April 23, 2015
Kentucky Lake: Water Level at Kentucky Dam – 361.65 Surface Temperature – 65
Lake Barkley: Water Level at Barkley Dam – 361.75 Surface Temperature – 65
Both lakes are 3.5 feet over summer pool. Kentucky Dam was spilling at an average rate of 107,000 cfs this afternoon. Barkley Dam was spilling at an average rate of 74,000 cfs this 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 . Kentucky Lake ranges from slightly stained to clear. Lake Barkley ranges from heavily stained in the river channel to clear in most creeks but some creeks do have heavily stained water in the backs of the creeks. Barkley is definitely fishable. There is debris floating in both lakes with the water up so be very careful when running the lakes.
General Conditions: This past week has been a week with back to back cold fronts, some high winds and of course some more rain. The lakes rose to present levels over the past week with locally heavy rains and heavy rains up the rivers. Although the high winds did keep us off the lakes a couple of days, we did manage to get out most of the days over the past week. The Largemouth are on a late prespawn/spawn patterns now with some spawning, some feeding up in the shallows getting ready to spawn and still some staging on the final lead in banks just off the spawning areas. The high water is in the button brush and mustard flowers. The bite has been good on days just before the frontal passages and somewhat slower on post frontal days, but even on the post frontal days there are fish to be caught. The current TVA forecast for the lake levels is to start a slow draw down tomorrow but these forecasts can change so monitor the TVA site for the most recent updates. Most of the Crappie reports are indicating that the peak of the Crappie spawn is over and the bite has been somewhat scattered over the past week with the rapid rise in water levels. No doubt once things settle down, there will still be some late Crappie to spawn.
The forecast for tomorrow is for a high of 65 and low of 55 with a 50% chance of rain in the evening with wind ESE8. Saturday is forecasted with a high of 80 and low of 54 with an 80% chance of rain and thunderstorms. Wind is forecasted to be SW14 as another cold front approaches the area and right now is forecasted to come through on Saturday night. Sunday will be post frontal with a high of 63, low of 45 with a 20% chance of rain and wind N10. The extended forecast into mid next week is for post frontal conditions with high’s in the 60’s, low’s around 50 and northernly quadrant winds.
Largemouth Bass: Largemouth are being taken on secondary points and channel banks inside the creeks and bays leading into the spawning areas. These staging fish are taking shallow running crank baits, spinnerbaits, Texas rigged lizards and creature baits, jigs and shakey heads. Largemouth are also being taken on shallow flats and ditches in front of the spawning areas on lipless crankbaits, spinnerbaits, Texas rigged lizards, whacky rigs and jigs. Our best bite for larger fish over the past week has been dragging Texas rigged lizards and jigs on the lead in banks just off the spawning areas and on the flats and ditches in front of and around the flooded brush and flowers.
Smallmouth Bass: Smallmouth are being taken on shallow main lake gravel points and banks near the channels and on gravel secondary points and banks in the creeks and bays. These fish are being taken on slow rolled crank baits, Texas and Carolina rigged lizards and creature baits, tube jigs and jigs.
Productive Lures: Some of the more productive lures this week have been: Bandit crankbaits in rootbeer and rootbeer/chartreuse, Spro Little John crankbaits in spring craw, Strike King Red Eye Shad lipless crankbaits in red or orange with black crawdad patterns as well as chrome sexy shad, D&L jigs in Cumberland Craw and Oops patterns with Missle Turbo Tail trailers, Last Cast jigs in green pumpkin with Baby Paca Craw trailer, Slong’s spinnerbaits in white/chartreuse, Charmer lizards and timber pups on Texas and Carolina rigs in green pumpkin and watermelon/red, Charmer shakey head worms as well as Yamamoto senkos and Yum Dingers on D&L and Slong’s shakey head jigs in green pumpkin, Zoom trick worms in green pumpkin and green pumpkin/blue on whacky rigs
Crappie: Crappie have reportedly been scattered this week with the rising water. I have had reports of Crappie being taken on spider rigs in 12-15 ft of water over brush piles on jigs tipped with minnows as well as Crappie being taken in 3-5 ft of water near buck brush and flowers on minnows under bobbers. Most of the reports are saying that the peak of the Crappie spawn is over but I am sure once the water settles down there will still be a number of Crappie hanging around shallow for a while to be taken.
Catfish: Channel Catfish are moving up on shallow rocky main lake banks to feed as well as on the flats in the backs of the creeks and bays. These fish are being taken on rod/reel with night crawlers fished on bottom and under bobbers. Catfish are also being taken on the flats in the backs of the creeks and bays on jug lines baited with threadfin shad and also night crawlers.
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 19 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 sonar 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.
April: Sorry, I am booked up.
May: Sorry, I am booked up.
June: 12, 24, 25, 29
Call me or drop me an email to book your late summer and fall trips with me now. The sooner you make a reservation, the more likely you are to get the date(s) you want.
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”