain Dave Stewart
Bass Buster Guide Service
“Fish With a Professional”