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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 07/30/2009

Both lakes are one foot below summer pool.  The bass fishing on the ledges continues to be better in the afternoon and late evening hours on Kentucky Lake.  This is due to the fact that the TVA has been an afternoon draw schedule for the past couple of weeks and the ledge fish have gotten conditioned to the current draw times.  

This does not mean you cannot catch some fish on the ledges during the morning hours but the early fishing has been spotty.  Reports indicate that more big fish are being taken during the current draw periods.  

On Lake Barkley, some days the current is being generated through out the day and on some days there is not much current at all during the day.  Savvy bass anglers should watch the TVA draw schedules and plan their trips accordingly if possible.  On the other hand, there are numbers of Largemouth being taken shallow in the creeks and bays during the morning and though out the day as these fish are feeding on schools of shad fry from the spring spawns.  

Most of these fish are small but some good keeper sized fish are also being taken, just not good numbers of them.  We continue to have below normal temperatures for this time of year due to cold frontal passages in the lakes area about every three or four days.  Another cold front is passing through the area this evening.  

This cooler weather is also keeping our water temperatures about 4 or 5 degrees below normal for this time of year.  The forecast for the weekend is for fair weather with highs in the mid 80's and lows in the mid 60's.  Reports continue to indicate the night bass fishing on Kentucky Lake is good.  I have noticed some good catches of White Bass coming in to the cleaning stations this week also, especially those folks fishing during the late morning and afternoon hours.  
 
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth Bass are being taken on the old river and creek channel ledges on the main lakes and around the mouths of the deeper creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on Carolina rigged creature baits and large worms, Texas rigged large worms, jigs, spoons and large shaky head worms.  

Largemouth are also being taken in the creeks and bays in shallow water especially near wood cover as they are feeding on schools of shad fry.  These fish are being taken on topwater lures, spinnerbaits, chatterbaits and Texas rigged small creature baits.  Largemouth are also being taken at night on primary points and secondary points on the main lakes as well as on rocky creek channel banks and associated secondary points in the creeks and bays. These night feeders are being taken on dark colored spinnerbaits and finesse jigs.  
 
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth Bass are being during the day on the old river and creek channel ledges on the main lakes and around the mouths of the deeper creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on Carolina rigged small creature baits, jigs and spoons.  

As with the Largemouth the better daytime bite has been during periods when current is present.  The night Smallmouth fishing is reported as good with dark colored spinnerbaits and finesse jigs on the east side of Kentucky Lake by fishing the primary points and main lake secondary points on chunk rock.  
 
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Chatterbuzz buzzbaits in white, Yozuri splash-it poppers in yellow with ghost belly, Rebel pop r's in white, Hook Some Bass spinnerbaits and vibes (chatterbait) in blue glimmer, Charmer timber pups in watermelon/purple and green pumpkin, Charmer 10.5 inch worms in plum, Xcite 10" shaky head worms in plum and blue fleck, Strike King sexy spoons in chrome, Hoppy and Booyah spinnerbaits in black/red and black/purple (night fishing) and Last Cast wooly bug finesse jigs in black/blue and green pumpkin with matching crayfish trailers(night fishing).
 
White Bass:  White Bass are being taken along the old river and creek channel ledges and on the adjacent flats.  These fish are being taken by vertical fishing with inline spinners and small spoons.  White Bass are also being taken by trolling with inline spinners trolled behind deep diving crankbaits along the river and creek channel ledges.  The better bite is reported to be in the late morning and afternoon hours when current is present.
 
Catfish:  Catfish are being taken along the old river channel ledges on cut baits and large minnows fished on bottom rigs in 25-35 feet of water especially during periods of current.
 
Bluegill:  Bluegills are being taken around deeper docks with wood cover, especially during the evening hours on crickets and worms fished under bobbers.  Some Bluegill are also being taken in shallow water in the backs of the creeks and bays near wood cover by fishing with crickets and worms under bobbers. 

More Kentucky Lake Fishing Reports

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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.


Eagle's Nest
Photo by Melodie Cunningham

This bald eagle keeps an eye out for it's mate from their nest high in a tree top in Land Between the Lakes. The average eagle's nest is five feet wide!