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 05/17/2018

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 359.14  Surface Temperature - 77
Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 359.10  Surface Temperature - 77

Both lakes are at summer pool.  Kentucky Dam was generating at an average rate of 60,500 late this afternoon.  Barkley Dam was generating at an average rate of 28,200 this afternoon. 

Current Conditions:  Well it has been another week of hot weather and a lot of flat water days.  Last week I reported we had some slow days and a few fair days.  This week is a mirror of that same pattern.  The Largemouth Bass are still in post spawn transition phase and finding any numbers of keeper plus bass has been tough.  One can catch a lot of smaller bass on most days though so at least there is some consistent action even if it is not as good on the bigger bass as we would like to have.  To paraphrase a number of the FLW Professionals that came across the weigh-in stage this afternoon..."it is tough out there".  We did manage a few fish on ledges this week but our best action continues to be on primary and secondary post spawn points.  

The weather pattern we have been experiencing over the past couple weeks is forecasted to continue through next week.  Hot days and scattered thunderstorms.  Some of these storms are severe so keep an eye on the sky for an approaching storm and seek a safe port immediately as these storms do contain high winds and lots of lightning.  Bring plenty of water or sports drinks to stay hydrated and don't forget the sun screen.


LARGEMOUTH BASS: Post spawn  Largemouth are being taken on creek channel banks and secondary points in the creeks and bays on medium running crank baits, jigs, Carolina and Texas rigged creature baits, tube jigs shaky heads and ned rigs.  A few 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 deep diving crank baits, swim baits, Texas rigged large worms, jigs and Carolina rigged creature baits. The Largemouth are primarily on post spawn transition and numbers of keepers being taken is slow.  

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.  Some Smallmouth have been taken off ledges but like the Largemouth, the ledges are still spotty.

PRODUCTIVE LURES: Some of the productive lures reported this week are Strike King XD6 crank baits in sexy shad and blue/chartreuse,  Rapala DT 10 and DT 6 crank baits in shad and bluegill patterns, Bandit 200 and 300 series crankbaits in rootbeer and rootbeer/chartreuse, Charmer 10.5" ribbon tail worms in plum, D&L jigs in Cumberland craw and oops patterns, Charmer 6" lizards and timber pups in watermelon/red. green pumpkin/blue and green pumpkin, Charmer tubes in blue craw, Zman TRD baits on ned rigs in green pumpkin.  


Bluegill/Red Ears:  Blue gills and Red Ears are now spawning 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.  Good catches are being reported.

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.  Good catches are being reported.

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.


Down the River
Photo by Melodie Cunningham

This father-son team has found adventure out on the water at Kentucky Lake! There are so many places to explore in LBL that can't be accessed by land!