Anglers with a bit of salt in their hair remember fondly the venerable Sassy Shad, the paddle-tailed, shad-shaped soft plastic wonder that caught practically anything that swims.
In the fishing lure world, what is old oftentimes becomes new again. Over the last decade... read more
April 21, 2017
Kentucky Lake: Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 358.51 Surface Temperature - 68
Lake Barkley: Water Level at Barkley Dam - 358.75 Surface Temperature - 68
Both lakes are about one half foot below summer pool. Kentucky Dam was generating at an average rate of 52,000 cfs this morning. Barkley Dam was generating at an average rate of 29,400 cfs this morning. 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: Lake levels rose rapidly nearing the end of last week and reached summer pool levels earlier this week. The TVA has dropped the lake levels about 6 inches over the past 24 hours. Above average temperatures this week gave to a rapid rise in the water temperatures to present levels (4 degrees rise over the past week). All of these environmental changes seemed to scatter the bass as they started traveling in large numbers to the shallows. Some bass are on the beds now but there are still fish staging just outside the spawning areas.
My experience this week is that the spawning progression is different in each creek and bay and you just have to figure out if the bite is better on staging areas or back in the spawning areas in each creek or bay that you fish. Certainly having the TVA starting to play with the water levels up and down right now during the spawn is not going to help matters any. We managed limits every day this week but we had to work for them and numbers of big females were scarce for us. We found the best bite for us over all was Texas rigged creature baits and whacky worms as well as some spinner bait bite around submerged flowers both in the spawning areas and on staging points just off the spawning flats. Carolina rigged creature baits, shaky heads and jigs were also producing in the staging areas.
The weather forecast for this weekend is not a good one. A cold front passed through the lakes area last night and it is a strong cold front. The forecast for Saturday is showing a high of 54/night time low of 46 with thunderstorms and wind NE at 20. Sunday's forecast is showing a high of 63/night time low of 46 with rain showers and wind N at 15. Monday is showing at high in the 70's/night time low of 52 with light winds and blue skies.
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. These fish are on late prespawn and spawning patterns.
Smallmouth Bass: Smallmouth are being taken on main lake channel points and banks 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 Zoom trick worm in green pumpkin/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: The rapid rise in water levels seemed to have scattered the Crappie somewhat this week. Some 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 staging around brush and underwater stake beds in 8-10 ft of water. These fish are being taken by vetically fishing with jigs and minnow jig combinations as well as slow trolling curly tail jigs. The reports indicate that the shallow bite on spawning Crappie in 3-6 ft of water is scattered but some fish are being taken on small jigs and minnows under bobbers and by casting curly tail jigs and road runner type lures.
IF YOU ARE PLANNING ON VISITING OUR LAKES I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THE FOLLOWING BUSINESSES FOR ALL YOUR FISHING AND BOATING NEEDS:
Fishermanís 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, Fishermanís 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, Slongís 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, 20, 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"