September 25, 2014
Kentucky Lake: Water Level at Kentucky Dam – 355.16 Surface Temperature – 75
Lake Barkley: Water Level at Barkley Dam – 355.25 Surface Temperature – 75
Both lakes are 4 feet below summer pool and holding at this time. Kentucky Dam has been generating at an average rate between 14,000 – 55,000 the past few days. The lower generation is occurring at night and during the morning hours with step ups to the higher rate during the afternoon. Barkley Dam has been generating an average between 8,200 – 24,900 the past few days with lower generation during the night and during the morning hours with higher rates during the afternoon. 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 .
As I mentioned in last week’s report, we are in the early stages of the fall transition here on the big lakes as the fish are traveling following schools of baitfish as they slowly start moving toward the creeks and bays to feed up for the coming winter. This transition lasts about 5 -6 weeks depending on lowering water temperatures. This makes for spotty bass fishing and a slower bite. I also mentioned that tournament weights normally drop during this period as the fish are traveling and moving around a lot making it harder to find and target them on any given day. An example of this slower production rate and slower bite would be results of the 2 day Walmart BFL Super Tournament held here last weekend. First let me congratulate Brent Anderson for a fine win with a total of 41.01 lbs for the 2 days. This weight blew away the rest of the field. Here are some numbers from the tournament: There were only 11 limits weighed in on Day 1 out of 77 boats. 28 boats had only 1 fish or zeroed on Day 1 with most of those showing a zero. It only took 10lbs to make the top 15 cut for Day 2.
Weather conditions this week mirrored last week. We are having some beautiful early fall days with blue skies and light winds. We are sitting under high pressure and the forecast is for this to continue through the weekend and into next week. The forecast for tomorrow is for a high of 80, low of 60 with wind ENE 6. Saturday and Sunday are showing high’s in the mid 80’s with low’s in the lower 60’s with easterly quadrant winds at 5. This same pattern of blue bird skies, high pressure and light winds is in the extended forecast through next week. The days are going to be nice….but with this weather pattern and the bass and shad in transition, I expect the bite to continue to be slow. But, you can catch some fish and we have caught fish all week…just not big numbers, we have had a few really nice fish but just not numbers. We are concentrating our efforts in the creeks and bays where the first wave of young threadfin shad have moved in toward the shallows. We are spending some time on ledges but they are very spotty with the fish traveling. Look at it this way, the fish that have moved into the creeks are not going anywhere until the winter cold fronts come in…so the fish there are not traveling all over the lake and I would rather fish where I know the fish are hanging out and not go out and chase ghosts.
LARGEMOUTH BASS: Largemouth are being taken on ledges on the main lakes as well as on main lake points and on secondary channel points in the front halves of the creeks and bays. There is some early and late topwater bite on the points but it is scattered. The ledge fish and the fish on the points are more consistant using slow techniques with smaller lures on Carolina rigs, shakey heads and jigs but some of the fall transitioning fish are starting to school on main lake points and it is opportunity fishing and not consistant but there are reports of these traveling schools and when you find them you can get well quick with a crankbait. Some bass are also being taken early and late on main lake flats near stumps on topwater lures and slow rolled spinnerbaits. We are taking some shallow topwater bass in the backs of the creeks and bays early in the morning and late evening on walking baits and splash baits. We are taking bass on lead in channel banks and on staging points in the creeks and bays after sunrise and during the day on finesse jigs, shaky heads, and light Carolina rigs with creature baits. Some bass are also being taken during late morning and during the day on flats in the creeks and bays where they are chasing schools of small shad. These fish are being taken on spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, lipless crankbaits and slow rolled square billed crankbaits. The fish are scattered there but can be taken with patience. Overall, the Largemouth bite during the day is slow. The better bite is consistantly being reported late in the afternoon on ledges with current and better at night on main lake points. The night fish are being taken on dark colored spinnerbaits and jigs and the bite has been reported as good.
SMALLMOUTH BASS: Smallmouth are being taken on main lake ledges on jigs and Carolina rigged creature baits as well as on main lakes points and the first points and channel banks in the front halves of the creeks and bays.. The numbers of fish are not great but some quality fish have been taken. Smallmouth are also being taken at night on rocky points and banks on Kentucky Lake with dark colored spinnerbaits and tube jigs. Good Largemouth are also being taken on this night pattern.
Some of the more productive lures reported this week: Strike King Splash baits in shad pattens and Lucky Craft Sammy in ghost pearl lemon, Bag5 custom painted lipless and square billed crankbaits in blue glimmer pattern, Charmer timber pups in green pumpkin and watermelon with purple flake on Carolina rigs, D&L football head jigs in Cumberland craw and Oops patterns on the ledges and the baby advantage jigs in the same patterns on the points and channel banks in the creeks and bays,Chatterbaits in blue glimmer, Slong’s spinnerbaits in blue glimmer, Charmer shaky head worms in green pumpkin blue and green pumpkin on Slong’s shakey heads, Yum Dingers in green pumpkin on flick shake heads and shaky heads.
White Bass: White Bass are being taken along the river channel ledges and adjacent flats by verictally fishing with inline spinners and small spoons as well as by trolling with small spinners behind deep diving crankbaits. The better bite is reported with the vertical fishing and the White Bass bite is reported as good right now.
Catfish: Catfish are being on the main lake on river channel ledges in 20-30 ft of water by bottom bouncing shrimp and leach combinations and also on bottom rigs baited with cut baits with best bite during the current draw periods.
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
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.
September: Sorry, I am booked up.
October: 15, 26, 29, 30, 31
November: I still have a number of dates available. November can be a great month for active bass on topwater, crankbaits and spinnerbait action…book your trip now while I still have dates available.
Captain Dave Stewart
Bass Buster Guide Service
“Fish With a Professional”