April 27, 2017
Kentucky Lake: Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 358.44 Surface Temperature - 68
Lake Barkely: Water Level at Barkley Dam - 358.25 Surface Temperature - 68
Both lakes are about one half foot below summer pool. Kentucky Dam was spilling at an average rate of 183,000 cfs this afternoon. Barkley Dam was spilling at an average rate of 121,500 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: Lots of changes in the past week and more to come. The cold front last weekend dropped the water temperatures a few degrees but they have recovered to the present levels over the past few days. The lake levels rose to one half foot over summer pool earlier this week but the TVA drew the lakes down one foot to present levels since yesterday. As you can see there is a lot of water flowing through the lakes right now. The lakes upriver are flooding from heavy rains over the past week and they are sending the water down stream. The TVA projected lake levels are changing daily if not hourly right now.
Some of the river pools on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers down stream are approaching flood stages. The local region (Southern Illinois, SE Missiouri, West Kentucky and West Tennessee) are forecasted to receive 4-7 inches of rain between now and Sunday. The question now becomes: If we get all this rain and the Ohio and Mississippi start flooding, is the TVA going to slow down the outflow here on Kentucky and Barkley and back the water up. My gut feeling is they will and the lakes will flood, but I have been wrong before so we will just have to wait and see.
Blue skies and high pressure earlier in the week slowed the shallow water bite although we did manage to catch a few but mostly small buck bass. The better bite this week was on the staging banks and points off the spawning areas in the creeks and bays. We have bass spawning and some post spawn bass as well as bass still in the staging areas to come in. So basically, we are in the middle of the spawn with the TVA playing with the lake levels.
Largemouth Bass: Largemouth are being taken on channel banks and secondary points just outside the spawning areas on spinner baits, Carolina rigged creature baits, jigs and shakey heads. Largemouth are also being taken shallow in the creeks and bays in the spawning areas near vegatation and wood cover on topwater lures, spinner baits, Texas rigged creature baits, jigs and whacky rigged worms.
Smallmouth Bass: Smallmouth are being taken on the main lake in current breaks as well as on secondary points and channel banks in the front halves of the creeks and bays on medium running crank baits, Carolina rigged creature baits, tube jigs and jigs. The numbers are low but some nice fish have been taken. These fish are on post spawn patterns now.
Productive Lures: Some of the productive lures reported this week are 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, Charmer lizards and timber pups on Texas rigs and Carolina rigs in green pumpkin and green pumpkin/blue, Zoom trick worms whacky rigged in green pumpkin, green pumpkin/purple and watermelon/purple.
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: A few Bluegills and Red Ears have moved shallow but I have not seen any signs of bedding yet. Most of these fish are being taken in small cuts just off the spawning flats in the backs of the creeks and bays around the flooded flowers. These fish are being taken with red worms and meal worms under bobbers and on split shot rigs fished on bottom with red worms.
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.
April: Sorry, I am booked up.
May: 8,15, 16, 17,18, 23, 24
June: 13, 15, 16, 20, 28, 29, 30
Of course I am taking reservations for the rest of the season also through November
Captain Dave Stewart
Bass Buster Guide Service
"Fish With a Professional"