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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 05/11/2018

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 359.41  Surface Temperature - 70
Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 359.20  Surface Temperature - 70

Both lakes are at summer pool.  Kentucky Dam was generating at an average rate of 37,500 cfs this morning.  Barkley Dam was generating at average rate of 29,700 cfs this morning. 

Current Conditions:  Well, we went from late winter conditions one month ago with snow to now summer with record and near record temperatures this week.  The little bit of normal spring weather we had was short lived.  As I mentioned in last week's report, we still have some bass spawning and still a few that have not spawned and some on post spawn patterns.  We caught bass shallow, deep and in between this week with the bite being slow some slow days and some fair bite days.  

We had some hot days with blue skies and flat water and some hot days with high winds which kept us from being able to cover much water.  We have lake wind warnings out again today so my clients and I made the decision to wait for more favorable conditions.  Although there are still some shallow spawning fish and there will still be a few late spawners, I believe most of the bass are now on post spawn banks and points.  We did manage to catch a few fish on early ledges this week also and I expect the ledge bite will picking up over the next week or so.

The weekend forecast is calling for record high temperatures in the 90's with night time low's in the 70's.  This pattern is forecasted to continue into early next week.  Winds are forecasted to be south quadrant.  Be sure to check your latest wind forecasts before venturing on the lakes and take plenty of sunscreen and stay hydrated.

LARGEMOUTH BASS: Prespawn and post spawn  Largemouth are being taken on creek channel banks and secondary points as well as on flats near the spawning areas in the creeks and bays on lipless crank baits, jigs, Carolina and Texas rigged creature baits, vibrating jigs and whacky rigged worms.  Largemouth are also being taken in the flooded brush and wood in the creeks and bays on  jigs and Texas and Florida rigged creature baits. Some largemouth are now being taken on early ledges on Texas rigged large worms, jigs and Carolina rigged creature baits.  

SMALLMOUTH BASS:  Smallmouth are being taken on main lake points and secondary points in the mouths of the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on jigs, tube jigs, Texas and Carolina rigged creature baits.  

PRODUCTIVE LURES:   Rapala DT 10 and DT 6 crank baits in shad and bluegill patterns, Bandit 200 and 300 series crankbaits in rootbeer and rootbeer/chartreuse, Strike King Red Eye Shad in sexy shad and chrome sexy shad, D&L jigs in Cumberland craw and oops patterns, Slong's spinner baits in blue glimmer and vibrating jigs in blue glimmer and white with pearl white swim bait trailer and Charmer 6" lizards and timber pups in watermelon/red. green pumpkin/blue and green pumpkin.

Crappie:  Crappie are still being reported as scattered with most of the fish still being taken in the 10-15 ft range over submerged cover by vertically fishing with minnow rigs and small jigs tipped with Crappie nibbles.  Some Crappie are being taken in 5-10 ft depths over brush piles with small jigs tipped with minnows.

Bluegill/Red Ears:  Blue gills and Red Ears are now starting to spawn in the shallows.  These bluegills are being taken on red worms fished under bobbers.  The Red Ears are being taken on split shot rigs baited with small jigs tipped with worms slowly reeled along the bottom.  

Channel Catfish:  Channel Catfish are now moving up on shallow rocky banks and points on the main lake to spawn.  These fish are being taken on night crawlers fished under bobbers.  

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.


Honker Bay
Photo by John Mahler

Honker Bay, located near The Nature Station, is a great place to hike or simply stop to observe a beautiful sunset.