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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 04/24/2002

Kentucky Lake:   Headwater Elevation - 358.9   Surface Temperature - 67

Lake Barkley:  Headwater Elevation - 359.25  Surface Temperature - 68
 
The lakes are at summer pool as of today.  We had strong storms and heavy rains move through the lakes area this morning and this evening not to mention high winds most of the day.  The high winds and heavy rains have muddied the backs of some of the bays, especially those on the west sides of Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley.   
 
The rapid rise in the water temperatures with the record heat of last week slowed the Largemouth Bass bite somewhat over the weekend and during the first part of the week but the bite is now recovering over the past couple of days.  Some Largemouth are now on the beds but it seems the majority of them are just now moving in shallow with some still along the creek channel banks and secondary points in the back halves of the creeks.  

The yellow flower beds are in the water now and some good Largemouth are being taken in and around them.  Buzzbaits worked over the beds early and then spinnerbaits, Texas rigged tube baits, and lizards fished in the flowers are taking some good fish.  There are Largemouth on the flats near brush and wood cover and the same baits as are being used in the flower beds are working there.  

A good place to find Largemouth right now is in the small main lake cuts and small cuts in the bays that have wood cover and/or flowers in them.  There are some fish still being taken on the secondary points on crankbaits, spinnerbaits, Texas and Carolina rigged tubes and lizards.  Some of the productive lures reported this week are white buzzbaits, white and white/chartruese spinnerbaits, Bandit crankbaits in chartruese combinations, Shadraps in natural and crawdad, Snoozer and V&M pumpkin lizards, and Snoozer tubes in Road Kill Cammo, Watermelon Burst, and Smoke Purple.  
 
The Smallmouth have pretty much spawned out on the south end of Kentucky Lake.  The Smallmouth on the north end are nearing the end of their spawn.  Reports have the spawned out fish being caught on crankbaits and Carolian Rigged Lizards and tubes near main lake points and on the first few secondaries.  

The fish that are still spawning are being taken in the bays on the pea gravel banks on tube jigs, grubs, and small crankbaits.  Lures reported working are crawdad pattern small crankbaits, Snoozer's tubes in Road Kill Cammo and Smoke/Purple, and Pumpkin/Chartruese Zoom Lizards.  
 
The Crappie have continued to be slow with the best bites early and late on shallow spawning banks and later over brush on the flats and near secondary points in 8-12 ft of water.  It appears from reports that many of the Crappie have already spawned, having done so deep as was expected in earlier reports due to the water level fluctuations during the spawn time.  

The shallow fish are being caught on small jigs worked along the spawning banks early and late.  Good colors are black/chartruese, red/chartruese, and orange/chartruese.  The deeper fish are being caught by vertical fishing minnows and minnow/jig combinations.  
 
The Bluegill are active around brush piles, stake beds, and docks with brush.  They are taking small jigs, red worms, and crickets.  A number of Channel Catfish are now in the shallows feeding up for their upcoming spawn which should begin soon.  These fish are taking minnows and nightcrawlers under bobbers near wood cover on the flats.  

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.


Fall at Kentucky Lake
Photo by Shane Dunnaway

A beautiful palette of colors can be experienced at Kentucky Lake during autumn. It's a site to see!