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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 03/27/2002

Kentucky Lake:  Headwater Elevation - 355.32   Surface Temperature - 52

Lake Barkley:  Headwater Elevation - 355.35  Surface Temperature - 53
Well we had another nasty cold front come thru the area on Monday and with came another deluge of rain.  The cold snap dropped the water temperatures on both lakes into the high 40's but they started rebounding today with midafternoon temperatures in the low 50's.  

The forecast for the next few days is more warm weather and this should get the fish back on track for the spring Bass and Crappie bite.  Normally the lakes start rising to summer pool beginning on April 1st and this will also help to move the fish onto the banks.  Lake Barkley is still muddy for the most part with some stained water bays on the north end.  Kentucky Lake is somewhat muddy in the river channel and some west side bays are heavily stained but clearing.  The LBL bays on Kentucky Lake north of the US 68 bridge are only slightly stained and the water looks very good.  
The Largemouth Bass are being caught on main lake points of both lakes as well as on secondary points in the bays and on the flats near wood cover on warm afternoons.  The point fish are being taken on crankbaits, suspending jerkbaits, and Carolina Rigged tubes and lizards.  Some of the producing lures that have been reported are:  Bandit crankbaits in Rootbeer/Chartuese and Chartruese, Rapala Husky Jerkbaits in Clown and Tennessee Shad, Snoozer's Road Kill Cammo tubes and Zoom Pumpkin/Chartruese Lizards.  

The Smallmouth Bass have been somewhat slow on the LBL side of Kentucky Lake but those that are being caught are coming from the pea gravel main lake primary and secondary points on jignpig and Texas rigged tubes.  Black/Red jigs with black trailer and Road Kill Cammo tubes seem to be the predominate lures.  The warmer temperatures should start the Smallmouth into the bays over the next week or so.  
The Crappie have been slow on both lakes with the only notable good reports coming from the Big Sandy River area south.   I was out after the Crappie on the north end of Kentucky Lake today and spotted a lot of fish staging off pea gravel points and off pea gravel banks in the bays holding over brush and stumps in 8-12 ft of water.  

Late this afternoon some fish started moving onto the banks and we caught a couple on Road Runners but the TVA started drawing water down and the bank fish turned off.  The best bet right now is to fish vertical jigs and minnows over the staging fish and look for some fish to move to wood cover near pea gravel banks in the afternoons.  The forecast of warmer weather over the next few days should turn the Crappie on, especially if the water starts raising or stay stable.  I have not received any reports on the Bluegill or Catfish this past week.

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.

Remarkable Sunset
Photo by Jennifer Dunnaway

This is one of my favorite photographs of a Kentucky Lake sunset taken from the eastern shore of Kentucky Lake near Fenton.