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Weeky Report For Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley dated October 20, 2018

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Dave Stewart

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Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 355.54  Surface Temperature - 66
Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 355.65  Surface Temperature - 66

Both lakes are one and one half feet above winter pool.  Kentucky Dam was generating at an average rate of 51,000 cfs this morning.  Barkley Dam was generating at an average rate of 22,400 cfs this morning.  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

Current Conditions:  Below average temperatures day and night time temperatures have continued though out this week with cold fronts moving through the lakes area every 24-48 hours.  Water temperatures continue to fall with current water temperatures being 9 degrees cooler than as reported in my report last week.  These cold nights are dropping the water temperatures in the shallows every night about 2-3 degrees and the schools of shad that were there are responding to these drops and moving out deeper but moving back shallow to feed as the water warms back up late in the morning and afternoon.  The extended forecast is showing that this weather pattern is going to continue for the foreseeable future. 

The shallow top water bite I was getting before this continuous passing of cold fronts has all but disappeared.  Most of the fish we have taken this past week have been taken on rocky creek channel banks and associated secondary points as well as rocky primary points on the main lake.  Our best bite has been on slower finesse techniques such as Ned rigs, shaky heads, Carolina rigs and finesse jigs.  Keeper bass have been scarce for the most part but we are managing to catch some numbers of short fish most days. 

LARGEMOUTH BASS: Largemouth are being taken on rocky creek channel banks and associated secondary points as well as primary points on the main lake. These fish are being taken on Ned rigs, shaky heads, Carolina rigs and finesse jigs. We have taken a few fish on the shallow flats in the creeks and bays but this bite has been inconsistent and scattered this past week.  The few fish we did take shallow were on topwater lures with a splash bait and walking bait.

SMALLMOUTH BASS:  Smallmouth are being taken on rocky river channel points and banks on the main lake and rocky secondary points and channel banks in the front halves of the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on ned rigs, shaky heads, tube jigs and finesse jigs. 
PRODUCTIVE LURES:  Strike King splash baits in white, Lucky Craft Sammy in ghost pearl lemon, D&L jigs in Cumberland craw and oops patterns, Slong's jigs in mustang,  Zman TRD in green pumpkin on ned rig,  Yamamoto Senko in green pumpkin/black, green pumpkin magic on shaky heads. Charmer timber pups in green pumpkin and green pumpkin blue on Carolina rigs.
Flash:   As many of you know, I announced last fall that I would be retiring after this season.  I have had a lot of loyal clients this season asking me to reconsider and continue to guide.  I told them I would take their requests into consideration and let them know here in my report this fall of my final decision.  I have made that decision now and I will be retiring from guiding at the end of November this year.  This was a tough decision to make but after 26 years in the military and 23 years of guiding it is now time for me to relax and just go fishing when I want to and spend more time with my family. 

I also had a lot of folks asking me this year if I would be teaching my Eliminating Water class this winter because they have always wanted this popular class and just never found the time to take it or they were not able to get a date last winter for the class as I was booked up.  I also told these folks that I would let them know my plans in my report this fall.  I have made that decision also.  I will be offering my Eliminating Water Class in November, December, January and February.  This will be your last opportunity to take this class so if you wish to take the class, you should make a reservation soon. 

ELIMINATING WATER CLASS:  This class has been popular with folks from all over the country over the past 10 years of so that I have been teaching it.  This class teaches you how to increase your bass fishing success rate by being able to eliminate 80-90% of the water you plan to fish before you go on the water in all seasons of the year to find the highest percentage spots to be holding bass.  The class also teaches you how to make decisions on techniques and lure selections using knowledge of what is occurring in the environment on any day that affects fish activity and movement.  Electronics are great for showing you fish after you find them, but you need to learn how to find them first.  If you can't reduce the water down to find the highest percentage spots before you go on the water, you certainly will not be consistent in catching them.  This information in this class works on any river or lake you fish, not just Kentucky and Barkley.  This is why I have had many satisfied anglers take this class from all over the country over the years.  The information in this class is exactly what I use every day which has allowed me to be a successful bass guide for the past 23 years.

This is a one on one type class.  I do not teach more than 2 people at a time.  I want you to have my personal attention for the duration of the class.  The class takes approximately 8 hours in the classroom.  You do not learn what I teach in this class on the water with a fishing rod in your hand.  The price of this class is 200.00.  This price will cover one or two people.  You can make a reservation for this class by emailing me or calling me.  email:  phone:  270-362-9987


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.

Available Dates:

I still have some dates available in 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"