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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 09/28/2006

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Ky Dam - 355.19  Surface Temperature - 73

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 355.30  Surface Temperature - 73
 
Both lakes are 4 ft below summer pool.  Last weekend we had very heavy rains in the lakes area.  Anywhere from 10-12 inches of rain fell in the area during a 36 hour period.  This resulted in both lakes rising about 1.5 ft.  Lake Barkley quickly muddied up and Kentucky Lake was heavily stained.  Both lakes have been pulled back down to their prestorm levels now and are starting to stabilize.  

Barkley is still muddy on the main lake but many of the creeks and bays are clearing.  Kentucky Lake still has some stain to it and few of the west side creeks are heavily stained.  I would like to caution everyone, especially those folks coming here for the big tournaments this week and next week that have never been on the big lakes here.  These are river lakes...not big deep water reservoirs.  

There are numerous obstructions on the lakes such as foundations, stumps etc. and these can be very hazardous if you hit them.  Please use the navigation buoys and only run your boats on plane where you know for certain that the water is unobstructed.  We have had a number of accidents here this year and last week we had another bad one when a boater hit a stump in a very shallow area on the main lake outside of the navigation channels.  I would also like to commend the tournament director of U.S.A. Bassin for his decision to cancel the first day of their trail's Classic here last Saturday.  The wind and weather conditions were definitely hazardous to the tournament participants and cancelling the first day's fishing was in the best interests of the anglers.  It is nice to see a tournament director that will take a stand on the side of safety first.
 
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth Bass are in transition from summer to fall patterns.  More and more schools of shad are moving into shallow water and fish are being taken on the flats on the main lake and in the creeks and bays on topwater lures, spinnerbaits, crankbaits and Texas rigged soft plastics.  

Largemouth are also being taken on primary points on the main lake as well as secondary points in the creeks and bays on crankbaits, Carolina and Texas rigged creature baits and jigs.  Some fish are still being taken on the humps and ledges near the mouths of the bays as they are staging to move into the bays.  These fish are being taken on deep diving crankbaits, Carolina rigged creature baits and jigs.  
 
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth Bass are being taken on main lake points and the first secondary points in the bays.  These fish are being taken on crankbaits and jigs.  Smallmouth are also being taken on the river ledges on Carolina rigged creature baits and jigs.  Some Smallmouth are being taken on the flats early and late in the day on topwater lures.  
 
Some of the productive lures this week have been:  Lucky Craft Sammy in ghost pearl lemon, Zara spook junior in white and bone, Lucky Craft G-Splash in ghost pearl lemon, Rebel Pop R in black/chrome and white, Hook Some Bass spinnerbaits in blue glimmer, Lewis Rattletraps in blue/chrome and smokey joe, Hook Some Bass baby brush hounds in watermelon/purple and watermelon/red, Norman crankbaits in white, Bandit crankbaits in rootbeer/chartruese and Hook Some Bass jigs in green pumpkin.  
 
Crappie:  Crappie are being taken around the mouths of the bays and creeks along the old creek channels in 12-20 ft of water. These fish are being taken by spider rigging with small minnows and jigs.  Some Crappie are reportedly being taken around brush piles in 6-8 ft of water now by fishing with minnows and small jigs under bobbers and by casting jigs.  
 
White Bass:  White Bass are being taken in the bays and on the main lakes on inline spinners and small spoons cast into feeding schools of fish on the flats.  
 
Catfish:  Catfish are being taken along the river channels on bottom bouncing rigs baited with shrimp and yellowtails.
 
Bluegill:  Bluegill are being taken by fishing with worms under bobbers around submerged vegetation on the flats and around docks.

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.


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.