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 06/05/2002

Kentucky Lake:  Headwater Elevation - 359.14  Surface Temperature - 78

Lake Barkley:  Headwater Elevation - 359.30  Surface Temperature - 78
The lakes have returned to summer pool levels since the last report.  The Largemouth Bass are on late post spawn patterns and the fishing has been good over the past week.  The best catches are coming from fishing points, humps, and ledges in the bays and at the mouths of the bays.  These fish are being taken on Carolina and Texas rigged lizards, tubes, and baby brush hogs as well as slow rolled spinnerbaits,  and jignpig.  Some are also being starting to be taken on deep running crankbaits as the fish are recovering from the rigors of the spawn and are starting to actively feed.

There are still fish being taken from the spawning areas in the backs of the bays on Texas rigged plastics, spinnerbaits, jignpig, with some early and late bite on topwater buzzbaits and chug baits.  Most of these fish are smaller buck bass but occasional keepers are also being caught.  There are reports starting to come in of good keeper sized bass being taken around the grass beds on the south end of both lakes.  Some of the lures reported as working this past week are:  Zoom baby brush hogs in watermelon variations with tails dipped in chartruese, Zoom lizards in plum,  Snoozers tubes in road kill cammo and smoke/purple, spinnerbaits in white,white/chartruese, and chartruese, jignpig in black/blue, Bandit crankbaits in Rootbeer,  and buzzbaits in black and also white.  
The Smallmouth Bass are active on the LBL side of Kentucky Lake in the front halves of the bays on secondary points, humps, and ledges as well as on main lake primary and secondary points.  Some topwater bite has started over the past few days during periods of current generation early in the morning as the Smallmouth are feeding heavily on schools of shad.  

The Smallmouth are being taken on Texas and Carolina rigged tubes and baby brush hogs, small crankbaits, jignpig, and popping baits.  Some of the lures reported as working this week are:  Zoom baby brush hogs in watermelon variations with tails dipped in chartruese, Snoozers tubes in road kill cammo and smoke/purple, Bandit crankbaits in rootbeer, Bill Norman crankbaits in Tennessee shad, jignpig in green pumpkin, and  Rapala skitterpops in natural shad.  As you can see the Smallmouth and Largemouth are feeding in many of the same areas and taking the same baits which is resulting in a lot of mixed bags of fish on some days.  
The Crappie are slow on main lake creek channel ledges in 20-25 ft of water over stumps and brush piles.  They are reportedly taking small minnows and jigs on bottom bouncing rigs.  
The Catfish are active on the flats near rocky areas and are taking nightcrawlers, leeches, and cut baits fished on bottom rigs.  
The Bluegill are active in the bays in 3-5 ft of water near vegetation and are actively taking crickets and worms.  Some good catches are being reported.  
The White Bass are getting active around the bridges, at the mouths of the bays, and along the main river channel ledges.  Although jumps are scarce as of yet these fish are being taken by jigging spoons and white roostertails as well as by trolling small crankbait and roostertail combinations in these areas.  
The lakes are getting crowded on the weekends now with a lot of activity so be careful, courteous, and drive your boat defensively. 

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 Cliff Grizzard

Karson takes advantage of the last few minutes of daylight by paddleboarding on Kentucky Lake.