Explore Kentucky Lake

Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley Fishing
Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Contact Us About Us
Switch Mobile/Desktop

Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 09/13/2018

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 355.94  Surface Temperature - 80
Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam 355.75  Surface Temperature - 80

Both lakes are 3 feet below summer pool  The TVA is forecasting a rise of one foot in the lake levels over the next couple days due to expected run off from heavy rains expected up river from the remnants of hurricane Florence.  Kentucky Dam was generating at an average rate of 32,600 cfs this afternoon.  Barkley Dam was generating at an average rate of 25,200 cfs this afternoon.  As the lake levels drop boaters should be cautious when navigating the lakes.  There are a number of areas where old foundations, stumps, humps and ridges are just waiting to ruin your trip and cause damage to you and your boat.  If you are not familiar with the lakes, follow the navigation buoys and be very careful when navigating outside the buoys.

Current Conditions:  The water temperatures have dropped over the past few days as we had cooler post frontal days and lots of cloud cover.  The sun showed  back up today with some higher air temperatures and the warming trend is expected to last though the weekend at least at this time with lots of sunshine. 

The bass bite picked up during the cooler days with the cloud cover and we took a number of fish with most of them being short fish but also with occasional nice keeper.  Our best bite this week was fishing top water baits on rock river channel banks early in the morning and then moving to rocky channel points where ned rigs, shaky heads and finesse jigs were taking fish. The fish we caught were feeding on schools of the fry that I had mentioned were moving to deeper water in my last report 2 weeks ago.  We did fish a few ledges over the past week and took a few fish but the bite there was more scattered and slower.  

LARGEMOUTH BASS: Largemouth are being taken on the ledges on the main lakes and around the mouths of the deeper creeks and bays.  The ledge bite is slow. These fish are being taken with  Carolina rigged creature baits, Texas rigged large worms, jigs, drop shots, shaky heads and swim baits. Largemouth are also being taken on rocky river channel banks and points.  These fish are taking top water lures early in the morning and ned rigs, shaky heads and finesse jigs during the day.  Largemouth are also being taken in the creeks and bays on channel banks and secondary points, especially those with wood cover.  These fish are being taken on shaky heads, ned rigs, Texas rigged creature baits and finesse jigs.  

SMALLMOUTH BASS:  We caught a number of Smallmouth on the early morning top water bite and later finesse lures bite on rocky main river channel banks and points as mentioned above. Most of these fish were short fish but a lot of fun.  

White Bass:  White Bass are being taken by vertically fishing with blade baits and inline spinners along the river channel ledges. 

PRODUCTIVE LURES:  D&L jigs in Cumberland craw and oops patterns, Slong's jigs in mustang, Charmer timber pups on Carolina rigs, shaky heads and Texas rigs in green pumpkin, green pumpkin/blue and watermelon/purple, Big Hammer swim baits in bay smelt and Robo worms on drop shot in mean green.  Zman TRD in green pumpkin on ned rig,  Yamamoto Senko in green pumpkin/black, green pumpkin magic and Charmer Slim Jim in blue craw on shaky heads. Strike King top water splash bait in white and Lucky Craft Sammy in ghost pearl lemon.   

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.


Reflections
Photo by Angela Smith

Everything in nature is a reflection of everything. Calm evenings on Kentucky Lake produces a stunning mirror image of nature.