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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 04/15/2004

Kentucky Lake:  Water level at Ky Dam - 357.77   Surface Temperature - 59

Lake Barkley:  Water level at Barkley Dam - 358.00  Surface Temperature - 58
 
What a week!!  The water finally warmed up appreciably last Saturday and the bite was on for Bass and Crappie as they moved shallow.  Then just when it looked like the Crappie spawn bite and the Largemouth Bass prespawn bite was really in full swing, here comes an arctic blast that brought us high north winds with cold rain on Monday and snow and sleet on Tuesday of this week.

This dropped the water temps back into the low 50's and the fishing got tough again. But there is hope, we had warm weather yesterday and warmer today and the forecast is for some good warm springtime weather for the next week.  The fish started moving back shallow again today as the water temperatures recovered and the bite for both Largemouth and Crappie was very good.  If you can get away this weekend or next week you should head to the big lakes here for some fun spring fishing.  The water is rising and is starting to reach the shallower flower beds and brush and the fish are gravitating to them.  
 
The Largemouth Bass are being taken on secondary creek channel banks and points on medium running crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and Carolina rigged tubes, lizards, and creature baits.  Largemouth Bass are moving in numbers into shallow cuts and on the flats in the backs of the bays and are being taken near wood cover and vegetation on spinnerbaits, lipless crankbaits, minnow baits, Texas rigged tubes, lizards, and creature baits as well as jignpig.  
 
The Smallmouth fishing has been reported to be better this past week with some good fish being taken on rocky creek channel banks and secondary points in the bays.  These fish are being taken on jignpig and curly tail grubs.  I have received some of the best reports so far this season on these fish.  These fish should be going on the bed very shortly.  
 
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Bandit crankbaits in rootbeer and crawdad/chartruese, Rapala DT6 in bluegill, Rapala countdowns in black/silver, Hook Some Bass spinnerbaits in blue glimmer and white/chartruese, Zoom lizards in green pumpkin, Hook Some Bass baby brush hounds in green pumpkin, watermelon/red, and watermelon/purple, Rattletraps in copper, rootbeer, and blue/chrome, Hook Some Bass tubes in camillion craw and green pumpkin.  (Hint:  add a little chartruse dye to the tails of your green pumpkin and other green based creature baits).
 
The Crappie are very active with the Black Crappie being taken near the banks as they are moving to spawn.  The White Crappie are moving in toward the banks and being taken over brush in 4-8 ft of water.  Minnows and jigs worked under bobbers are producing some good catches as well as some fish are being taken by casting curly tail jigs along the banks.  Some of the bigger Black Crappie are so active they have been taking our bass lures the past couple of days.
 
The Bluegill are active on the flats near stumps and vegetation as well as around docks with wood cover.  These fish are taking worms fished under bobbers.
 
The lakes are rising to summer pool and lots of wood debris is in the lakes... especially on Lake Barkley.  Be very careful when running your boat to avoid the debris.

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.