March 31, 2017
Kentucky Lake: Water Level at Kentucky Dam – 355.62 Surface Temperature – 60
Lake Barkley: Water Level at Barkley Dam – 355.60 Surface Temperature – 60
Both lakes are one and one half foot above winter pool. Kentucky Dam was spilling at a rate of 66,000 cfs this morning. Barkley Dam was spilling at a rate of 46,000 cfs this morning. 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 Largemouth are now on prespawn patterns with more fish staging up on the ledges and points around the mouths of the creeks and bays as well as on the channel points in the front halves of the creeks and bays. As mentioned in last week’s report, there are some early fish roaming shallow in the creeks and bays also. We took fish again this week from the main lake to the shallows. Our best bite this week was on crawfish colored crank baits and suspending jerk baits on the more active fish and on shakey heads, finesse jigs and Texas rigged creature baits on less active fish.
The shallow water bite has been up and down this past week depending on the day. We had a good shallow pattern going late last week in 2-3 ft of water until the TVA dropped the lake levels one foot rapidly last Saturday night. This pulled the fish out for a day or so but they returned once the levels settled down early this week. The shallow water bite has been best late in the morning and early afternoon on warmer days, once the shallows warm up a couple of degrees. The bite on the staging points has been more consistant this past week. We are still getting frontal passages every other day right now so you need to be versitile in your patterns and bait selections from day to day. Just remember, these prespawn fish are now starting to transition for the up coming spawn and they are only going in one direction (toward the shallows) and they do not all move to the shallows at the same time anymore than do they all spawn at the same time.
The lake levels should start rising towards summer pool levels starting this next week. The lakes should reach summer pool levels by the last day of April barring any unforeseen rapid influx of water that would raise the levels to summer pool earlier. The weather forecast for tomorrow (Saturday) is for a high of 64/night time low of 46 with post frontal wind NNE at 7. Sunday’s forecast is for a high of 73/night time low of 58 with post frontal wind ESE at 10. Monday’s forecast is showing a 100% chance of thunderstorms with high south winds as another front approaches the lakes area. Make sure you check the latest wind and weather forecasts before you go out on the water. The forecasts change rapidly this time of year and we have had some days of some nasty storms and very high winds lately.
Largemouth Bass: Largemouth are being taken on main lake primary points and channel banks on deep and medium running crank baits, suspending jerk baits, shakey heads and jigs. Largemouth are being taken on channel banks and secondary points in the creeks and bays on suspending jerk baits, medium running crank baits, jigs and shakey heads. Some fish are being taken on shallow main lake flats and on flats in the backs of the creeks and bays on warm days on lipless crank baits and shallow running crank baits.
Smallmouth Bass: Smallmouth are being taken on main lake channel points and banks as well as on secondary points and channel banks in the front halves of the creeks and bays on medium running crank baits, suspending jerk baits, tube jigs and jigs. The numbers are low but some nice fish have been taken. These fish are on late prespawn/spawn patterns now.
Productive Lures: Some of the productive lures reported this week are Rapala DT crank baits in demon and red craw, Rapala shadraps in demon, red craw and original crawdad. Stike King 6XD crank baits in sexy shad and chartruese sexy shad, Megabass suspending jerk baits in Ito Watsugi, Lucky Craft suspending jerk baits in pearl ayu and aurora black. D&L jigs in “oops” and cumberland craw, Slong’s jigs in cumberland craw, Charmer shakey head jigs and Slong’s shakey head jigs with Charmer shakey head worms in green pumpkin and Zoom trick worm in green pumpkin/purple, Strike King red eye shad and Lewis rattletrap lipless crank baits in crawfish patterns. Spro Little John shallow and medium running crank baits in spring craw and chartreuse with black back.
Crappie: The Crappie are starting to spawn over the past few days. These are primarily Black Crappie. They are being taken around brush piles in 5-7 ft of water by fishing with minnows or small curly tail jigs under bobbers and by casting curly tail jigs. These fish are moving to the banks early in the morning and during the afternoon and are being taken by casting curly tail jigs and road runner type baits. The White Crappie are staging around brush and underwater stake beds in 8-11 ft of water as well as in 12-15 ft of water. These fish are being taken by vetically fishing with jigs and minnow jig combinations as well as slow trolling curly tail jigs.
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, Picasso lures, Bag 5 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 and Stratos 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.
March: Sorry, I am booked up.
April: Sorry, I am booked up.
May: 1, 4, 7, 8,12, 14, 15, 16, 17,18, 21, 22, 23
June: 13, 15, 16, 19, 20, 28, 29, 30
Of course I am taking reservations for the rest of the season also through November
Captain Dave Stewart
Bass Buster Guide Service
“Fish With a Professional”