May 18, 2017
Kentucky Lake: Water Level at Kentucky Dam – 361.07 Surface Temperature – 75
Lake Barkley: Water Level at Barkley Dam – 361.10 Surface Temperature – 75
Both lakes are 2 feet over summer pool and on a slow draw down. Kentucky Dam was spilling at an average rate of 73,000 cfs this afternoon. Barkley Dam was spilling at an average rate of 49,000 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.
Current Conditions: We have had a mixture of some windy days and some calmer days over the past week since my last report. As I mentioned in last week’s report, the lakes are on a slow draw down to summer pool levels. The TVA is projecting that we should reach summer pool levels sometime Sunday. We have taken bass from the shallow spawning areas to the ledges over the past week so the “pick a pattern” continues but we are seeing more numbers of bass starting to show up on the ledges this past week, particularly the early ledges. There is still a lot of debris floating on both lakes so you need to use caution when running the lakes and keep a look out for this debris.
The forecast for tomorrow (Friday) is for a high of 82/night time low of 70 with a 50% chance of thunderstorms with wind SSW at 10. The Saturday forecast is showing a high of 86/night time low of 67 with an 80% chance of thunderstorms with wind S at 14. Sunday’s forecast is calling for a post frontal high of 74/night time low of 56 with an 80% chance of morning thunderstorms and wind WNW at 7. The extended forecast into next mid week is calling for high’s in the 70’s and low’s in the 50’s. Keep an eye on the sky this weekend for the thunderstorms, expect high winds near the storms with locally heavy rains and lightning.
Largemouth Bass: Largemouth are being taken in the shallows around brush as they are guarding nests with topwater lures, Texas rigged creature baits, tube jigs and jigs. Largemouth are being taken on channel banks and secondary points just outside the spawning areas on crank baits, spinner baits, chatter baits, Carolina and Texas rigged creature baits, jigs and shaky heads. Largemouth are being taken on primary points on the main lake as well as on creek channel ledges on the main lake and in the mouths of creeks and bays. These fish are being taken on deep diving crank baits, spoons, Carolina rigged creature baits and jigs.
Smallmouth Bass: Smallmouth are being taken on the main lake points and secondary points in the front halves of the creeks and bays. These fish are being taken on jigs, Carolina rigged creature baits and tube jigs. The numbers are low but some nice fish have been taken. Some Smallmouth are also being taken on ledges (same as above) on crank baits, jigs and Carolina rigged creature baits.
Productive Lures: Some of the productive lures reported this week are Bandit crank baits in rootbeer/chartruese, Rapala DT 6 and DT 10 in bluegill and sexy shad, Strike King XD 6 in Tennessee shad, sexy shad and chartruese sexy shad, D&L jigs in “oops” and cumberland craw, Slong’s jigs in cumberland craw, Last Cast jigs in green pumpkin, Charmer shakey head jigs and Slong’s shakey head jigs with Charmer shakey head worms in green pumpkin and watermelon/pruple and Zoom trick worm in green pumpkin/purple and watermelon/purple, Slong’s spinner baits in white/chartruese, Chatter baits in white/chartruese, Charmer lizards and timber pups on Texas rigs and Carolina rigs in green pumpkin and green pumpkin/blue.
Crappie: Most of the Crappie are on post spawn patterns and holding over cover in 10-15 feet of water by trolling small crankbaits or vertically fishing with small jigs and minnow/jig combinations. The are still some Crappie around brush and stake beds in 5-8 ft of water but they are scattered.
Bluegill/Red Ear: Bluegills and Red Ears are being taken around brush shallow as well as on the spawning flats in the creeks and bays in 3-5 ft of water. Crickets, red worms, wax worms under bobbers and red worms and pinched night crawlers fish on bottom on split shot rig is the ticket for these tasty fish.
Catfish: Channel catfish are being taken on rocky banks and points as well as rocky bottom flats in the creeks and bays. These fish are being taken on night crawlers fished under bobbers and on bottom rigs. Some good numbers of these fish are being reported.
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 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.
May: Sorry, I am booked up.
June: 16, 26, 27, 28
July: A number of available dates, make your reservation now to get the date(s) you want.
Of course I am taking reservations for the rest of the season also through November. Make your reservations now to get the dates you want.
Captain Dave Stewart
Bass Buster Guide Service
“Fish With a Professional”