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Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley Fishing
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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 04/08/2004

Kentucky Lake:  Water level at Ky Dam - 355.90   Surface Temperature - 59

Lake Barkley:  Water level at Barkley Dam - 356.00  Surface Temperature - 58
 
The fishing is recovering since the cold fronts of late last week.  Warmer temperatures this week has brought the surface temperatures back up to present levels in the mornings and raised the shallow water temperatures to the lower 60's during late morning and early afternoon.  
 
The majority of the Largemouth Bass are now moving into the bays with fish being taken this week on main lake and secondary creek channel points on medium running crankbaits, Carolina rigged lizards, creature baits, and tubes and also jignpig.  The early spring shallow bass are still being taken on the flats in the bays on lipless crankbaits thrown near wood cover.  Although the numbers of the really big shallow water bass seems to have slowed this week there are still some good keepers and plenty of buck bass being taken on this pattern.  
 
The Smallmouth Bass are still spotty on the lakes.  Some good fish are being taken but no large numbers of them have been reported.  These fish are being taken on rocky creek channel banks on crankbaits and jignpig.  A good limit of Smallmouth did win a tournament at Paris Landing weekend before last but this is the only 5 fish limit of which I am aware.  Those fish were reportedly taken on a suspending jerkbait between the 68 bridge and the 79 bridge.  
 
The Crappie bite took off this past week with the more stable water and rising temperatures.  Lots of good catches have been reported this week on both lakes.  Reports indicate that these fish are being taken over brush piles in 8-12 ft of water near creek channels and also shallow on flats near wood cover in 3-6 ft of water.  The deeper fish are being taken by vertically fishing small jigs and minnows and the shallower fish (3-6 ft) are being taken by fishing small jigs and minnows under bobbers.  Some Crappie are also reportedly being taken by casting gravel banks with small jigs and small spinners.
 
The Bluegill are being taken on the flats near stumps and on shallow rocky banks near wood cover.  These fish are being taken by fishing with wax worms and meal worms under bobbers.  
 
Overall the fishing is picking up after the nasty cold fronts with the Crappie having transitioned to near spawn and spawn patterns and the Largemouth Bass are moving into the bays and feeding up before the upcoming spawn.  Expect the bass bite to really take off as soon as the water levels get into the buck brush and mustard flowers.  

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.