Explore Kentucky Lake

Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley Fishing
Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Contact Us About Us
Switch Mobile/Desktop

Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 05/15/2002

Kentucky Lake:  Headwater Elevation - 362.64   Surface Temperature - 69

Lake Barkley:  Headwater Elevation - 363.05  Surface Temperature - 69
Another cold front with high winds and more heavy rains made its way through the lakes area on Monday morning.  The introduction of more heavy rain has stained the water but not too bad.  The lakes are on the rise again as of this morning.  
The Largemouth Bass are on spawn and post spawning patterns.  Good numbers of fish are being caught in the buck brush and behind the buck brush in flooded vegatation although most of these fish are small buck bass some good females are being caught also.  The post spawn Largemouth are being caught in the vegatation in front of the buck brush, on secondary points on the first drops from the normal shoreline (the normal shoreline is now 3.5 ft underwater), on road beds and some on creek channel ledges. 

Some of the lures reported working on the shallow fish are:  PopR's and white buzzbaits, white spinnerbaits,  black/blue jigs,  Texas rigged Zoom watermelon and green pumpkin brush hogs, Florida rigged Zoom lizards in green pumpkin and junebug, and Snoozer tubes in road kill cammo.  Some of the lures reported working on the post spawn Largemouth are Texas and Carolina rigged Snoozer tubes in smoke/purple and road kill cammo, Zoom lizards in green pumpkin and pumpkin/chartruese, baby brush hogs in watermelon and green pumpkin, jignpig in brown with brown trailer, PopR's and white buzzbaits, and natural shad colored crankbaits.  
The Smallmouth Bass are on post spawn patterns and are being caught on the secondary creek channel points and on the main lake points.  These fish are taking Carolina and Texas rigged tubes and baby brush hogs, and small crankbaits.  

Some of the lures reported as taking fish are Snoozer tubes in smoke/purple and road kill cammo, baby brush hogs in watermelon seed with chartruese dipped tails, and Bandit crankbaits in rootbeer/chartruese.  
The Crappie are slow for the most part with some few good catches being reported in 12-20 ft of water along creek channels over brush.  These fish are being caught on vertically fished minnows and minnow/jig combinations.  Many of these fish being caught are being reported as still having eggs in them which attests to the fact that many if not most of the Crappie this year did not come in shallow due to the fluctuations in the water levels.  
The Bluegill and Shellcrackers are being caught along the shorelines near spawning areas in 6-8 ft of water and also near flooded vegatation in 2-6 ft of water.  These fish are taking crickets and worms fished under bobbers as well as worms fished on bottom using light line and a single small splitshot weight.  Some good catches are being reported except of post frontal days.  
There are a lot of reports of Channel Catfish being caught in the shallows both near wood cover and rocky areas.  These fish are taking leeches, nightcrawlers, and minnows.
Although I have not received any significant reports on the White Bass, today I observed a number of them breaking water chasing baitfish at the mouths of two creeks on North Barkley.  It should not be long until they start schooling in numbers. 
The rising water levels may reposition some of the fish over the next few days so be aware that where you caught them yesterday may not be where you will catch them tomorrow.  Be aware of the changing conditions and look for your fish to either move toward the newly flooded areas or be a little deeper than they have been.  

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 Jill Asher

The Elk and Bison Prairie in Land Between The Lakes is one of the most popular attractions for visitors year-round.