Lodging Fishing Attractions Towns & Bays Dining Events Real Estate Maps Lake Conditions

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

Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 02/13/2002

Kentucky Lake:  Headwater Elevation - 354.02   Surface Temperature - 48

Lake Barkley:  Headwater Elevation - 354.00  Surface Temperature - 50

The lakes have settled down quite a bit over the past week since the dams have quit spilling water.  The water color is stained to clear on Kentucky Lake and stained on Lake Barkley.  There are still a few muddy areas but these are disappearing as the water settles.  The conditions are getting more and more like those that will trigger the early Smallmouth bite on Kentucky Lake.  

Some reports of Smallmouth being caught are coming in but these are reports of  single fish and not the numbers that will signal that the early prespawn bite in on.  I was out within the past few days checking some areas that the early Smallmouth like to congregate near and I can tell you that from what I saw in water clarity, temperatures, and current that unless ol man winter comes back in for a while we should be getting some numbers of good Smallmouth within the next week or two. 

The Smallmouth that are being reported lately are coming from main lake secondary points and from the tops of ledges in 6 -10ft of water.  These Smallmouth are taking small slow rolled crankbaits, suspending jerk baits, and tube baits.  I had a very good Smallie on myself this past weekend fishing a Snoozer's Road Kill Cammo tube on a secondary creek channel point. 

There are more reports of Largemouth and Spotted Bass being caught than Smallmouth this past week.  These fish are coming from secondary creek channel points and flats near ledges in 4-10ft of water.  These fish are taking small slow rolled crankbaits, suspending jerk baits, and texas rigged tube baits.  

My experiences over the weekend confirmed these patterns as we caught both Largemouth and Spotted Bass using these patterns.  The baits that worked for us this weekend were Suspending Husky Jerkbaits in clown color and Snoozer's Road Kill Cammo Tubes.  As I mentioned last week that at this time of year and water conditions there is always a chance of getting a trophy sized Largemouth fishing the flats in the bays on sunny afternoons.  

One of the gentlemen in my boat this past weekend hooked into a really big Largemouth on a flat early in the afternoon.  He was using a slow rolled shad colored shadrap when the fish hit his lure like a freight train.  To his disappointment she headed into the nearest brush pile and managed to free herself before we could get the boat to her.  

I noticed there were a number of schools of threadfin shad on the flats during the sunny part of the afternoon this weekend and that is a sure sign that you can have a chance at one of these trophys that cruise there this time of year.  

The Crappie have been more active over the past week with some good catches coming in from shallow water on sunny days.  These fish are near brush and wood cover in 3-10 ft of water and are taking minnows under bobbers and minnow/jig combinations under bobbers or deadlined over the cover.  

There are also some good catches coming in from deep water on the main lake old creek channels and near the mouths of the bays.  These fish are holding over brush piles and wood cover in 15-20ft of water and are taking minnows and small jigs on deadlined rigs and bottom bouncing rigs.  Some colors of productive jigs being used are red/chartruese, pink, red/white, and red/orange/chartruese.  I have not received any reports on other species this past week.   

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 Lake
Photo by Jennifer Dunnaway

In June these beautiful lily pads are in full bloom at Honker Lake in Land Between The Lakes. Honker Lake is a great place for wildlife viewing and hiking.