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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 04/01/2005

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Ky Dam - 355.79  Surface Temperature - 55

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 355.80  Surface Temperature - 55
Both lakes are nearing two feet over winter pool and are on a slow rise to summer pool.  We received some heavy rains in the lakes area this week associated with the passage of a major cold front.  The rains came from the southwest so the warm rain along with the strong southwest winds brought the water temperatures up to a more normal level for this time of year.  

Kentucky Lake is clear on the east side and the water is heavily stained in some of the west side bays due to the rains and high winds blowing across the shallow flats.  Lake Barkley is heavily stained in the main river channel and most bays are only slightly stained with the exception of Eddy Creek, Little River, and some of the bays further south which are basically muddy.  The warmer water temperatures have started some of the Crappie moving to stage near spawning banks as well as moving some of the Largemouth Bass into the bays as they are migrating toward later spawning areas.
The Largemouth Bass are being taken on main lake primary points and on secondary creek channel points in the bays as well as some fish are being taken shallow on the flats near wood cover in the bays.  Some fish are also staging on roadbeds and humps near the mouths of the bays.  The fish on the points are being taken with suspending jerkbaits, crankbaits, Carolina rigged lizards and creature baits, Texas rigged tubes and jignpig.  

The shallow fish are being taken on lipless crankbaits and spinnerbaits.  The fish on the roadbeds and humps are being taken on Carolina rigged lizards and creature baits.  As you can see there are a myriad of patterns right now as numbers of fish are now starting to stage and move into the bays.
The Smallmouth Bass are being taken on main lake primary and secondary pea gravel points and on secondary pea gravel points in the bays.  These fish are being taken on suspending jerkbaits on the deeper points and on suspending jerkbaits, crankbaits, and curly tailed grubs on the shallower points.  Some very good fish have been taken on the main lake points on days when the wind has allowed fishing for them.  
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Smithwick Suspending Rogues in black/chrome/orange, Lucky Craft Pointers in American Shad, Bandit crankbaits in rootbeer and rootbeer/chartruese, Hook Some Bass tubes in chameleon craw, green pumpkin/brown, and Pickwick green, Zoom lizards in pumpkin/chartruese, Hook Some Bass baby brush hounds in watermelon/red, Bill Lewis rattletraps in blue/chrome, black/red, and black/gold, and Hook Some Bass jigs in black/blue and rootbeer.  
The Crappie are being taken over brush piles and stake beds in 12-16 ft of water along the creek channels by vertically fishing with small jigs and minnows.  Crappie are also being taken in 6-8 ft of water over brush piles near spawning banks where they are beginning to stage for the spawn.  

These fish are being taken by casting small jigs and by fishing with small minnows under floats.  There is some early and late bite now being reported for Crappie on gravel banks in the bays.  These low light condition fish are being taken by casting the banks with curly tail jigs.  
Bluegill are being taken by fishing with worms under slip bobbers along deep creek channel banks near wood cover.  
Basically the Crappie and Bass fishing are very good when the wind and weather patterns allow you to fish effectively.  I have had some very good bass fishing lately and some slow days but the slow days have been more due to wind conditions not allowing for effective fishing than a slow bite.  

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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 Murray Blake

This stoic heron is looking at more than just his own reflection. He is looking at the fish that will become his lunch.