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 04/02/2009

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Ky Dam - 358.65  Surface Temperature - 57

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 358.80  Surface Temperature - 57
Both lakes are just below summer pool level which is 359.0.  Heavy rains upriver and in the local area over the past week brought the lake levels up about 2.5 ft from last week.  The present levels are above the normal levels for this time in April.  The forecasted lake levels on the TVA website shows the lake levels should remain about where they are now for the next 72 hours but savvy anglers will monitor the forecast for any revisions to this forecast.  

We are getting cold fronts coming thru the lakes area about every 48 hours right now and we have been getting strong storms and heavy rains with the frontal passages.  We had another front come thru the area this afternoon with strong storms and rain.  The forecast for tomorrow is for high NW winds(20-30) but the forecast for Saturday looks good with sunny skies and winds from the southeast at 10-15.  

There is another frontal passage forecasted for Sunday with more storms but at this time there is no projection available as to whether these storms will come thru the area early or late on Sunday.  Anyone planning on going on the lakes Sunday should monitor the weather forecast for more updated information as the storms associate with these fronts this past week have been severe.  A cool down with below normal temperatures and NW winds is forecasted for Monday and Tuesday.  

We still have a myriad of patterns working on the Largemouth Bass as the fish are in transition from early prespawn patterns to prespawn so there are Largemouth being taken from the main lake to the shallow flats in the creeks and bays.  Crappie anglers are still taking some Black Crappie on shallow banks casting road runners and small jigs but the numbers are diminishing but this may just be due to the fluctuating water levels we have had lately.  A few White Crappie are now being taken on banks but the majority of the White Crappie are still being taken over staging brush piles in the creeks and bays so say the reports I have been given.
Largemouth Bass:  The Largemouth Bass are being taken on a myriad of patterns.  Largemouth are being taken on main lake primary and secondary points as well as on staging ledges,  secondary points and creek channel banks in the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on suspending jerkbaits, crankbaits, spinnerbaits,  jigs, Carolina and Texas rigged creature baits and shaky head worms.  Largemouth are also being taken in the shallows in the creeks and bays in and around the mustard flowers and button brush.  

These fish are being taken on spinnerbaits, lipless crankbaits, Texas rigged creature baits and jigs.  The numbers of fish being taken is good but there are a lot of short fish being taken versus keeper size fish.  It seems once you find the bigger fish you can catch a number of nice ones, but you may have to wade thru a lot of smaller fish to find them.  

This should get better as the fish continue to move shallow water to stage for spawning and they are not as spread out as they are right now.  The Largemouth fishing overall is good with lots of action.  A lot of buck bass are starting to show up in the flooded flowers and button brush...I would expect some females are not far behind.  
Smallmouth Bass:  The Smallmouth Bass are being taken on primary and secondary points  on the main lake and on the secondary points and creek channel banks in the front halves of the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on suspending jerkbaits, crankbaits, tube jigs and finesse jigs.  Although some good fish are being reported, the numbers of these fish being taken is still not as good as one would expect for this time of year.  
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Lucky Craft slender pointer in pearl ayu, Mega Bass 110 series power jerkbait in ito wakasagi, Hook Some Bass spinnerbaits in blue glimmer, Bandit crankbaits in crawfish/chartreuse, rootbeer/chartreuse and parrot, Rapala shadrap in black/silver, crawdad and hot steel.  Lew's rattletraps in crawfish red patterns and blue/chrome as well as Strike King red eye shads in orange/craw and blue/chrome.  Charmer timber pups in green pumpkin and watermelon/red, Zoom lizards in watermelon/red and green pumpkin, Charmer shaky worms in watermelon/red fished on D&L shaky head jigs, D&L baby advantage jig in cumberland craw and opps pattern and Last Cast wooley bug finesse jig in green pumpkin (both jigs with Net Bait paca craw trailers).
Crappie:  Black Crappie and a few White Crappie are being taken on creek channel banks in 4-8 ft of water by casting road runners and curly tail jigs. Crappie are also being taken on shallow over brush in 4-6 ft of water by fishing with minnows under bobbers.  These patterns are reported to be best early and late in the day.  

White Crappie are being taken over brush piles in 8-12 ft of water along old creek channels and off secondary points as they are staging for spawn.  These fish are being taken by casting curly tail jigs as well as by spider rigging small jigs and minnows over the brush.  
I have not had any real reports on the Bluegill/Shell Crackers or Catfish yet this spring but I have seen a number of jug anglers working the catfish off the flats in the creeks and bays.  We are also getting a number of Bluegill bites and Shell Cracker bites on creek channel banks about halfway back in the creeks and bays while bass fishing.  The Shell Crackers appear to be hungry as they are biting the tails off our plastic lizards.  Gravel banks are where we are getting most of these bites.  

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.

Good Times
Photo by Angela Smith

Being on Kentucky Lake is always a treasure. You hear it, feel it, see it, and sometimes smell it. It's always a good time at Kentucky Lake.