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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 07/21/2004

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Ky Dam - 358.35   Surface Temperature - 85

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 358.35  Surface Temperature - 85
 
The lakes are on a slow drawdown to winter pool.  The normal drawdown is for the lake to drop one foot each month starting in July to reach winter pool in November.  The lakes are currently nearing one foot below summer pool.  The dog days of summer are here with some days having heat indexes above 100 so make sure you take plenty of cool water to drink with you when venturing on the lakes.
 
The Largemouth Bass are being taken on the humps and ledges in the large bays and on the main lake. These fish are being taken on deep running crankbaits, Carolina rigged lizards, creature baits, and tubes, Texas rigged large worms, and jignpig.  

Some bass are being taken shallow in the bays as they are feeding on shad and bass fry near vegetation and wood cover.  The shallow fish are taking Texas rigged tubes and worms, spinnerbaits, and lipless crankbaits.  Another pattern that is working is to fish below top feeding white bass with crankbaits, jignpig, and soft plastics.  There are some largemouth following these schools of white bass and picking off injured baitfish as they fall below the schools.  
 
The Smallmouth Bass are being taken on main lake points and on ledges with Carolina rigged creature baits and tubes as well as jignpig.  I have received a number of reports of Smallmouth now being taken at night on the LBL side of Ky Lake on main lake points.  These fish can be caught with dark colored spinnerbaits, Carolina rigged tubes, and jignpig.
 
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Poe's 400 series crankbaits in Tennessee Shad, Norman DD22 crankbaits in blue/chartruese, Lewis Ratteltraps in blue/chrome and black/chrome, Hook Some Bass spinnerbaits in blue glimmer, Zoom lizards in green pumpkin, Hook Some Bass tubes in chameleon craw and smoke/purple/chartruese, Hook Some Bass jigs in rootbeer and black/blue.  
 
The White Bass are being taken along the main river ledges by vertically fishing with inline spinners and spoons.  Some jump activity is present but the fish are not staying up very long. 
 
The Catfish are being taken near the river channels on bottom rigs with cut baits and yellow tail shad.  I have not had any night reports but I would suspect this bite would be good at night when most of the current is being generated.
 
The Bluegill are still feeding near mayfly hatches early and late in the day.  I observed big mayfly hatches this past week on both lakes.  These are very evident especially near willow trees.

More Kentucky Lake Fishing Reports

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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.


White Egret
Photo by Melodie Cunningham

Commonly mistaken for a heron, egrets can commonly be seen wading in shallow water near the lakes edge.