724 Outdoors

Fishing report
Kentucky/Barkley (5/5/2017)
Submitted by: Dave Stewart
Email Author

May 5, 2017

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam
- 357.90  Surface Temperature - 66

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam -
357.85  Surface Temperature - 66

Both lakes are one foot below summer pool
and water levels are rising.  Kentucky Dam was generating at an average rate of
36,000 cfs this morning.  Barkley Dam was generating at an average rate of
21,900 cfs this morning. 
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:  In last
week's report I told you that the TVA had pulled the lakes down one foot below
summer pool as they anticipated that the heavy rains forecasted for last weekend
would possibly put the Ohio and Mississippi rivers into flood stages as they
were already reporting some minor flooding down stream from the lakes.  Well,
the rains did come and southern Illinois and southeast Missouri received
constant major rains over the weekend.  Because of the rapid rise in the water
levels on the Ohio and Mississippi, the TVA pulled lakes down another 2.5 ft
right after my last report putting the lakes at 3 ft below summer pool.  Earlier
this week, the river levels down stream of us continued to rise with some now in
major flood status.  When this happens, the Corps of Engineers takes control of
the outflow on Kentucky and Barkley in order to minimize the flood damage
downstream, which they did a couple of days ago.  The COE directed the TVA to
slow the outflow of the lakes which has in turn caused the lakes to begin to
rise again, which is now taking place.  The latest projection is that the lakes
will be 6 inches over summer pool tomorrow and one and one half feet over summer
pool on Sunday.  These forecasts are changing every day and we still have not
received any indication as to how high the lake water's may reach before
leveling off.  One thing is for sure, the water is rising rapidly and conditions
will be changing.
When the lakes were drawn down late last week, this
pulled the bass that were shallow either spawning or getting ready to spawn back
to the staging areas.  As mentioned in last week's report, there were bass on
the staging areas, both post spawn and prespawn.  The end result of this
occurrance of the lakes being pulled down stacked a lot of fish on the staging
points and banks.  In addition to the fluctuating water levels, we have had lake
wind warnings out most days this week.  Despite all of these conditions, the
bass have been feeding good and lots of fish have been caught by those braving
the elements.  Another pattern also has developed this past week in that some of
the early spawning Largemouth are now starting to show up on the early ledges
and some nice fish have also been taken off the ledges this week. 
We had two cold fronts come through the area last
night bringing us more rain and high winds.  The rains have pretty much moved
east of the lakes this morning but we have lake wind warnings out today. 
Tomorrow's forecast is for a high of 70/night time low of 45 with a 20% chance
of rain and wind WNW 15-20.  Sunday's forecast is for a high of 68/night time
low of 48 with wind light and variable. 

No doubt the rising waters will send some bass back
shallow, there will still be post spawn bass on the staging banks and some will
be moving to ledges over the next few days.  It will be pick your pattern time. 
It is also time for the shad to spawn, actually I did receive a couple of
reports of some shad spawning this past week.  No doubt this added to the good
numbers of fish being taken. 

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 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, 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.  I did receive a report of some Smallmouth 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 and rootbeer, Rapala DT 6 and DT 10 in bluegill and sexy
shad, Strike King XD 6 in 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
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 pulled back off
the shallow areas they were in before the draw down but they were biting some
this week even so as in 3-5 ft of water on the flats in the backs of creeks as
well as in the feeder coves.  No doubt these fish will be moving back with the
water rising and we should see them bedding in large numbers this coming week. 
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


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.
Available Dates:
May: 15, 16, 17,18, 24
June: 15, 16, 20, 28, 29, 30
Of course I am taking reservations for the rest of the season
also through
Captain Dave Stewart
Bass Buster
Guide Service
"Fish With a Professional"
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