Explore Kentucky Lake

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

Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 06/15/2017

Kentucky Lake: Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 359.09  Surface Temperature - 83
Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 359.00  Surface Temperature - 83
 
Both lakes are at summer pool.  Kentucky Dam was generating at an average rate of 41,000 cfs this afternoon.  Barkley Dam was generating at an average rate of 36,800 cfs this afternoon. 
 
Current Conditions:  The heat of summer certainly showed itself this week with high's in the mid 90's and heat indexes around 100 each day.  These high temperatures shot the lake temperatures up to present levels.  With the lakes back down to summer pool now, the TVA is only generating enough water to produce some current during the afternoons and early evenings when everyone's air conditioners are cranking up. 

My observations this week has been a somewhat slower ledge bite early in the day than we had with the steady current around the clock the past few weeks, with the bite increasing in the afternoon's and evening when there is current being generated.  This does not mean you cannot catch bass on the ledges during the morning hours, we certainly have, but the reports I am getting is indicating a better bite late in the day right now.  I have seen this cycle many times during my years here and sometimes lasts for a week or two when we have heat waves during the summer months.  If you check the TVA website using the link I provided above, you can get a past 48 hour history of the hourly generation at the dams and you will see what I mean.  
 
It looks like we will get a couple of days relief from this hot and humid weather early next week after this next front passes through the lakes area.  The forecast for tomorrow (Friday) is for a high of 93/night time low of 70 with wind S at 5.  Saturday's forecast is showing a high of 94/night time low of 75 with a 30% chance of isolated thunderstorms with wind SSW at 10-15.  Sunday's forecast is showing frontal passage with a high of 87/night time low of 67 with a 100% chance of thunderstorms and wind WSW at 10-15.  Keep an eye on the sky for approaching storms.  These storms that develop in the afternoons this time of year move fast and generate a lot of lightning and localized high winds.  Don't wait too late to find a safe port with approaching storms.
 
The lakes are getting a very crowded over the past couple weeks and it is time to remind everyone to use some common sense and courtesy when on the water in regards to your fellow anglers and boaters.  Be aware of other boats that are stationary either fishing or swimming, there is no reason to run close by them when in most cases you can maneuver your boat to pass well away from these folks.  

If you park your boat in a narrow navigation lane, you can expect to be washed by other boats transitioning the navigation lane, it is not smart to park your boat in a navigation lane.  If someone is fishing a ledge spot you wanted to fish when you get there, find another ledge, do not pull up beside another boat and start fishing just because you wanted to fish there.  If you don't know any other places to fish other than that spot, come see me and I will teach you how to find other good spots.  The lake is 184 miles long and 2 miles wide...there is no excuse for showing disrespect for your fellow boaters and anglers.  
 
Largemouth Bass: Largemouth are being taken on primary points on the main lake as well as on ledges on the main lake and in the mouths of creeks and bays. These fish are being taken on deep diving crank baits, swim baits, spoons, Texas rigged large worms, drop shot rigs, shaky heads, Carolina rigged creature baits and jigs. Largemouth are being taken in the backs of the creeks and bays early and late in the day on topwater lures as they are feeding on schools of fry.  Some Largemouth are also being taken near wood cover during the day in the shallow water on spinner baits, Texas rigged creature baits and Senko type baits.
 
Smallmouth Bass: Smallmouth are being taken on main lake points and on ledges during the day on jigs and Carolina rigged creature baits.  Smallmouth are being taken at night on rocky main lake points and rocky points inside the mouths of creeks and bays on dark skirted spinner baits, jigs and tube jigs. 
 
Productive Lures: Some of the productive lures reported this week are Lucky Craft Sammy in ghost pearl lemon, Strike King splash baits in white, Rapala, Strike King XD 6 and XD 10 in Tennessee shad, sexy shad and chartreuse sexy shad, Rapala DT16 in parrot, Big Hammer swim baits in sexy smelt and bay smelt, Kitech swim baits in pro blue, D&L jigs in "oops" and Cumberland craw, Slong's jigs in Cumberland craw, Slong's spinner baits in blue glimmer,  Charmer and Zoom large worms in plum, red bug and watermelon/red on Texas rigs, Charmer lizards and timber pups on Texas rigs and Carolina rigs in green pumpkin and green pumpkin/blue and watermelon/purple.
 
Bluegill: Bluegills are being taken around brush shallow as well as on the spawning flats in the creeks and bays in 2-5 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. Bluegills are also being taken around mayfly hatches near overhanging trees and docks early and late in the day on crickets and wax worms fished under bobbers.
 
White Bass:  White Bass are being taken along main lake ledges and the ledges around the mouths of the creeks and bays with in line spinners and blade baits fished vertically.  

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.


Rocky Shores
Photo by John Mahler

Although the terrain in this part of the country is typically flat, you'll still find an occasional rocky shoreline like this one on Kentucky Lake.