Fishing Report August 26, 2016

August 26, 2016

Kentucky Lake: Water Level at Kentucky Dam – 356.95 Surface Temperature – 87
Lake Barkley: Water Level at Barkley Dam – 357.05 Surface Temperature – 87

Both lakes are two feet below summer pool and on a slow draw down. Kentucky Dam was generating at an average rate of 58,000 cfs this morning. Barkley Dam was generating at an average rate of 28,800 cfs this morning. The latest lake levels , current flows and forecasts for all the TVA lakes can be found at

General Conditions: We enjoyed some nice cool days earlier this week behind the strong cold front that passed through the lakes area last weekend but the heat of summer returned this week with daytime heat indexes around 100 the past few days. This of course raised the water temperatures by about 3 degrees back to normal deep summer levels. The lake levels rose with the heavy rains south of us last weekend and the TVA has been pulling the levels back down the past few days which has given us a little current which we have not seen in a while. The ledge bite has picked up a little with this current but the bite has still remained scattered and slow for the most part overall with the lower oxygen levels of deep summer water temperatures.

There has been some speculation that we are now in the transition from summer to fall patterns. I believe this may be due to the fact that some fish are being taken shallow feeding on schools of fry. Fact is that seasonal migrations are based on water conditions, particularly water temperatures and not calendars. We are in the middle of summer with summer water temperatures and low oxygen levels. Historically we always have a tougher bite this time of year with the prevailing environment conditions of deep summer. Fact is we have been taking fish shallow feeding on these schools of fry since June as a back up pattern through the summer as we do every summer and has been in my weekly report all summer. What is disturbing though is that what we are seeing is that most of these large schools of shallow fry are not shad, but asian carp fry. We are not seeing large schools of threadfin shad yet in the shallows that will be the first to show up when the fall transition begins. These fish will be larger than the fry that are shallow now and you will notice large dark schools, not the spead out schools of small fry that are now there in the shallows. Typically the fall transition starts sometime in September, based on falling water temperatures. I have seen it start as early as the first week or two of September and as late as the end of September. According to my over 30 years of detailed logs, it will begin when the morning water temperatures on the main lake fall to the mid 70’s.

That being said, the same conditions that I have been reporting over the past few weeks of an overall slow bite continues to be true. The bite is spotty and now and then we get into some active feeding fish but the numbers are low and most days the bite is slow and scattered. Wood cover has been the most productive pattern whether we are fishing ledges or back in the creeks. Slower techniques such as Carolina rigs, Texas rigs, jigs, shaky heads, drop shots and dead sticking senko type lures have been the most productive with some early morning and late evening bite in the shallows on topwater lures, spinner baits and square billed crank baits producing some fish, especially on cloudy days.

The forecast for Saturday is for a high of 90/low of 74 with a 60% chance of scattered thunderstorms with wind SSE at 4. Sunday is showing a high of 92/low if 73 with a 20% chance of scattered thunderstorms with wind E at 3. The extended forecast through next mid week is calling for high’s around 90/low’s in the 70’s with sunny skies and light winds. Looks like we are in for some more deep summer days of high heat indexes and flat water next week.

LARGEMOUTH BASS: Largemouth are being taken on the tops of the ledges as well as on main lake points where there is shallow wood near the deep water. These fish are being taken on Carolina rigged creature baits, Texas rigged large worms, drop shots, shaky heads and jigs There are also some bass being taken on secondary creek channel points with wood cover and around docks where there are schools of fry. These fish are being taken on unweighted senko type baits, tube jigs and finesse jigs. Some Largemouth are also being taken around isolated wood in the shallows with topwater lures, spinner baits, lipless crankbaits, square billed crankbaits, jigs, shakey heads and Texas rigged creature baits especially early in the morning and late in the evening.

SMALLMOUTH BASS: Smallmouth are being taken on the ledges with Carolina rigged creature baits and jigs. Smallmouth are also being taken on main lake rocky points and banks as well as rocky banks and points in the creeks and bays. These fish are being taken on jigs, Texas rigged creature baits, tube jigs and shakey heads. Smallmouth are being taken on the rocky points on the main lake and in the front halves of the creeks and bays at night on large dark skirted spinner baits and jigs.

PRODUCTIVE LURES: Some of the productive lures this week have been: Lucky Craft Sammy in ghost pearl lemom, buzz baits in white and also black, Bag5 custom painted Strike Red Eye Shad in blue glimmer, Stike King Red Eye Shad in sexy shad and chrome sexy shad, Slong’s spinner bait in blue glimmer and chartruese/white, Slong’s football jig with a blue craw skirt, Slong’s and Charmer shaky head jigs with Charmer shaky head worm in green pumpkin as well as Charmer timber pups in green pumpkin/blue and watermelon purple, Charmer timber pups in green pumpkin blue and watermelon/purple on Carolina rigs and Texas rigs, Charmer 10.5 inch ribbon tail and paddle tail worms in plum and green pumpkin on Texas rigs and dead sticking Yamamoto Senko’s in green pumpkin and green pumpkin magic.

White Bass: White Bass are being taken along the old river channel ledges by vertically fishing with inline spinners, live minnows fished vertically and blade baits as well as trolling inline spinners behind deep diving crank baits. White Bass have been somewhat active this week in the jumps along the river channel ledges and creek channel ledges as well as on the main lake flats, but the jumps are short in duration. These fish are being taken on inline spinners and small spoons cast into the surface feeding fish.

Catfish: Catfish are being taken along the old river channel ledges in 20-30 feet of water on bottom rigs baited with cut baits, shrimp and leach combinations and yellow tails.

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.

FLASH: I am happy to announce that Fisherman’s Headquarters has received and now has in stock a large shipment of Lucky Craft 100 series Sammy’s and 115 series Gunfish lures in the ghost pearl lemon pattern. These two lures have always been very productive top water lures on these lakes but very difficult for the tackle shops to obtain in any numbers each year. As a matter of fact, every year I have had to loan some of my personal stock of these lures to my tournament clients to use in the fall because what few are available each season are always sold out early. If you do not have any of these lures and want to stock up on some, now is the time while they are readily available. You can get them by stopping by Fisherman’s Headquarters or call them and have them shipped to you. 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.

Ledge Teaching: I have been providing a focused learning experience trip for a number of years to teach bass anglers how to find the most productive ledges and also how to fish them. This learning experience features both classroom and on the water instruction. You cannot learn everything you need to learn “in the classroom” nor can you learn everything you need to learn “on the water”. This experience features both aspects. After this experience with me, you should be able to successfully find and fish the ledges here or on any body of water with ledges. If you would like to really learn how to find and fish the ledges as well as make the right lure selections etc, give me a call or drop me an email to book one of my open dates.

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.

Available Dates:

August: 29, 30, 31
September: 6, 7, 8, 11, 26, 27, 28
October: 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 24, 26, 29, 30, 31
November: A number of dates still available
Make your reservations now to get the date(s) you want.

Captain Dave Stewart
Bass Buster Guide Service
“Fish With a Professional”