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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 12/05/2001

Kentucky Lake:  Headwater Elevation - 355.16   Surface Temperature - 54

Lake Barkley:  Headwater Elevation - 354.90  Surface Temperature - 55

As predicted on the last report the lakes here flooded over summer pool levels just before last weekend and made the weekend fishing tough as the high waters were being pulled down rapidly and the water temperatures dropped with the cold rain.  

The lakes were pulled hard over the past 5 days and now are beginning to stabilize at one foot over winter pool. Lake Barkley is stained and so is the west side creeks of Kentucky Lake.  The best fishing seems to be on the LBL side of Kentucky Lake where the water is more clear.   

The fishing improved somewhat over the past couple of days overall and should be much better by early next week.  The Largemouth Bass are in the bays and feeding on schools of baitfish.  These fish can be found on secondary points and near the flats on wood cover.  These fish are taking tube jigs, spider jigs, rattletraps, spinnerbaits and small crankbaits.  

The Smallmouth Bass are being taken on main lake points using tube jigs, suspending jerkbaits, and small crankbaits.  Some of the lures being reported as being productive the past few days are:  Snoozer's 3.5" tubes in smoke/purple, Shadraps in #5 black/silver, Suspending Rogues in Tennessee Shad, spider jigs in rootbeer (did not get a brand name on this one), and LockJaw spinnerbaits in white/chartruese.  

The Crappie have been slow overall with the water being pulled so down so hard but these fish should be back on a good bite as the lake levels off and I expect that early next week we will see some good catches coming in again.   

I have received some good reports of Sauger being caught during the evening hours on shallow sloping points using white grubs tipped with small minnows.  Most of these reports are coming from the LBL side of Kentucky Lake.  

I have not received any other reports for this week and as we get closer to winter the reports will drop off but I will keep you advised each week of any reports that I receive and of course my own experiences on the lakes.  We have a cold front coming thru the lakes area on Friday and the temperatures will drop for the weekend but long range forecasts indicate that we will be back in the 50's for highs by Monday.  These conditions coupled with the lakes leveling off should make for some good fishing early next week barring any unforeseen weather changes.  

Be sure to wear your PFD on the water now and stock your boat with some extra clothing and survival equipment such as matches etc....in case you get wet.  Let someone know where you are launching and plan to fish as well as when you expect to return.  

Water temperatures are favorable for hypothermic conditions and all precautions should be taken.  

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.


Elk
Photo by Melodie Cunningham

This majestic elk eyes the camera cautiously. To see bulls with fully developed racks, visit the Elk and Bison Prairie in the fall!