A couple of weeks ago I had a chance to fish western Kentucky as part the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers annual Spring Cast & Blast event.  We were guests of:  The Lake Barkley Tourist Commission, City ofMarion Tourism Commission, Eddy Creek Marina Resort, and Winghaven Lodge. 

On the way, I saw a sign for a visitor center atKentuckyLakeDam.  Deciding to learn a little about the dam I headed that way.  I was met with good news and bad news.  Bad news was that the center was closed.  Good news was that the fishing along the rip rap below the dam was great.  The sun disappeared behind cloud cover promising good fishing conditions. 

The dam is 206 feet high with half of that below the surface of the water.  The lake behind the dam stands 50 feet higher than the original surface of theTennessee Riverto the south.  Down river theTennesseeeventually flows into the Ohio River to the north of the dam nearPaducah,KY. 

Using a white fluke rigged Texas-style I succeded in catching a couple of skipjack herring.  Then I got serious about the stripers.  I used the skipjack as cut bait and proceed to catch a couple of stripers about 10 pounds in size.  Others around me catch more and also catch them on the white flukes.  I happened to notice that the smaller skipjack bore a strong resemblance to the new Sebile Magic Swimmer lures. 

I happened to have some of the soft ones in my tackle box and decided to give them a try before heading up toEddyCreekfor our event.  I did not have any circle hooks but did rig one on a 1/0 worm hook,Texasstyle.  I only had a few minutes to rig it and get the lure in the water.  Second cast resulted in a strike from what seemed to be a big fish.  He broke off before I could get a good look at him.  A few more casts and I caught another skipjack and a small white bass. 

Some of the gates of the dam were open and they contributed to the current flow.  Most of the fish are caught along the edge of the current flow about 50 yards down stream.  About 6 skipjack were caught for every striper bite.  I was told that the stripers are in this water in search of the skipjack as forage.  Many of the stripers were not landed.  They would break off in the heavy current and large rip rap rocks. 

The locals fishing along side of me claimed that the skipjack are not good eating and they only keep enough for bait.  The stripers on the other hand are prized for their taste. 

Parking at the dam is ample in the lot and there are concrete stairs leading down to the shore.  However the walking along the shore is difficult.  Large rocks along the rip rap shoreline are extremely difficult to transverse.  Walk slowly lest you sprain an ankle or worse. 

All too soon it is time for me to leave and continue on my travels across the westernKentuckycountryside to the Eddy Creek Resort onLakeBarkleyfive miles south of the town ofEddyCreek.



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  1. Pingback: catfishing bait! catching skipjack for bait | River Catfishing Tips

  2. Pingback: Catching Skipjack for HUGE Striper Bait | Bass Fishing Tips Today

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