March 20, 2018
Kentucky Lake: Water Level at Kentucky Dam – 354.12 Surface Temperature – 53
Lake Barkley: Water Level at Barkley Dam – 354.20 Surface Temperature – 53
Both lakes are at winter pool. Kentucky Dam was spilling at an average rate of 115,400 cfs this morning. Barkley Dam was spilling at an average rate of 65,200 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.
I am a couple of weeks late in getting my weekly fishing reports started this season but the demand for my Eliminating Water classes this winter delayed me from getting back on the water at my usual early March starting time. I am happy to have the new season underway and am happy to now be back on the water. It has been a crazy late winter so far this season with unseasonably warm water temperatures in late February due to flood water coming through the lakes from down south, an early season flooding of the lakes earlier this month where we went from winter pool to 5 feet over summer pool in a few days and a fast draw down over this past week back down to winter pool levels. A return of cooler weather has dropped the water temperatures from the mid 50’s to present levels also.
As you can imagine, these large fluctuations in the water levels over the past couple of weeks have kept the bass patterns changing. Hopefully we have seen the last of the flooding for a while and the fish will now settle back into an early pre spawn pattern.
Current Conditions: We still have a lot of water moving through the lakes from up the rivers so there is strong current on both lakes. Kentucky Lake water clarity ranges from stained to clear now and Lake Barkley ranges from heavily stained to stained. There is some floating debris on both lakes but especially on Barkley. Most of the debris has cleared on Kentucky Lake but keep an eye out while running for safety’s sake.
The fast draw down of the lakes has somewhat scattered the bass this past week. Bass are being taken from the shallows in the creeks and bays to the deep points and ledges on the main lakes. The wind lately has made fishing a challenge on the main lakes for most anglers. This was reflected in the results of the first FLW Bass Fishing League’s tournament this past weekend. Although there were 2 really nice bags of fish taken in the tournament, there were only 7 limits of 5 fish weighed in and it only took 8lbs to get a check. Over two thirds of 150 boats weighed only two fish or less with the largest majority of those folks not weighing any fish.
LARGEMOUTH BASS: Largemouth are being taken on the ledges and deep main lake points with current breaks on Alabama rigs and jigs. Largemouth are also being taken in shallow cuts on the main lake near deep water on spinner baits, lipless crank baits and jigs. Largemouth are being taken on creek channel banks and secondary points in the creeks and bays on Alabama rigs, jigs and slow rolled crank baits. Largemouth are also being taken in the shallows in the creeks and bays on spinner baits and lipless crank baits. As you can see, the fish are scattered. Most of the shallow fish are small fish with an occasional nice fish. The majority of the larger fish are coming from deep points and ledges on the main lake and around the mouths of the creeks and bays.
SMALLMOUTH BASS: Some nice Smallmouth have been taken as they are on their pre spawn bite right now. Most of these fish are being taken on main lake points and deep points in the mouths of the creeks and bays on Alabama rigs and jigs.
PRODUCTIVE LURES: Alabama rig with Keitech swim baits in French pearl and Pro blue, Big Hammer swim baits in pearl white and sexy smelt, Rapala DT 10 and DT 6 crank baits in crawdad patterns, Rapala Shad Raps in crawdad patterns, Strike King Red Eye Shad in red craw, chrome sexy shad and blue chrome, Rattle Traps in red craw and chrome shad, D&L jigs in black blue and oops patterns, Slong’s jigs in black blue, Slong’s spinner baits in white/chartreuse.
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 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 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 Commanche 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: 10, 13, 14, 15
May: 7, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 24
June: 12, 13, 20, 25, 27, 28, 29
I am taking reservations also for July, August, September, October and November.
Captain Dave Stewart
Bass Buster Guide Service
“Fish With A Professional”