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Weeky Report For Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley dated November 23, 2018

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Dave Stewart

  • Bass Fishing Guide
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November 23, 2018

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 357.56  Surface Temperature - 52.5
Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 357.50  Surface Temperature - 52.5

Both lakes are 3.5 ft over winter pool on a slow draw down.  Kentucky Dam was spilling at an average rate of 107,900 cfs this morning.  Barkley Dam was spilling at an average rate of 48,800 cfs this morning.  The latest lake levels , current flows and forecasts for all the TVA lakes can be found at

Current Conditions:  The lakes as you can see above are 3.5 ft higher than normal for time of the year.  This is due to heavy rains up the rivers over the past couple of weeks since my last report.  The water temperatures have dropped 11 degrees over the past couple of weeks as a result of numerous back to back arctic fronts over the past couple of weeks also.  There is strong current on both lakes as the flows from up the rivers is being drawn though the lakes. 

Over the past couple of weeks I have been out on the water only a few times, mostly due to the wind and weather conditions but I have also been busy teaching my Eliminating Water Class.  On the days I did get on water, I still found the fishing to be feast or famine depending on which side of the cold fronts we were fishing.  On the warm prefrontal days the bass were feeding up for the oncoming winter and on the post frontal days they were not as active but catchable with the cold overnight water temperature drops, especially in the creeks and bays.  On the better days we were taking fish in the front halves of the creeks and bays and in current breaks on the main lake.  On the more active warmer days we took fish on suspending jerk baits, slow rolled deep diving crank baits, Alabama rigs and jigs.  On the slower post frontal days we found the fish to be more scattered but catchable on jigs, ned rigs and shaky heads in the same areas we were fishing on the warmer days. 

We have warmed up some over the past couple of days.  There are strong south winds forecasted for today and Sunday which will have the main lakes rough for navigation and fishing.  Tomorrow looks good for the main lake with lighter south wind and warm temperatures.  The present forecast is showing a return to the cold weather on Monday and through the remainder of next week.

FLASH:  I have now officially retired from guiding.  This will be my last published fishing report after over 20 years.  It has been my pleasure to furnish you folks with current and accurate information each week for so many years.  I appreciate all the thanks and well wishes from so many of you good folks that have followed my fishing reports over these many years.  Although I have now retired from my guide business, I am not going to stop fishing.  You can bet I will be back on the water next spring having a good time fishing for fun with many of my past clients of which many have become very good friends over the years.  If you are coming to the lakes are for some bass fishing next season, feel free to contact me and I will be happy to share with you my latest information and point you in the right direction to put some fish in the boat while you are here.

Even though I am no longer guiding on the water, I am still offering my Eliminating Water Class from now through the end of February for those that want to learn how to improve their bass fishing, not only here but on any body of water.  I have already booked a number of these classes, but I still have quite a few days still available for the class.  Below is a brief description of this class:

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

If you are planning on visiting our lakes, I highly recommend the businesses below 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 and Nitro bass boats too as well as bulk oil at rock bottom prices for your engine. Phone: 270-395-4030.

In conclusion I would like to extend my thanks and gratitude to all the great folks that I have had the pleasure of guiding and teaching over the past 23 years and wish you tight lines and big fish.  I would also like to thank all my sponsors that have supported me over the years, including but not limited to:  Jet-A-Marina, Fisherman's Headquarters Tackle Shop, Slong's Fishing Lures, Pro Tungsten weights, Charmer Baits and Bag 5 Custom painted lures.  Last but not least, the following websites that published my reports over the years:,,,, and 

A special thanks to Shawn Dunnaway at for the very nice article they published on their website as a tribute to me this past week.  I was humbled by such kind words in the article by some of my past clients and the fact that Shawn felt that I was worth being spotlighted upon my retirement.

Captain Dave Stewart
Bass Buster Guide Service
"Fish With A Professional"