Explore Kentucky Lake

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

Archived Fishing Report

Fishing Scene Falls Prey to Cold Snap

Written by Steve McCadams | Originally published 12/08/2016

Kentucky Lake anglers have enjoyed a long honeymoon of fall fishing. It came to a close, however, on Thursday when bone chilling north winds and frigid temperatures descended.

Night time temps were forecast to dip into the upper teens as the weekend approached with a slight moderation in the days ahead. Yet the weatherman predicts chilly conditions will linger into next week with yet another cold front expected by midweek.

It appears the Kentucky Lake fishing scene will take a back seat to the winter weather that will deliver below average temps for a spell. The National Weather Service said December temperatures had not dipped into the teens since 2013.

Crappie anglers had been chalking up some pretty good catches this past week prior to the cold front. Good reports were coming in from anglers fishing a variety of depths ranging from 4 feet deep to 24 feet deep out in the main lake area.

Nice stringers have been taken these last few weeks by anglers targeting the floating docks within the Paris Landing State Park harbor. Casting jigs worked slowly beneath slip bobbers have paid dividends as jigs have been the bait of choice.

At the same time anglers working midrange stakebeds and brushpiles in the 10 to 12 foot depth range scored well as they vertical fished jigs down around the submerged structure. Others have chosen to concentrate their efforts on deep brushpiles located off the deep sides of main lake ledges in the 18 to 24 foot depth range.

Seems all depth ranges have paid off at times. Even Jim "no fish" Perry and Commodore Joe Hill have managed to land decent stringers of crappie lately!

Bass anglers in the recent B.A.S.S. Toyota Team Challenge tournament did pretty good, although weights of stringers diminished after three and four days of competition.

Tournament officials and anglers dodged a bullet this week as they missed the dramatic cold front by a week. Had the event been this week odds are it may have been more like a survival contest!

Lake levels this week have been falling slowly after a slight rise that occurred last week in the aftermath of some overdue rains. Elevation at Kentucky Dam and New Johnsonville was expected to be in the 355 range this weekend.

Surface temperatures had been in the 47 to 49 degree range but will no doubt plummet with the influence of the cold front. Water color has been clear across the reservoir.

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.


In Flight
Photo by John Mitchell

Gliding gracefully over the water, this heron keeps a stealthy eye out for his next meal. Herons are one of the more common species of birds that can be seen at Kentucky Lake.