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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 04/28/2004

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Ky Dam - 359.61  Surface Temperature - 65

Lake Barkley:  Water level at Barkley Dam - 359.75  Surface Temperature - 65
 
Heavy rains late last week raised the lake levels to near 1.5 feet over summer pool.  The lakes are presently on a drawdown back to summer pool levels.  Lake Barkley was muddy to heavily stained early in the week but is clearing although there is still plenty of color in the channel and the bays are stained.  Lake Barkley is definitely fishable though.  Kentucky Lake is only slightly stained and clearing fast.  
 
The Largemouth Bass are on late prespawn and spawn patterns on both lakes.  Good numbers of fish are being taken by fishing the buck brush and mustard flower beds with jignpig, sinking worms, Texas and Carolina rigged lizards and creature baits, and spinnerbaits.  Some topwater bite on buzzbaits has also been reported as well as some floating worm bite.  There are still fish being taken on Carolina rigs and medium running crankbaits on secondary creek channel points as some late fish are still moving in toward the spawning areas.  
 
The Smallmouth Bass are being taken on medium and deep running small crankbaits and jignpig on rocky creek channel banks on Kentucky Lake.  The Smallmouth reports are not very numerous though as most anglers are targeting the Largemouth Bass right now.
 
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Hook Some Bass spinnerbaits in blue glimmer and white/chartruese, Hook Some Bass and Zoom lizards in green pumpkin, Hook Some Bass baby brush hounds in green pumpkin, watermelon/red, and black/red, Hook Some Bass sinking worm in green pumpkin, Zoom trick worm in bubblegum and watermelon/red, and  jigs in black/blue.
 
The Crappie slowed some this week with the fluctuating water levels but reports from Ky Fish and Wildlife indicate that there are still a lot of shallow crappie on both lakes.  Reports indicate that fishing minnows under bobbers near wood cover in shallow water is the best bite.
 
The Bluegill are very active in the bays on the flats near vegetation.  I spotted numerous bedding Bluegills this week on both lakes.  Shell Crackers are reported to be moving into the shallow water also.  These great panfish can be taken by fishing worms under bobbers and on split shot rigs on the beds.
 
The Channel Catfish are moving shallow to spawn and some reports of fish being taken on shallow rocky banks are already coming in.  This bite should get better over the next couple of weeks.  These fish can be readily taken by fishing nightcrawlers under bobbers and also on bottom rigs in shallow rocky areas.
 
There is still a lot of debris from the high waters on both lakes...especially on Lake Barkley.  Be very careful when running.

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.


Take A Kid Fishing
Photo by Shawn Dunnaway

These boys had a blast bank fishing on Kentucky Lake. Take your kids on a fishing trip to Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley!