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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 05/08/2002

Kentucky Lake:  Headwater Elevation - 362.13  Surface Temperature - 68

Lake Barkley:  Headwater Elevation - 362.10  Surface Temperature - 68
 
Both lakes are three feet over summer pool resulting from heavy rains both in the local area and upstream late last week.  There is water to the top of some ramps and in some cases in the parking lots at the ramps.  The lakes are not muddy but a little stained.  The water level projections as of this writing should stabilize at present levels and start a slow drop over the weekend.  This of course is subject to change if there are more heavy rains.  
 
The Largemouth Bass bite was going good in the buck brush before the water rose 2 ft overnight last Saturday evening but the rapid rise slowed the bite on Sunday as the fish adjusted to the new levels. The bite has gotten more stable now that the water has leveled off for the past couple of days.  Largemouth can be taken in the submerged brush and also farther back in the newly flooded brush and trees although it is difficult in many instances to get at the fish that have moved to the new waterlines.  

The fish in the submerged brush are taking Texas rigged lizards and tubes, trick worms, and jignpig.  There is also some topwater bite on these fish on buzzbaits and spooks during low light periods.  There are a good number of post spawn fish now working the banks and secondary points just outside the spawning areas.  I have been targeting these fish on Lake Barkley all week with good success.  These fish are taking Texas rigged and Carolina rigged tubes and lizards.  

Some of the more productive lures that are reported as working these past few days are:  Snoozer's tubes in smoke/purple, Zoom lizards in green pumpkin with chartruese tails, Zoom lizards in watermelon/red, Zoom baby brush hogs in watermelon seed with chartruese tails,  trick worms in white and watermelon, Strike King jigs in black/blue, Zara Spooks in ivory white, and buzzbaits in white.  >From my experiences this past few days and from the reports I have received it appears the best bite for Largemouth right now is on Lake Barkley.  
 
The Smallmouth Bass are on post spawn patterns and are being caught on creek channel secondary points in the front halves of the bays and main lake points on the LBL side of Kentucky Lake.  These fish are taking Texas and Carolina rigged tubes and lizards, small crankbaits, and jignpig.  

Some good catches are being reported near rock bluff walls and chunk rock points with some wood cover.  Some to reported productive lures are:  Snoozers tubes in smoke/purple and road kill cammo, Zoom lizards in pumpkin/chartruese, Bandit crankbaits in rootbeer/chartruese, Rebel crankbaits in crawdad patterns, and Strike King jigs in black/blue.  
 
The Crappie are slow in creek channels holding over brush and stumps in 8-15ft of water.  Some fish are being taken by vertical fishing small minnows and small jigs.  The Bluegill and Shellcrackers are active around submerged vegetation in cuts and creek channel banks.  

There are some good fish being taken on crickets, wax worms, and meal worms.  I recommend using a split shot rig with worms for your best bet for the bigger fish.  Fishing these under bobbers is also taking fish.  
 
The Channel Catfish are moving along rocky areas now and are readily taking leeches and nightcrawlers fished on bottom and also under bobbers in shallow rocky areas.  Some good numbers of these fish are being reported.  

More Kentucky Lake Fishing Reports

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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.


The Homeplace
Photo by Connie Wilson

The Homeplace 1850's working farm is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the Land Between The Lakes. Events are scheduled year-round to remind visitors of how the residents of this region once lived.