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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 05/22/2003

Although the lakes are still over summer pool levels, the water levels are now dropping about a foot every 24 hours.  If the present draw down rate continues, the lakes should be at summer pool levels by the first of next week.  The water clarity on Lake Barkley has improved and is now only stained in the channel with some stain in the creeks.  Kentucky lake is slightly stained to clear.  There is still a good bit of wood debris in both lakes from the flooding and subsequent drawdown so you need to be extra careful when running the lakes.  
The Largemouth Bass are on spawn and post spawn patterns.  They can be caught in the flooded buck brush by flipping jigs, tubes, sinking worms and lizards as well as spinnerbaits and some early morning topwater lures are working.  The post spawn fish are being taken on secondary points, humps, and road beds in the bays with jignpig, Texas and Carolina rigged creature baits, lizards, and worms as well as slow rolled crankbaits.  
The Smallmouth Bass are active and the bite has been good.  The Smallmouth are being taken on main lake primary and secondary points and on secondary points in the bays.  These fish are being taken on crankbaits, jignpig, and Carolina rigged tubes, lizards, and creature baits.  Start looking for an early morning topwater bite to begin on these fish very soon.
Some of the lures reported to be productive this past week are:  Lunker buzzbaits in white and chartruese, Rebel Pop R in natural shad, Hook Some Bass jigs in watermelon and green pumpkin with matching trailers dipped in chartruese, Bandit and Bill Norman crankbaits in rootbeer/chartruese, Lee Sisson Slim Willie D crankbaits in Purple Sun, Snoozer's tubes in roadkill cammo and green pumpkin, Hook Some Bass deadstick worm in green pumpkin, Zoom and Hook Some Bass lizards in green pumpkin and watermelon, Zoom brush hogs in watermelon/red and green pumpkin, and Hook Some Bass spinnerbaits in blue glimmer.
The Crappie are slow with few reports of fish being taken.
The Bluegill are on the beds in 6-8 ft of water in coves with vegatation and wood cover.  The Bluegill fishing has been very good.  They are being taken by fishing wax worms and pinched nightcrawlers on bottom using split shot rigs and also under bobbers.
The Catfish are very active and the bite has been excellent.  These fish are being taken on rocky main lake banks and in the bays by fishing nightcrawlers, leeches, and cut baits on bottom as well as under bobbers.  
I have a couple of days open early next week and some days still open in the last couple weeks of June, if you are in need of a guide for some fun fishing, tournament preparation, lake familiarization, or technique instruction don't hesitate to send me an email or give me a call.  
The lakes will be crowded this weekend with the holiday traffic, be careful, practice defensive driving on the water, and be courteous to your fellow boaters.

More Kentucky Lake Fishing Reports

Now That You're 'Hooked' on Fishing... Come See Us!

If you've dug this deep in our Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley fishing reports, you are probably just itching to come down and visit the South's biggest lakes.  Get started by finding that perfect place to stay!  Find a Kentucky Lake cabin or a Lake Barkley campground, a full-service resort or a marina.  Heck, there are even dozens of hotels off the water to choose from! 

Don't have a boat?  No worries!  Bank fishing is always an option for panfish. But if you're heart is set on largemouth or smallmouth, you can rent a fishing boat at many of our local resorts!

The perfect place to start looking for a place to stay at Kentucky or Barkley Lakes?  Right here on our main lodging page.

Photo by Melodie Cunningham

This majestic elk eyes the camera cautiously. To see bulls with fully developed racks, visit the Elk and Bison Prairie in the fall!