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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 09/01/2005

Kentucky Lake:  Water level at Ky Dam - 357.90  Surface Temperature - 85

Lake Barkley:  Water level at Barkley Dam - 358. 10  Surface Temperature - 85
Both lakes are one foot below summer pool and on a slow drawdown.  The lakes rose two feet with all the rain received in the area from tropical storm Katrina.  No one was venturing on the water earlier in the week due to the high winds from the storm so reports this week are basically from the past two days and those from last weekend.  The water on Kentucky Lake is clear but the water on Lake Barkley is heavily stained to stained from the rains.  
This is normally the busiest weekend of the summer season here on the big lakes but I am not sure how busy it will be this weekend with the gas prices and reports of some gas shortages beginning to show up in the area.  Hopefully everyone will come to the lakes as planned and just not spend as much time running their boats to save on gas.  Be careful on the water this weekend and keep an eye out for floating debris from the rise in water this week and now the drawdown.  I did not see but a few obstruction's on Ky Lake today but that does not mean there is not more out there and I would be especially careful on Lake Barkley.  
The Largemouth Bass are being taken on the main lake ledges and the bite was good today with current now being generated around the clock with the drawdown.  These fish are being taken on Deep diving crankbaits, Carolina rigged creature baits and worms, slow rolled spinnerbaits and jignpig.  There has been an excellent early morning and late evening bite in the bays on secondary points and on the flats in the back of the bays as fish are feeding on schools of baitfish.  These fish are readily taking topwater lures, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, sinking worms and flukes.
The Smallmouth Bass are slow but some are being taken on the main lake river ledges on Carolina rigged creature baits as well as in the bays early and late in the day on secondary points using tube jigs and jignpig.  The night Smallmouth bite has been slow on most nights but occasionally you will get a good night by fishing main lake points and secondary points in the deeper bays with tube jigs, jignpig, and dark colored spinnerbaits.  
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Lucky Craft Sammy in ghost lemon shad and american shad, Rebel Pop R in black chrome and Rico poppers in shad patterns, Zoom horney toad in green pumpkin and watermelon/red/pearl, Hook Some Bass spinnerbaits in blue glimmer, Zoom flukes in shad patterns, Rapala DT series crankbaits in parrot and grey pearl shiner, Hook Some Bass tubes in smoke purple and chameleon craw, Zoom brush hogs in watermelon red and Net Baits Paca Craw in green pumpkin and summer craw.
The White Bass are being taken along the river channel ledges by vertically fishing with inline spinners and small spoons.  These fish are also being taken by trolling these lures behind a deep diving crankbait along the ledges.
Some Crappie are being taken in the 20 ft depth range on the old creek channels near the mouths of the bays by spider rigging small jigs and small minnows.  
The Catfish are biting with the current now being generated along the old river channels.  These fish are being taken on bottom rigs baited with yellowtail and cut baits.  
The Bluegill are being taken shallow in the bays near vegetation on crickets and worms fished under bobbers.  Some of the bigger bluegill are being taken on deep rocky creek channel banks near wood cover and deep vegetation. 

I would like to ask each of you that read my report each week to not only include in your prayers those folks that have been severely affected by Hurricane Katrina but also to please contact the Red Cross or Salvation Army and send them a donation to assist these folks.  Big or small, every penny counts right now to alleviate the suffering of our fellow Americans.  

More Kentucky Lake Fishing Reports

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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.

Bison Herd
Photo by Libby Mundy

Visitors to the Elk and Bison Prairie in Land Between The Lakes can almost always catch a glimpse of some bison. They are most frequently seen early in the morning and in the late afternoon.