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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 07/25/2002

Kentucky Lake:  Headwater Elevation - 357.99    Surface Temperature - 87

Lake Barkley:  Headwater Elevation - 358.00  Surface Temperature - 87
Summer fishing conditions and patterns continue in the lakes area as the daytime temperatures are generally now in the 90's with high heat indexes.  The lakes are on a slow drawdown to winter pool which will take place over the next month or so.  The Largemouth Bass are on two primary patterns.   There are Largemouth feeding in the bays on the flats near wood cover especially early and late.  

These fish are feeding on schools of shad fry and can be taken on topwater baits, rattletraps, shallow running crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and soft plastics fished near stake beds or other wood cover.  The majority of the Largemouth are on the main lake ledges and are being taken on deep diving crankbaits, jignpig, Texas and Carolina rigged large worms, lizards, and tube baits.  

Some of the productive baits reported this week are:  

Rattletraps in chrome/blue, shallow running #5 Rapala Shadraps in black/silver, 100 series Bandit crankbaits in rootbeer, Zara spooks in natural shad, buzzbaits in white and black, spinnerbaits in white and white/chartruese, Snoozer's 3.5" tubes in smoke/purple and road kill cammo, jignpig in black/blue and black/brown, Zoom monster worms in Junebug and Green Pumpkin, Berkley 10" Power Worms in Blue Fleck and Red Shad, Zoom lizards in watermelon/red, green pumpkin, and plum, Poe's 400 series deep crankbaits in purple/white/orange, Norman DD14 and DD22 in white, Tennesse Shad, and baby bass patterns.  
The Smallmouth Bass are being caught on the ledges on the same baits as the deep largemouth.  There are also some good Smallmouth being caught at night on the LBL side of Kentucky Lake fishing the main lake points.  These fish are taking dark colored spinnerbaits, jignpig, and Carolina rigged lizards.  Some of the productive baits reported are:  Strike King Midnight Special spinnerbaits, black/blue jignpig, and Zoom green pumpkin lizards with chartruese tails.
The White Bass are active especially during periods when current is being generated near the mouths of creeks and on the main river ledges.  The best bite has been on Lake Barkley especially south of the U.S. 68 bridge.  These fish can be caught in "jumps" using roostertails, slab spoons, and small crankbaits cast into the feeding schools.   These fish can also be caught along the ledges by vertically jigging the spoons and roostertails when there are no "jumps" present.
The Crappie are slow in 15-25 ft of water along the main lake ledges fishing vertically with small jigs and small minnows.  
The Bluegill are active near rock banks in 8-10 ft of water as well as around docks with wood cover using crickets and worms fished under bobbers.  
The Catfish are best during periods when current is being generated and at night in 25-30 ft of water near the main river channels using nightcrawlers, cut baits, and dip baits fished on bottom rigs.  

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 Melodie Cunningham

Springtime is the perfect time to explore the wide variety of native plants growing in the lakes region! Over 1,130 native flora species live in LBL.