August 18, 2017
Kentucky Lake: Water Level at Kentucky Dam – 358.03 Surface Temperature – 83
Lake Barkley: Water Level at Barkley Dam – 358.00 Surface Temperature – 83
Both lakes are one foot below summer pool. Kentucky Dam was generating at an average rate of 46,900 cfs this morning. Barkley Dam was generating at an average rate of 27,600 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 heat and humidity moved back into the lakes area this past week with daily heat indexes reaching near or at the 100 degree mark each day. As you can see the water temperatures have remained the same as last week due to this latest heat wave. Heavy rains up the rivers have kept the lake levels within inches of where they were last week also. A front moved though the area yesterday which will move back north through the lakes area as a warm front over the weekend keeping the day time temperatures in the 90’s with some higher heat indexes. The next significant cold front is forecasted to move through the lakes area next Wednesday and if the extended forecast is correct, we should return to more favorable day time highs and night time low’s to drop start dropping the water temperatures again late next week and move us closer to the beginnings of the early fall transition patterns.
As I mentioned in last week’s report, a number of the schools of the spring fry have moved out of the shallows in the creeks and bays to the main lake as well as the front halves of the creeks and bays. This movement is providing some scattered early and late top water bite on secondary points in the creeks and bays as well as on main lake points and main lake flats. After the morning bite, it becomes a matter of junk fishing points, docks and isolated wood cover with finesse baits to put a limit in the boat. This bite is scattered as these schools of small fry are moving around quite a lot so basically I would continue to call the overall bass bite as slow and scattered. This slow and scattered bite includes the ledges where the fish have been scattered and finicky for the most part too. This movement of schools of fry is not the fall transition. The fall transition begins when large schools of shad start showing up in the shallows in the creeks and bays from deeper water…not fry moving out to deeper water.
An example of the scattered bite is shown from the results of 2 tournaments held here last weekend. In one tournament, there was only one 5 fish limit weighed in and in the other, two 5 fish limits weighed in. Like I have said before in the past, this is not the type of report I like to provide, but it is what it is and I am not going to report a good bite just to try to generate business. If you want to go out and learn how to catch a few fish when the bite is tough and a lot of folks are not catching any fish, then I would be happy to take you out and show you how not to zero out there.
FLASH: Expect heavy boat traffic on the lake this weekend and on Monday with the crowds coming in to veiw the total eclipse on Monday. Please exercise caution, drive your boat defensively and be courteous to other boaters. Let’s get though this weekend without any boating accidents.
Largemouth Bass: Largemouth are being taken on primary points on the main lake as well as on ledges on the main lake and in the mouths of creeks and bays. These fish are being taken on swim baits, spoons, Texas rigged large worms, drop shot rigs, shaky heads, Carolina rigged creature baits and jigs. Largemouth are being taken in the backs of the creeks and bays as well as on main lake points and shallow flats early and late in the day on topwater lures as they are feeding on schools of fry. Some Largemouth are also being taken shallow near isolated wood cover and around docks with cover during the day on spinner baits, texas rigged creature baits, jigs, tube jigs, Senko type baits and flukes.
Smallmouth Bass: Smallmouth are being taken on main lake points and on ledges during the day on jigs and Carolina rigged creature baits. Smallmouth and Largemouth are being taken at night on rocky main lake points and rocky points inside the mouths of creeks and bays on dark skirted spinner baits, jigs and tube jigs.
Productive Lures: Some of the productive lures reported this week are Lucky Craft Sammy and Lucky Craft Gunfish in ghost pearl lemon, Strike King spash baits in white, Big Hammer swim baits in sexy smelt and bay smelt, D&L jigs in “oops” and cumberland craw, Slong’s jigs in cumberland craw and black/blue, Charmer and Zoom large worms in green pumpkin on Texas rigs and Carolina rigs, Charmer lizards and timber pups on Texas rigs and Carolina rigs in green pumpkin, green pumpkin/blue and watermelon/purple, Charmer shaky head worms and zoom trick worms on shaky head jigs in green pumpkin and watermelon/purple and Charmer tubes in smoke purple and green pumpkin/orange flake on tube jig heads rigged stupid style, Zoom fluke junior in white and variations of green pumpkin robo worms on drop shot rigs.
White Bass: White Bass are being taken along main lake ledges and the ledges around the mouths of the creeks and bays with in line spinners and blade baits fished vertically as well as around mayfly hatches near overhanging trees early and late in the day. The mayfly hatches are not large but some smaller hatches are still occuring on some nights.
Catfish: Channels and blues are being taken along river ledges in 20-30 feet of water on cut baits on bottom rigs. The catfish bite has been good this week with current having been generated around the clock.
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
FLASH: Fisherman’s Headquarters has recently received a shipment of the sought after Realis crank baits and jerk baits as well as Lucky Craft 100 series Sammy’s and 115 Series Gunfish in my favorite Ghost Pearl Lemon colors just in time for the upcoming fall bite. The store also now has a selection of the now popular “HeyBo” clothing in stock.
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.
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 enviromental 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 afer you find them.
August: Sorry, I am booked up.
September, October and November: I have a number of dates available. Make your reservations now for the fall fishing to get the date(s) you want.
Captain Dave Stewart
Bass Buster Guide Service
“Fish With a Professional”