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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 12/17/2004

Kentucky Lake:  Water level at Ky Dam - 357.21  Surface Temperature - 50

Lake Barkley:  Water level at Barkley Dam - 357.50  Surface Temperature - 50
Both lakes are over winter pool by about 3 ft.  and are forecasted to start dropping back down over the next few days.  Although the heavy flow on Lake Barkley has been cut to half what it was this time last week, Kentucky Lake is continuing to spill water at over 300,000 cfps.  Both lakes are heavily stained to muddy in the channels and stained in the bays. 

Although the amount of floating debris in both lakes seems to have diminished some from last week's report, there is still some debris out there and this may increase as the lakes begin to drop back down again.  We have had some very cold temperatures this week with some low's in the teens.  There has been very little fishing activity with the cold and wind this week but I did receive some very good reports on the bass fishing from folks that braved the wind last weekend.  
The Largemouth Bass are being taken on main lake points and ledges near the mouths of the creeks.  These fish are being taken on crankbaits, suspending jerkbaits, and Texas rigged tubes.  I received some reports of good catches last Saturday and Sunday from folks using these patterns.  

I have not received any reports since the very cold weather moved in here after the weekend but tomorrow looks like the weather will cooperate for some folks to get out on the water.  The weather forecast after tomorrow does not look favorable...winter has definitely made its appearance in the lakes area.
The Smallmouth Bass are being taken on the main lake near current breaks.  These fish are being taken on crankbaits and Texas rigged tubes.  I received good reports on this pattern from folks fishing last weekend but I have not received any reports since the cold snap after the weekend.  With the current continuing to flow hard on Ky Lake this pattern should hold up for a while for those that want to give it a try.
Some of the productive lures reported last weekend were:  Lucky Craft Pointers in Table Rock Shad, Bandit crankbaits in rootbeer and crawfish/chartruese, and Hook Some Bass tubes in Chameleon Craw.
I have not received any reports on Crappie or other species this past week.  I noted yesterday that I saw only one boat fishing for Crappie in Jonathan Creek when I crossed the U.S. 68 bridge there yesterday during the warm part of the day.  This boat was vertically fishing along the creek channel and I suspect this would be the best method right now, especially with the heavy current on the main lake.  
If you are going to venture on the lakes this weekend make sure you let someone know your departure point and expected time of return.  Hypothermic conditions are prevailing this time of year so make sure you have an extra change of clothes and a survival kit in your boat before venturing on the water.
This will be my last report until the first of the new year and then reports after that will only be updated as I have the opportunity to do so.  I will be traveling during January and February again this year with the Hawg Trough team doing seminars at some of the outdoor and sport shows around the country.  I do not have my schedule yet but will publish it as soon as it is firm so that if I am at one of the shows in your area you can stop by and chat about the great fishing here on Ky/Barkley lakes if you so desire.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and ask that you take time to say a prayer for our folks in the military that are serving all over the world so that we can safely enjoy our freedoms here at home.

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.

Photo by Jennifer Dunnaway

Replicas of the Nina and Pinta occasionally dock at Green Turtle Bay. We snapped a photo of the masts of the Pinta last summer.