August 16, 2018
Kentucky Lake: Water Level at Kentucky Dam – 357.21 Surface Temperature – 85
Lake Barkley: Water Level at Barkley Dam – 357.20 Surface Temperature – 85
Both lakes are 2 feet below summer pool and on a slow draw down. Kentucky Dam was generating at an average rate of 33,000 cfs this morning. Barkley Dam was generating at an average rate of 17,600 cfs this morning. In accordance with the TVA River Operating System Schedule, the TVA has started the slow draw down of the lakes to winter pool levels. Barring any unforeseen influx of water, you can expect the lakes to be drawn down about one foot per month now until we reach winter pool levels. As the lake levels drop boaters should be cautious when navigating the lakes. There are a number of areas where old foundations, stumps, humps and ridges are just waiting to ruin your trip and cause damage to you and your boat. If you are not familiar with the lakes, follow the navigation buoys and be very careful when navigating outside the buoys. 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: There really has not been any real change in the fishing conditions here since my last report. The early morning shallow water bite where some bass are feeding on schools of fry continues to be the most productive pattern for putting some keeper sized and larger bass in the boat. The numbers have not been great but we have not had any mornings this week without a few keepers sized bass in the boat as well as some smaller fish. Some days are better than others of course. We had one morning this week with a limit of bass anchored by a 7lb and a 5lb fish. The next morning we only had 2 keepers with the largest at 3lbs and a few smaller fish. We fished the ledges this week also but with the same results we have been having and that is a slow and scattered bite with only a few fish.
We have been seeing a good number of schools of fry that have moved to deeper water over the past couple of weeks. The numbers of shallow water fry are depleting in a number of the creeks and bays now as these fry are starting to mature and move deeper but one can still find some back shallow with a little searching. Some of these schools can be found on channel points and banks with wood cover in the creeks and bays as they are migrating to deeper water. The question is: are these shad fry or Asian carp fry? Personally, I believe it is some of both. We will know for sure when the fall transition begins. If they are shad fry they will move back to the shallows during the early part of the transition in large numbers. The fall transition typically begins when the morning water temperatures reach the mid 70’s. I have seen years when this happened the first week of September and some years not until early October. Water temperatures key the seasonal migrations, not calendars.
LARGEMOUTH BASS: Largemouth are being taken on the ledges on the main lakes and around the mouths of the deeper creeks and bays. The ledge bite is slow. These fish are being taken with Carolina rigged creature baits, Texas rigged large worms, jigs, drop shots, shaky heads and swim baits. Largemouth are also being taken early and late in the day in the backs of the creeks and bays on top water lures where they are feeding on schools of fry. Largemouth are also being taken in the creeks and bays on channel banks and secondary points, especially those with wood cover. These fish are being taken on spinner baits, shaky heads, Texas rigged creature baits and finesse jigs.
SMALLMOUTH BASS: Smallmouth are being taken on main lake points and on the ledges. These fish are being taken on Carolina rigged creature baits, jigs and swim baits. This bite is slow also.
White Bass: White Bass are being taken by vertically fishing with blade baits and inline spinners along the river channel ledges. White Bass are also being taken around Mayfly hatches early in the morning in the creeks and bays on inline spinners. We have been catching some White Bass also while bass fishing during the early morning hours on top water baits in the shallows in the backs of the creeks and bays before the sun gets up on the water.
PRODUCTIVE LURES: D&L jigs in Cumberland craw and oops patterns, Slong’s jigs in mustang, Charmer timber pups on Carolina rigs and Texas rigs in green pumpkin, green pumpkin/blue and watermelon/purple, Big Hammer swim baits in bay smelt and Robo worms on drop shot in mean green. Yamamoto Senko in green pumpkin/black, green pumpkin magic and Charmer Slim Jim in blue craw on shaky heads. Strike King top water splash bait in white and whopper plopper top water in monkey’s butt and Slong’s spinner baits in blue glimmer.
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 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: Dates available.
I am also taking reservations also for September, October and November. Now is the time to make your reservations for the fall fishing.
Captain Dave Stewart
Bass Buster Guide Service
“Fish With A Professional”