Lodging Fishing Attractions Towns & Bays Dining Events Real Estate Maps Lake Conditions

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

Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 04/16/2009

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Ky Dam - 358.76  Surface Temperature - 58

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 358.85  Surface Temperature - 57
Both lakes are a couple of inches below summer pool and on a slow rise.  The TVA is forecasting the lakes to be one foot over summer pool by midnight on Saturday night but of course this could change so anglers should monitor the TVA website for updated lake levels.

The forecast for tomorrow is very good with highs in the 70's and southeast winds around 10 mph (hopefully this wind forecast is more accurate than some of them have been lately).  Another cold front will be approaching the area this weekend with passage sometime on Sunday afternoon according to the latest forecast.  This approaching cold front has a chance of scattered thunderstorms for Saturday and Sunday with temperatures in the high 60's.  

We will see another cool day on Monday after the frontal passage but the forecast for next week shows a warming trend beginning on Tuesday.  This week I noticed more movement of the Largemouth Bass toward the spawning areas.  More and more female bass are showing up on the staging banks just outside the spawning areas and some of the females are moving into the spawning flats to feed, especially during the warm part of the day.  The past three days have been excellent with a lot of bass taken, including some very nice fish.  

The Crappie anglers have been complaining all week about a scattered bite and a lot of short fish.  Some keepers are being taken, mostly over brush piles in 10-15 ft of water from the reports I have received.  It seems all these frontal passages we have had the last two weeks combined with fluctuating water levels and water temperature drop last week has put these fish off.  Maybe with the rising water forecast we now have and some warmer weather in the forecast these fish will regroup and begin feeding good again.  
Largemouth Bass:  The Largemouth Bass are being taken on creek channel banks and associate secondary points in the creeks and bays as well as on the shallow spawning flats in the coves and cuts in the creeks and bays.  The deeper fish are being taken on Carolina and Texas rigged lizards and creature baits, medium running crankbaits, shaky head worms, tube jigs and jigs.  

The shallow fish are being taken on spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, jigs and Texas rigged lizards and creature baits.  The Largemouth fishing has been good this week and I expect with the rising water and warmer temperatures coming it is going to get even better as more of these late prespawn fish move shallow.
Smallmouth Bass:  The Smallmouth Bass are pretty much spawning right now.  These fish are being taken on gravel banks in the cuts off the main lake and along gravel banks with wood cover in the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on grubs fished on jig heads, tube jigs and jigs.  Just as has been reported all spring, there are some good one and two fish days on the Smallmouth but numbers are hard to come by.
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Bandit crankbaits in rootbeer chartreuse and crawfish chartreuse, Rapala DT series flat side baits in black/silver and parrot, Zoom lizards in watermelon/red and green pumpkin, Hook Some Bass vibe (chatterbait) and Booyah chatterbaits in blue glimmer, Hook Some Bass spinnerbaits in blue glimmer, Last Cast wooly bug jigs in green pumpkin and D&L baby advantage jigs in cumberland craw with green pumpkin Net Baits baby paca craw trailer, Charmer timber pups in watermelon/red and green pumpkin and Charmer shaky head worms in green pumpkin and watermelon/red on D&L shaky head jigs.  
Crappie:  The Crappie are being taken mostly over brush piles in 10-15 ft of water along the old creek channels.  These fish are being taken by vertically fishing slow with curly tail jigs and minnow/jig combinations.  A few Crappie are being taken shallow around wood cover but the numbers have been low so far this week.  

The shallow fish are being taken by casting curly tail jigs around shallow wood cover and by fishing with minnows under bobbers.  Numbers of small fish are being reported this week but not as many keeper Crappie are being reported this week as has been the past couple of weeks prior.  A few more degrees of warmer water and some stable water would help this bite for sure.
Bluegill/Shellcrackers:  Bluegill are being taken around docks with cover near creek channels and also on brush piles along the old creek channels.  These fish are being taken on worms fished vertically near bottom.  I have not had any reports on the Shell Crackers (Red Ears) this week but we have encountered a number of them on gravel banks and gravel bars in the creeks and bays while bass fishing.  It is easy to tell the Red Ears when they bite your lizard as they always take the tails of the lizards.
If you have not planned a trip down here next week or two and you like to bass fish you need to make some plans.  The late prespawn and spawn bite for the Largemouth Bass is getting ready to get into full swing.

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 Ray Stainfield

No camping excursion is complete with a serenade from the resident bullfrog. There are a vast variety of amphibians to be found throughout the Land Between The Lakes Area.