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 05/18/2017

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 361.07  Surface Temperature - 75
Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 361.10  Surface Temperature - 75
Both lakes are 2 feet over summer pool and on a slow draw down.  Kentucky Dam was spilling at an average rate of 73,000 cfs this afternoon.  Barkley Dam was spilling at an average rate of 49,000 cfs this afternoon. 
Current Conditions:  We have had a mixture of some windy days and some calmer days over the past week since my last report.  As I mentioned in last week's report, the lakes are on a slow draw down to summer pool levels.  The TVA is projecting that we should reach summer pool levels sometime Sunday.  

We have taken bass from the shallow spawning areas to the ledges over the past week so the "pick a pattern" continues but we are seeing more numbers of bass starting to show up on the ledges this past week, particularly the early ledges.  There is still a lot of debris floating on both lakes so you need to use caution when running the lakes and keep a look out for this debris.
The forecast for tomorrow (Friday) is for a high of 82/night time low of 70 with a 50% chance of thunderstorms with wind SSW at 10.  The Saturday forecast is showing a high of 86/night time low of 67 with an 80% chance of thunderstorms with wind S at 14.  Sunday's forecast is calling for a post frontal high of 74/night time low of 56 with an 80% chance of morning thunderstorms and wind WNW at 7.  The extended forecast into next mid week is calling for high's in the 70's and low's in the 50's.  Keep an eye on the sky this weekend for the thunderstorms, expect high winds near the storms with locally heavy rains and lightning.  
Largemouth Bass: Largemouth are being taken in the shallows around brush as they are guarding nests with topwater lures, Texas rigged creature baits, tube jigs and jigs.  Largemouth are being taken on channel banks and secondary points just outside the spawning areas on crank baits, spinner baits, chatter baits, Carolina and Texas rigged creature baits, jigs and shaky heads. 

Largemouth are being taken on primary points on the main lake as well as on creek channel ledges on the main lake and in the mouths of creeks and bays. These fish are being taken on deep diving crank baits, spoons, Carolina rigged creature baits and jigs.
Smallmouth Bass: Smallmouth are being taken on the main lake points and secondary points in the front halves of the creeks and bays. These fish are being taken on jigs, Carolina rigged creature baits and tube jigs. The numbers are low but some nice fish have been taken. Some Smallmouth are also being taken on ledges (same as above) on crank baits, jigs and Carolina rigged creature baits. 
Productive Lures: Some of the productive lures reported this week are Bandit crank baits in rootbeer/chartruese, Rapala DT 6 and DT 10 in bluegill and sexy shad, Strike King XD 6 in Tennessee shad, sexy shad and chartruese sexy shad, D&L jigs in "oops" and cumberland craw, Slong's jigs in cumberland craw, Last Cast jigs in green pumpkin, Charmer shakey head jigs and Slong's shakey head jigs with Charmer shakey head worms in green pumpkin and watermelon/pruple and Zoom trick worm in green pumpkin/purple and watermelon/purple, Slong's spinner baits in white/chartruese, Chatter baits in white/chartruese, Charmer lizards and timber pups on Texas rigs and Carolina rigs in green pumpkin and green pumpkin/blue.
Crappie: Most of the Crappie are on post spawn patterns and holding over cover in 10-15 feet of water by trolling small crankbaits or vertically fishing with small jigs and minnow/jig combinations. The are still some Crappie around brush and stake beds in 5-8 ft of water but they are scattered. 
Bluegill/Red Ear: Bluegills and Red Ears are being taken around brush shallow as well as on the spawning flats in the creeks and bays in 3-5 ft of water. Crickets, red worms, wax worms under bobbers and red worms and pinched night crawlers fish on bottom on split shot rig is the ticket for these tasty fish.
Catfish: Channel catfish are being taken on rocky banks and points as well as rocky bottom flats in the creeks and bays. These fish are being taken on night crawlers fished under bobbers and on bottom rigs. Some good numbers of these fish are being reported.

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.

Photo by Melodie Cunningham

When exploring the Elk and Bison Prairie in The Land Between The Lakes, it's always exciting to catch a glimpse of a bull like this one!