August 6, 2015
Kentucky Lake: Water Level at Kentucky Dam – 358.00 Surface Temperature – 87
Lake Barkley: Water Level at Barkley Dam – 357.80 Surface Temperature – 87
Both lakes are one foot below summer pool and on a slow draw down in accordance with the TVA River Operating System, both lakes should reach two feet below summer pool by the end of this month barring any unforeseen influx of water. Kentucky Dam has been generating a peak flow of around 53,000 cfs every day this week during late morning and afternoons. Barkley Dam has been generating an average flow of 23,300 cfs around the clock 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.
General Conditions: I got back on the water after my vacation last week on Monday and this week started off with a bang. On Monday after a short time spent early on some top water bite back shallow, my client and I went to the ledges and my client had a great day catching some really nice large bass. His best 5 fish topped 28 lbs with an 8 lb kicker. Certainly one of those days for the memory book. Overall the ledges are still spotty and patience is key as is fishing slower techniques such as Carolina rigged creature baits, slow dragging football head jigs and Texas rigged large worms. When you find the fish, you just have to stay with them and fish slow. My client mentioned above took 2 limits of very good fish but it took 4 hours of fishing one area of the same ledge. The early morning top water bite back shallow is still there but not quite as productive as it has been over the past month as many of the schools of fry are now transitioning out of the very shallow water in the backs of the creeks and moving toward deeper water. There is some early morning and late evening top water bite now on the secondary points about half way back in the creeks and bays where bass are feeding on these transitioning schools of fry. One can also catch fish on the deeper flats in 5-8 ft of water during the day where bass are feeding on these fry schools. We are also now getting some large mayfly hatches and bass along with other fish are feeding on these hatches early in the morning and late in the evening around over hanging trees in the creeks and bays.
We are still in typical late summer weather patterns with a lot of hot and humid days with a few less humid days mixed in after frontal passages. We are experiencing some nasty scattered thunderstorms with these frontal passages with some locally heavy rains, wind and nasty lightning. Keep an eye on the sky and go to safe harbor when you see any approaching storm. These storms are fast movers so don’t delay very long when you see one to get to safe harbor. The forecast for Friday is calling for a high of 85/low of 67 with post frontal wind NE4. Saturday and Sunday will be heating back up with high’s in the low 90’s/ low’s in the 70’s with light easterly winds. The humidity will be back this weekend so make sure you have plenty of water and sports drinks with you. The extended forecast into next mid week is showing a return to the 80’s by Tuesday with low’s in the 60’s and north quadrant post frontal winds.
Largemouth Bass: Largemouth are being taken ledges on the main lake and around the mouths of deeper creeks and bays. These fish are being taken on Carolina rigged creature baits, dragging large football head jigs, Texas rigged large worms, shaky heads and drop shot rigs as well as large spoons and large swim baits. Largemouth are also being taken on primary points and channel banks of the main lake as well as on the points inside the mouths of the creeks and bays using the same techniques as mentioned above. Largemouth are also still being taken in the backs of the creeks and bays early and late in the day where they are feeding on schools of spring fry. There is some early morning and late evening top water bite now on the secondary points about half way back in the creeks and bays where bass are feeding on these transitioning schools of fry. One can also catch fish on the deeper flats in 5-8 ft of water during the day where bass are feeding on these fry schools. These fish are being taken on chatter baits, spinner baits and lipless crank baits. We are also now getting some large mayfly hatches and bass along with other fish are feeding on these hatches early in the morning and late in the evening around over hanging trees in the creeks and bays. These bass are being taken on Carolina and Texas rigged creature baits as well as finesse jigs. Largemouth are also being taken at night on main lake banks and points on dark skirted spinner baits and tube jigs.
Smallmouth Bass: Smallmouth are being taken on rocky main lake primary points and secondary points in the front halves of the creeks and bays as well as on ledges. These fish are being taken on Carolina rigged creature baits, jigs, tube jigs and shaky heads. The summer night bite for these feisty fighters is on now and they are being taken on large dark skirted spinner baits and tube jigs on both gravel and rocky main lake points.
Productive Lures: Some of the more productive lures reported this week are: Lucky Craft Sammy in ghost pearl lemon and Strike Splash baits in bone for the shallow top water bite, Charmer Timber Pups in green pumpkin and watermelon/purple on Carolina rigs (deep) and Texas rigs (shallow), Charmer shaky head worms on drop shot rigs in green pumpkin and watermelon/purple as well as Robo worms in green pumpkin variations, Charmer 10.5 inch worms in plum and green pumpkin/purple on Texas rigs, Slong’s trokar football head jigs in possum and Cumberland craw and D&L football head jigs in Oops and Cumberland Craw patterns, Slong’s shaky head jigs with Charmer shaky head worms in watermelon candy and Charmer tubes in road kill and green pumpkin/orange on tube jigs.
White Bass: Whites are now being taken by trolling inline spinners behind deep diving crank baits along channel ledges and vertically fishing inline spinners and small spoons over schools of deeper fish.
Catfish: Catfish are being taken in the old river channels now in 20-30 ft of water on bottom rigs with cut baits,night crawlers. shrimp and leach combinations and yellow tails during periods of current.
If you are planning a visit to the lakes area, I highly recommend these local 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 All Pro Rods. 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, 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 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.
August: 24, 25
September: I have a number of dates still available…call or email me now to get the date(s) you want.
Call me or drop me an email to 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 electronics 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 environmental conditions. You do not learn how to find and fish the best ledges by simply looking at your electronics….it takes knowledge to find and fish the best ledges, the electronics are just a tool to assist you in seeing the fish after you find them.
Captain Dave Stewart
Bass Buster Guide Service
“Fish With A Professional”