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 09/10/2009

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Ky Dam - 356.07  Surface Temperature - 80

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 356.15  Surface Temperature - 81
 
Both lakes are three (3) feet below summer pool.  Now is the time to really start paying attention to the water depths and stay inside the channel buoys unless you know for sure you are in safe water.  Yes, these are big lakes but they are also shallow lakes so take heed.  

It is a terrible thing to ruin your fishing trip by losing a lower unit or worse because you were running your boat in unmarked shallow water.  We have been under the influence of high pressure all week this week, with blue skies and very light east and northeast winds.  This trend is forecasted to continue into next week.  As most anglers know, flat water, blue skies, high pressure and easterly winds can slow down the bite on any lake and these lakes are no exception. 

Couple these weather patterns with the fact that we are in the early stages of the fall transition and the shad are scattered as they are moving and you have the formula for some slow fishing hours on the water. 

Water temperatures had dropped a couple of degrees earlier in the week with some cooler nights but the flat water and higher daytime temperatures have raised those temperatures back up to around the low 80's.  But, fish can still be taken, you just need to be patient and fish during the peak times that you have the best chance to catch the fish.  Early to late morning is a good time to be fishing shallow right now on most days if you are fishing for Largemouth.  

The shallow fish are feeding on some early transitioning shad back shallow in some of the creeks and bays, the key here is to find the creeks and bays with the most shallow shad.  The ledges have been slow in the mornings this week, with no current being pulled until mid to late afternoon. late afternoon and early evening is the prime time to be fishing the ledges.  The peak current has been from around 2:00 p.m to 8:00 p.m. the past several days.  

A good night bite is still being reported on the Largemouth and Smallmouth on main lake primary and secondary points.  White Bass are still being taken on river and creek channel ledges as well as adjacent flats especially during periods of current.  I have seen a lot of small White Bass in the creeks and bays back shallow this week feeding on the young schools of shad.  
 
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth Bass are being taken on a myriad of patterns as is normal during the early stages of the fall transition.  Largemouth are being taken on the old river and creek channel ledges on the main lakes, especially around the mouths of the creeks and bays by fishing with Carolina rigged creature baits, Texas rigged worms and dragging football head jigs.  The key to the ledges right now is to fish slow.  

Largemouth are also being taken on primary points and secondary points inside the creeks and bays, especially early and late in the day.  These fish are taking crankbaits, Texas rigged creature baits, shaky head worms and tube jigs.  Largemouth are being taken on the shallow flats in the creeks and bays on topwater lures, lipless crankbaits, spinnerbaits, chatterbaits,  shallow running crankbaits, Texas rigged creature baits and worms as well as on shaky head worms and dead stick worms.  

This shallow bite is best early and late in the day but don't overlook the possibility of schooling bass shallow in the middle of the day as I have seen this twice this week.  Most of the shallow bass are short fish but there are some keepers being taken shallow also.
 
Smallmouth Bass:  The better Smallmouth bite is still being reported at night on main lake primary and secondary points on dark spinnerbaits and jigs.  Some good Largemouth are also being taken on this pattern.  We are catching a few Smallmouth on the old river and creek channel ledges during the day on Carolina rigged small creature baits and dragging jigs.  

I have not had as many reports of Smallmouth being taken on the main lake points early in the morning on topwater lures as I did last week but, I did receive two reports of a few fish being taken so I will include it here.  
 
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Lucky Craft sammy in ghost pearl lemon, Chatterbuzz buzzbait in white/chartreuse, Hook Some Bass vibe (chatterbait) in blue glimmer, various spinnerbaits in white/chartreuse, Strike King crankbaits in sexy shad, Strike King red eye shad in sexy shad, Mann's baby minus one in shad patterns, Charmer timber pups in green pumpkin, watermelon/purple and purplegrass, Zoom ol monster worm in muscadine, Charmer shaky head worms in green pumpkin candy and watermelon/purple, Yamamoto senko in green pumpkin/black and Yum yum dinger in green pumpkin/blue, D&L football head jigs in black/blue and Hook Some Bass tubes in green pumpkin and smoke purple.  
 
White Bass:  White Bass are being taken on the old river and creek channel ledges on inline spinners and small spoons fished vertically.  Some Whites are also being taken on the adjacent flats to the ledges fishing with small spoons and inline spinners.
 
Crappie:  I only received two reports on Crappie this week, and both reports indicated a slow bite with fish being taken over deep brush piles in the 15-20 ft range along old creek channels by spider rigging with small jigs tipped with small minnows.
 
Catfish:  Blue Catfish are being taken along the old river channels during periods of current by fishing with large minnows and yellow tails on bottom rigs.  
 
Bluegill:  Bluegills are being taken off gravel bars early and late in the day and along rocky creek channel banks as well as off deep rocky points on small jigs tipped with worms during the day.  

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!