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Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley Fishing
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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 01/24/2002

Kentucky Lake:  Headwater Elevation - 354.74    Surface Temperature - 42

Lake Barkley:  Headwater Elevation - 354.85  Surface Temperature - 43

What a mixed bag of weather we have had here in the lakes area over the past week.  We received about 5 inches of snow over the weekend and now for the past two days the temperatures have been in the high 50's and 60's with spring like thunderstorms and heavy rains.  Of course the fishing has been nil with all this weather but the outlook for this weekend's weather is great.  

Temperatures near 60's degrees with sunshine for the weekend should allow everyone that needs to shake that cabin fever and try for some wintertime fishing in springlike weather the opportunity to do so.  

Both lakes are on the rise from all the past week's precipitation and both dams are spilling water so as to avoid local flooding.  This spilling will cause a lot of current which will probably not help the Crappie fishing at all but it should help out with the Sauger fishing and Smallmouth bites.  I would suggest trying the main lake gravel bars where there are eddys formed by the current for both these fish.  Try one ounce jigheads in white or blue tipped with medium minnows for the Sauger and crankbaits and suspending jerkbaits for the Smallmouth.  

There also should be some Sauger biting in the canal on the north end of the lakes with the current coming thru there.  Be careful on the lakes with the water fluctuating there will be some debris, especially around the river channels.   

I would expect that there will be a mix of muddy and stained water on both lakes with Barkley having the most color to it.  I would suggest fishing the LBL side of Kentucky Lake as this water normally only gets somewhat stained in these conditions and this is prime area for Smallmouth and Sauger.  
For those of you that would rather spend your weekend checking out all the new fishing and outdoor equipment on the market, the Western Kentucky Boat and Outdoor Show will be held this weekend in Murray, Kentucky at the Regional Special Events Center.  The show times are 4-9 p.m. on Friday, 10-9 p.m. on Saturday, and 12-6 p.m. on Sunday.  

There will be seminars there on Crappie and Bass Fishing as well as seminars on using GPS and mapping to navigate and locate fishing hot spots.   Pat Hahs of Kentucky Hydrografx will be giving the seminar on GPS and mapping.  He is the creator of the new Kentucky and Barkley Lakes digital maps that I reviewed in my last week's report.  

These new maps will be there on display at the Kentucky Hydrographx booth.  Also attending the show will be Todd Miller of Snoozer's Bait Co.  Todd is the President of Snoozer's Baits and the creator of these hot new tube baits that have taken the bass angler's by storm here in the lakes area this past season.  He will have plenty of these baits in stock there at the show so this is an opportunity to stock up now while they are available.  I will be at the show helping Todd and Pat this weekend so if you get a chance to come by and talk fishing I would enjoy talking with you.  

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.

Take A Kid Fishing
Photo by Shawn Dunnaway

These boys had a blast bank fishing on Kentucky Lake. Take your kids on a fishing trip to Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley!