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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 04/04/2002

Kentucky Lake:  Headwater Elevation - 356.13   Surface Temperature - 53

Lake Barkley:  Headwater Elevation - 356.10  Surface Temperature - 54
Well another artic cold front came through the area on Tuesday night and dropped the temperatures down below the freezing level for the past two mornings but the lake temperatures are maintaining their current level.  Hopefully the warming trend over the next few days with bring those morning water temperatures up a few degrees.  Both lakes are spilling water and the levels seem to be holding around the 2 ft over winter pool level at this time.  

Kentucky Lake is basically clear with some stained water in the creeks from the high winds we have been having with the cold fronts.  Lake Barkley is heavily stained in the river channel but the creeks are clearing and only slightly stained.  
The Largemouth Bass are on early prespawn patterns with some good fish being taken on both lakes using crankbaits and jerkbaits on main lake points and secondary creek channel points.  There are also some fish being caught on Carolian rigged lizards and tubes on these points.  Another pattern that is working is Texas rigged tubes on creek channel banks with wood cover.  There is also some fish being caught on small crankbaits, rattletraps, and spinnerbaits on the creek flats near wood cover.  
The Smallmouth Bass are finally getting more active on the LBL side of Kentucky Lake and some good fish are being taken on suspending jerkbaits, crankbaits, jignpig, and Carolina rigged tubes on pea gravel points on the main lake and the first secondary points in the creeks.  
Lures that are reported as working on the Bass are Bandit and Bill Norman crankbaits in variations of chartruese and natural colors, Zoom pumpkinseed/chartruese lizards, Snoozer's Road Kill Cammo and Smoke/Purple tubes, blue/chrome and firetiger Rattletraps,  white and white/chartruese spinnerbaits, and black/blue jignpig combinations.  
The Crappie have been slow for the most part with some catches coming in the late afternoon near spawning banks when the water temperatures reach their daily peak.  These crappie are staging on brush and stumps off the spawning banks in 8-12 ft of water.  They can be caught on minnows and minnow/jig combinations under bobbers on these holding spots although the bite is slow. 

When they move up to the banks they are being caught on small curly tail jigs and 1/8 ounce Roadrunners.  Best color choices of both seem to be black/chartruese and chartruese.  If the water temperatures get a chance to come up and stabilize this next week these fish should be getting much more active.  The Bluegill are getting active on wax worms and red worms under bobbers fished around docks and points with wood cover.  I have not received any reports on other species 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.

Photo by Ray Stainfield

No camping excursion is complete with a serenade from the resident bullfrog. There are a vast variety of amphibians to be found throughout the Land Between The Lakes Area.