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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 04/18/2002

Kentucky Lake:  Headwater Elevation - 358.18  Surface Temperature - 63

Lake Barkley:  Headwater Elevation - 358.05 Surface Temperature - 63
The above average temperatures over the past week have raised the water tempertures 7 degrees in one week.  The crappie are moving to the banks early in the morning and late in the evening to spawn.  There have been better catches reported this past week but there are also many reports that the crappie fishing overall is still somewhat slower than should be expected.  

The better bite seems to be coming from the south areas of the two lakes and slowly moving north as the water warms.  Casting small jigs and roadrunners to the banks is working early and late on the actively spawning fish.  Vertical fishing with small jigs and minnows over staging crappie in brush and over wood cover in 6 -10 ft of water is the better pattern working during the day.  

Basically at this time on the north ends of the lakes your crappie fishing experience may be very good or poor depending on whether you are on the right spot at the right time early in the morning and late in the evening.  The active bite periods are being reported as short in duration.
The Largemouth Bass are on prespawn patterns and are being caught in the bays on secondary points and along creek channel banks with rock and wood.  Some fish are moving shallow near the spawning areas.  There are some reports coming in of early spawning fish also.  

The point fish are hitting crankbaits,  jignpig, spinnerbaits, and soft plastics on Texas and Carolina rigs. The shallow fish are reported as taking spinnerbaits, rattletraps, and small crankbaits.    The lures that have been reported as working on the Largemouth are Bandit crankbaits in rootbeer/chartruese, rapala shadraps in crawdad and black/silver, rattletraps in blue/chrome and rootbeer, spinnerbaits in white and white/chartruese, black/blue jignpig, Zoom lizards in pumpkinseed/chartruese, Power Lizards in black/blue, and Snoozers tubes in road kill cammo and smoke purple.  
The Smallmouth Bass are moving into the bays and are being caught on pea gravel primary and secondary points using crankbaits, jignpig, and carolina rigged plastics.  The same crankbaits that are working on the Largemouth above are also taking Smallmouth as are the same soft plastics.  The jigs they are seeming to prefer are  green pumpkin with a few strands of orange.  The Smallmouth are active and the bite is better than it has been so far this spring.  
The Bluegill are being caught around docks with brush and also near gravel banks with brush.  They are taking small jigs, wax worms, and red worms.  The Catfish are starting to show up in the shallow rocky spawning areas but only a few so far.  They are being taken on nightcrawlers fished on bottom.

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.

Photo by Jennifer Dunnaway

This shy little turtle visited our campsite recently in Land Between The Lakes. There are several different species of turtles that can be seen near Kentucky Lake.