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 04/06/2017

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 355.17  Surface Temperature - 62
Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 355.20  Surface Temperature - 62
Both lakes are one foot above winter pool.  Kentucky Dam was generating at an average rate of 64,000 cfs this afternoon.  Barkley Dam was generating at an average rate or 51,600 cfs this afternoon.  
Current Conditions:  Wind, wind and more wind has been the story here over the past week with just a couple of days of comfortable wind conditions for the fishing.  To top that off, the TVA has been fluctuating the water levels up and down which is never good if you are trying to stay with a shallow water bass pattern not to mention what it is doing to the folks trying to fish the Crappie spawn.  
I noticed the TVA dropped the water levels again about 8 inches between yesterday afternoon and late this morning.  We also have had cold fronts coming through every other day it seems.  Our water temperatures rose as high as 64 degrees on the morning water temperatures and then dropped back to present levels over the past couple of days with cold fronts.  What days we were able to get out this past week, we took most of our bass on secondary creek channel banks and points in the creeks and bays.  

We did catch some bass on crank baits but the most productive bite was on shakey heads and jigs.  We are getting a lot of small buck bass but did manage to boat some keepers up to 5.5 lbs with most of the keepers in the 2.5 to 3 lb range.  Hopefully, this pattern of high winds will go away next week and things will settle down and the rapid fluctuations of the water levels will subside as the TVA slowly brings the water levels higher toward summer pool by the end of the month.  
Wish I had a better forecast for the weekend but it appears these windy conditions are going to continue for the next few days.  The forecast for tomorrow is for a high of 60/night time low of 40 with post frontal wind NW at 15 with higher gusts.  Saturday is showing a high of 70/night time low of 54 with wind SW at 15.  Sunday's forecast is calling for a high of 75/night time low of 59 with SSW wind 15-25.  Monday is showing a high of 75/night time low of 58 with wind SSW at 15.  The forecast for next week after Monday is showing the winds are going to subside, let's keep our fingers crossed!
Largemouth Bass: Largemouth are being taken on main lake primary points and channel banks on deep and medium running crank baits, shakey heads and jigs. Largemouth are being taken on channel banks and secondary points in the creeks and bays on medium running crank baits, spinner baits, jigs and shakey heads. Some fish are being taken on shallow main lake flats and on flats in the backs of the creeks and bays on warm days on lipless crank baits, shallow running crank baits and spinner baits.  I did get a couple of reports of a few fish being taken shallow on buzz baits and whopper ploppers.  This shallow water bite is up and down depending water level fluctuations and cold fronts.
Smallmouth Bass: Smallmouth are being taken on main lake channel points and banks as well as on secondary points and channel banks in the front halves of the creeks and bays on medium running crank baits, tube jigs and jigs. The numbers are low but some nice fish have been taken. These fish are on late prespawn/spawn patterns now. 
Productive Lures: Some of the productive lures reported this week are Rapala DT crank baits in demon and red craw, Rapala shadraps in demon, red craw and original crawdad, Bandit medium running crank baits in rootbeer/chartreuse,  Stike King 6XD crank baits in sexy shad and chartreuse sexy shad,  . D&L jigs in "oops" and Cumberland craw, Slong's jigs in Cumberland craw, Charmer shakey head jigs and Slong's shakey head jigs with Charmer shakey head worms in green pumpkin and Zoom trick worm in green pumpkin/purple, Strike King red eye shad and Lewis rattletrap lipless crank baits in crawfish patterns. Spro Little John shallow and medium running crank baits in spring craw and chartreuse with black back and Slong's spinner baits in white/chartreuse.  
Crappie: The Crappie started spawning last week but have backed off some due to the water level and water temperature fluctuations. These are primarily Black Crappie. They are being taken around brush piles in 5-7 ft of water by fishing with minnows or small curly tail jigs under bobbers and by casting curly tail jigs. These fish are moving to the banks early in the morning and during the afternoon on the warmer days and are being taken by casting curly tail jigs and road runner type baits. The White Crappie are staging around brush and underwater stake beds in 8-11 ft of water as well as in 12-15 ft of water. These fish are being taken by vertically fishing with jigs and minnow jig combinations as well as slow trolling curly tail jigs. 

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's Nest
Photo by Melodie Cunningham

This bald eagle keeps an eye out for it's mate from their nest high in a tree top in Land Between the Lakes. The average eagle's nest is five feet wide!