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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 05/01/2002

Kentucky Lake:  Headwater Elevation - 359.23  Surface Temperature - 67

Lake Barkley:  Headwater Elevation - 359.30  Surface Temperature - 67
 
The weather this past week has been a mixed bag of wind, thunderstorms, and post frontal blue sky days.  The fishing conditions have been changing daily and to be successful you need to keep an eye on mother nature in planning your day on the water.  
 
The Largemouth Bass are in the late prespawn and spawning patterns on both lakes.  The Largemouth on the south ends of the lakes are mostly on spawning patterns while the north ends seem to have many Largemouth still in late prespawn patterns.  The spawning fish are being caught deep in the buck brush especially on south Barkley and in cuts with mustard flower beds with wood.  

These fish are taking jigs, lizards, and tubes fished tight to the cover.  The prespawn bass are being caught on the last secondary points in the bays, in and around mustard flower beds, and on the flats near brush and wood cover.  The prespawn bass located on the secondary points are taking Carolina rigged and Texas rigged tubes and lizards as well as small crankbaits.  

The prespawn bass in the flowers and on the flats are taking Texas Rigged tubes and lizards, spinnerbaits, jignpig, with some topwater on buzzbaits and chugbaits during low light conditions.  Some of the lures reported as being successful this week are:  Bandit crankbaits in rootbeer/chartruese, Rapala Shadraps in crawdad and natural shad, Zoom and V&M lizards in green pumpkin with chartruese tails, Zoom pumpkin lizards with chartruese tails, Snoozer lizards in green pumpkin with chartruese dipped tails, Snoozer tubes in Road Kill Cammo and Smoke/Purple, white and white/chartruese spinnerbaits with gold willow leaf main blade and silver colorado second blade, green pumpkin and black/blue jigs, white buzzbaits, and Rapala Skitterpops in frog and natural shad.  
 
The Smallmouth Bass are mostly in the post spawn stage now although a few late spawners are being caught.  The Smallmouth are being caught on the primary lake points and first few secondary points in the bays using small crankbaits and Texas rigged tube baits.  I have not received any reports of a topwater Smallmouth bite yet but this is sure to develop within the next week or two.   

Lures reported to me as successful this week are Bandit crankbaits in rootbeer/chartruese, Rapala Shadraps in crawdad, Rebel crankbaits in crawdad patterns and Snoozer tubes in Smoke/Purple and Road Kill Cammo.  
 
The Crappie are mostly spawned out now but there continues to be reports of spawning fish being caught early and late on the gravel banks using small jigs and roadrunners.  Most of the fish being caught are being found in 8-12 ft of water over brush and wood  cover by fishing minnows and small jigs on vertical lines and also some under bobbers.  

The Crappie bite is slow for the most part as it has been all season with a few scattered good catches coming in, mostly in the Blood River and Big Sandy areas of Kentucky Lake.  Even though the Crappie bite over all this spring has not been what we would like it to be we can take heart in the fact that the fall bite should be much better when the water levels should be more stable than they were this spring.  
 
The Bluegill are active around docks with brush and in the coves with wood cover and vegatation such as the mustard flowers and grass.  I have seen some good gills being caught by crappie anglers casting small tubes and some of my clients have even been catching some good ones that have taken  texas rigged tubes and small crankbaits while bass fishing.  

These fish can be easily taken by fishing crickets and redworms under bobbers in these areas as well as fishing the worms on a split shot rig near the bottom.  The Bluegill should start bedding soon as well as the Shellcrackers.  
 
The Channel Catfish are feeding on the flats and are taking nightcrawlers and cut baits fished on bottom near wood cover and minnows under bobbers near the wood cover.  Although I have not received any reports of the Channel Catfish moving onto the rocky areas yet to start spawning, this should start very soon.  

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.


Colorful Bridge
Photo by Shane Dunnaway

In the back of Hematite Lake in LBL are a series of boardwalks and bridges. In autumn, spectacular colors of foliage are scattered throughout, as seen here on this "colorful" bridge.