Explore Kentucky Lake

Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley Fishing
Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Contact Us About Us
Switch Mobile/Desktop

Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 09/08/2016

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 355.40  Surface Temperature - 86

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 355.55  Surface Temperature - 86
Both lakes are 3 and one half feet below summer pool and on a slow draw down.  Kentucky Dam was generating at an average rate of 22,650 cfs this afternoon.  Barkley Dam was generating at an average rate of 8,700 cfs this afternoon. 
General Conditions:  After a nice cooler holiday weekend, day time temperatures returned to the 90's this week with heat indexes running around 100 each day.  The cooler weather last weekend did drop the water temperatures a couple of degrees but we are still running a few degrees above normal for this time in September.  

The good news is that another cold front is forecasted to pass through the area this weekend, bringing with it more cooler temperatures and less humidity.  The long range forecast looks good to start dropping the water temperatures to more seasonable levels.  
The deep summer patterns we have been reporting continues to prevail. As I mentioned in my report 2 weeks ago, we will remain in the deep summer patterns until the water temperatures reach the mid 70's upon which time the transition to early fall patterns will begin.  Migrations, spawns etc are not based on calendars but by environmental conditions, especially water temperatures. The bite is spotty but now and then we get into some actively feeding fish but the numbers are low and most days the bite is slow and scattered. Wood cover has been the most productive pattern whether we are fishing ledges or back in the creeks. 

Slower techniques such as Carolina rigs, Texas rigs, jigs, tube jigs, shaky heads, drop shots and dead sticking senko type lures have been the most productive with some early morning and late evening bite in the shallows on topwater lures, spinner baits, lipless crank baits and square billed crank baits producing some fish, especially on cloudy days. 
The forecast for tomorrow (Friday) is for a high of 90/low of 72 with a 40% chance of evening thunderstorms and wind SW at 10.  Saturday is calling for the frontal passage during the day with a high of 81/low of 58 with an 80% chance of a thunderstorm in the morning.  Wind is forcasted to be WNW at 11.  Sunday's forecast show's post frontal conditions with a high of 81/low of 57 with wind NE at 6.  The extended forecast through next mid week is showing post frontal conditions with high's in the 80's/low's in the 60's with light wind and sunny skies.  
LARGEMOUTH BASS: Largemouth are being taken on the ledges as well as on main lake points where there is shallow wood near the deep water. These fish are being taken on Carolina rigged creature baits, Texas rigged large worms, drop shots, shaky heads and jigs There are also some bass being taken on secondary creek channel points with wood cover and around docks where there are schools of fry. 

These fish are being taken on unweighted senko type baits, tube jigs and finesse jigs. Some Largemouth are also being taken around isolated wood in the shallows with topwater lures, spinner baits, lipless crankbaits, square billed crankbaits, jigs, shakey heads and Texas rigged creature baits especially early in the morning and late in the evening where they are feeding on schools of fry. 
SMALLMOUTH BASS: Smallmouth are being taken on the ledges with Carolina rigged creature baits and jigs. Smallmouth are also being taken on main lake rocky points and banks as well as rocky banks and points in the creeks and bays. These fish are being taken on jigs, Texas rigged creature baits, tube jigs and shakey heads. Smallmouth are being taken on the rocky points on the main lake and in the front halves of the creeks and bays at night on large dark skirted spinner baits and jigs.
PRODUCTIVE LURES: Some of the productive lures this week have been: Lucky Craft Sammy in ghost pearl lemom, buzz baits in white and also black, Strike King spash baits in white, Bag5 custom painted square billed crankbaits in blue glimmer, Bag5 custom painted Strike Red Eye Shad in blue glimmer, Stike King Red Eye Shad in sexy shad and chrome sexy shad, Slong's spinner bait in blue glimmer and chartruese/white, Slong’s football jig with a blue craw skirt, Slong’s and Charmer shaky head jigs with Charmer shaky head worm in green pumpkin as well as Charmer timber pups in green pumpkin/blue and watermelon purple, Charmer timber pups in green pumpkin blue and watermelon/purple on Carolina rigs and Texas rigs, Charmer 10.5 inch ribbon tail and paddle tail worms in plum and green pumpkin on Texas rigs and dead sticking Yamamoto Senko's in green pumpkin/black flake and green pumpkin magic. 
White Bass: White Bass are being taken along the old river channel ledges by vertically fishing with inline spinners, live minnows fished vertically and blade baits as well as trolling inline spinners behind deep diving crank baits. White Bass have been somewhat active this week in the jumps along the river channel ledges and creek channel ledges as well as on the main lake flats, but the jumps are short in duration. 

These fish are being taken on inline spinners, small poppers and small spoons cast into the surface feeding fish.  There are some active smaller White Bass in the bays feeding on schools of fry, these fish are being taken with inline spinners and blade baits.
Catfish: Catfish are being taken along the old river channel ledges in 20-30 feet of water on bottom rigs baited with cut baits, shrimp and leach combinations and yellow tails. 

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.

White Egret
Photo by Melodie Cunningham

Commonly mistaken for a heron, egrets can commonly be seen wading in shallow water near the lakes edge.