Explore Kentucky Lake

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

Archived Fishing Report

Cool Spell in Fishing Forecast

Written by Steve McCadams | Originally published 09/01/2016

Somewhat cooler conditions are in the forecast for the weekend, bringing a reprieve to the long spell of hot and humid weather that has plagued lakers for the last two months. Highs are expected to be 8 to 10 degrees cooler and night temps may actually fall into the upper 50’s says the weatherman.

Stable lake levels will greet anglers and recreational boaters this weekend on Kentucky Lake as TVA is projecting an elevation of 356.4 at both Kentucky Dam and upstream at New Johnsonville.

Lake levels had been falling slowly this past week but TVA usually stabilizes the reservoir during the last big summer weekend of the recreational boating season. Watch for the slow drawdown to resume after Labor Day passes.

Surface temperatures have been in the 85 to 87 degree range this week. Water color has been clear throughout the reservoir.

Anglers can expect a little north wind which will bring a nip to the air. Surface temperatures may fall a bit in the days ahead too.

Foggy mornings may also enter the picture for early rising fishermen.

Bass fishermen have chalked up a few decent stringers lately and most of the fish have come from main lake ledges. Stalking the drop-offs with big Texas rigged worms in the black/blue, green pumpkin-pepper, red shad with glitter and Tequila sunrise have been popular color choices.

Also producing have been Carolina rigged craws and worms, Alabama rigged swimming shad imitations, big deep diving crankbaits in shad colored variations and swim baits.

Some fish have been schooling at times, chasing schools of shad that are beginning to move topside on the main lake sandbars and up into the mouth of big days and out over shallow flats.

Tossing Rattle Traps and Red-eye shad style lures have been paying off as well.

Aquatic vegetation continues to evade bass anglers. Bottom line is there just isn’t much vegetation to be found on those shallow flats or along main lake shorelines as has been the case in times past.

Once lake levels fall back to the 357 elevation and below range grassbeds usually expose themselves. That normally draws bass and bass anglers but this year the scenario is quite different.

Crappie are beginning to show signs of improvement, although the weeks ahead should see lower surface temperatures improve things even more.

Traditionally, crappie begin a late summer transition toward shallow flats where midrange depths of 9 to 14 feet offer quite a comfort zone. Early September will see some decent fish taken in midrange stakebeds and brushpiles.

There’s still a lot of small fish showing up but watch for a few more keeper size fish to enter the picture in the weeks ahead.

Baits of choice continue to be jigs tipped with minnows. 

A few boats have been working the main river channel and bridge piers searching for catfish. Some were catching decent stringers in the 25 to 35 foot depth range while a few reported finding some even deeper.

Cooler days and nights should help lower surface temperatures while raising the interest level of area anglers once a nip enter the early morning hours. Summer is still the season but it appears we’re going to get a little taste of fall!

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.

Eagle Eye View
Photo by Ray Stainfield

This eagle has "puffed up" his feathers to appear more threatening. He hopes to intimidate a nearby enemy.