The Original Kentucky Lake & Lake Barkley Site Since 1996


Provided by

Dave Stewart

Bass Buster Guide Service

Kentucky Lake Fishing Report

October 20, 2016
Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 354.17  Surface Temperature - 71
Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 354.00  Surface Temperature - 71
Both lakes are at winter pool.  Kentucky Dam was generating at an average rate of 20,000 cfs this afternoon.  Barkley Dam was generating at an average rate of 9,000 cfs this afternoon. The latest lake levels , current flows and forecasts for all the TVA lakes can be found at
Current Condtions:  The water temperatures dropped down to 69 late last week but then here came near record high temperatures and high south winds last Sunday and this continued all through this week until today.  The warm up brought the water temperatures back up to present levels.  I reported in last week's report that we were in the early stages of the fall transition with the first large schools of young threadfin in the creeks and the larger shad roaming the main lake which has the bass scattered as is the bite.  I also reported last week that after day 1 of the FLW BFL tournament, that over 100 boats out of 180 boats weighed 2 fish or less as indicative of this scattered bite.  The final results of the tournament after 3 days of fishing showed that it only took just over 15lbs a day average to win the tournament.  It only took a little over 13 lbs a day average over the 3 days for 5th place.  Only 3 boats in the top 12 weighed in a 5 fish limit each day over the 3 days.  I read one recent report that said there were a lot of huge bags weighed in that tournament.  Obviously, we have different standards.  I expect this scattered bite will continue until the water temperatures finally cool down enough to get more fish into the creeks and we start seeing some schooling. 
The high winds kept us off the water a couple of days this past week but we did manage to get on the water a few days.  As I stated before, we are still in the early stages of the fall transition and the fish remain scattered.  Our best patterns this week were some early morning top water, finesse baits on seconday points in the creeks and bays and working under the schools of surface feeding White Bass in the creeks and on the main lake flats where there are some bass taking advantage of the injured shad being knocked down to them by the Whites. 
Two cold fronts moved through the lakes area today.  The forecast for tomorrow is for a day time high of 62/ night time low of 39 with wind NNW11.  Saturday's forecast shows a day time high of 65/ night time low of 47 with wind W7.  Sunday's forecast shows a warming trend back to our normal temperatures for this time of year with a day time high of 74/ night time low of 51 with wind SW11.  The extended forecast is showing day time high's in the low 70's/ night time low's in the 50's with light winds. 
LARGEMOUTH BASS: Largemouth are being taken on main lake flats, main lake points and shallow pockets on the main lake near deep water. These fish are being taken on top water lures, spinner baits, lipless crank baits and jigs. Largemouth are being taken on shallow flats in the backs of the creeks and bays as well as the coves in the creeks and bays on top water lures, lipless crankbaits, spinner baits and square billed crank baits. Largemouth are also being taken on secondary points in the creeks and bays on medium running crank baits, finesse jigs and shaky heads.
SMALLMOUTH BASS: Smallmouth are also being taken on main lake rocky points and banks as well as rocky secondary creek channel banks and points in the creeks and bays. These fish are being taken on medium running crankbaits, finesse jigs, shaky heads, dead sticked senko type baits with some early and late topwater lures.
PRODUCTIVE LURES: Some of the productive lures reported this week are: Lucky Craft sammy and gunfish in ghost pearl lemon, Whopper Ploppers in natural shad patterns, Bandit crank baits in rootbeer and rootbeer chartruese, Bag 5 square bill crank baits and medium running crank baits in blue glimmer and green gizzard shad, Slong's spinner baits in blue glimmer, D&L baby advantage jigs in Cumberland craw and "oops" patterns, Charmer shaky heads worms in green pumpkin.
Crappie:  Crappie are being taken over brush piles and submerged stake beds in 9 - 12 ft of water in the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken by spider rigging with small jigs tipped with minnows. 
White Bass: White Bass are being taken on main lake flats as well as along the ledges on the main lake on inline spinners and minnows fished vertically. Whites are also being taken on medium depth flats in the creek and bays as they are feeding on schools of fry. These fish are being taken with same techniques aforementioned techniques. There are some jumps on both the main lake flats and in the creeks and bays where these fish can be taken by casting inline spinners, blade baits and small topwater lures into the surface feeding schools. 

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 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.

ELIMINATING WATER CLASS: I will be offering my class on how to Eliminate Water again this winter during the months of January and February and I will also teach a few classes next month in November. These classes are limited to one or two people per class. The classes last approximately 8 hours. The cost of the class is 200.00 which covers one or two people. These classes have been very popular with my clients over the past few years and all the feedback I get is very positive. Here is some examples of that feedback:

**Dave ... Harry and I took your "Eliminating Water" class and it has helped both of us like you wouldn't believe! - J. Harris

**In the past 3 tourney's I have managed to get a limit on 3 separate lakes. Old Hickory, Barkley, and Barren. Managed a 3rd place finish Sunday on Barkley with a 6lb kicker. I have a lot more confidence when I hit the water now. I no longer pull the old "that bank looks good, lets waste a few hours here". Thanks Dave - M. King

**Well worth the money - and probably the most valuable thing I have purchased in the terms of fishing. - K. Stephens

**The eliminating water class is without a doubt the best money I've spent on fishing in my life. - D. Page

Here is a short description of the Eliminating Water Class:

"How to Eliminate Water": This class is done in a classroom environment. In this class you learn the most important thing that you can learn as a bass fisherman, that is, how eliminate water to find the Bass by finding the highest percentage spots during all the different seasons of the year that will hold more fish, more often. In this class you will learn what information you need to know in order to eliminate water to find these high percentage spots during your preplanning for a trip and how to apply this information as well as current environmental conditions to make decisions on which techniques you should be using when on the water that day and how to adjust to environment changes that can move your fish or change the pattern from day to day, season to season.

Basically, what I teach you in this class is how to use knowledge of mother nature by using scientific knowledge, logic and common sense to develop a system to find your fish as well as make decisions before you get on the water and while you are on the water to be a more consistent bass angler. What I teach you in this class is what I do every day as a bass fishing guide when I am trying to find and catch bass with my clients. What you will learn in this class will apply anywhere you go bass fishing, this is not specific to just Ky and Barkley Lakes.

Finding bass and making decisions as how to catch bass is not done solely by looking at electronics, it is accomplished with knowledge. There is no button on your sonar unit or mapping unit that says "Go Find Fish". Sonar units show you fish AFTER you find them. Mapping units show you just that, a topographical map of the body of water you are on. The mapping unit allows you to mark spots on your electronic map where you have found fish and assist you in navigating back to those spots. Just as with a paper topographical map, you can scan over an electronic map and mark "places of interest" or as I call them "looks good" spots to go check out when you get on the water...but finding high percentage spots are not "looks good" spots. High percentage spots are selected by having the knowledge of what type spots have the highest percentage chance of holding bass during the different seasons of the year coupled with how to apply what is going on in the environment that will affect the fish.

Call or email me to book your class date while dates are still available!

Available Dates:
October: 24th
November: A number of dates still available
Make your reservations now to get the date(s) you want. I am also taking reservations now for next season.


Captain Dave Bass Buster Guide
"Fish With a Professional"