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 07/22/2010

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Ky Dam - 358.70  Surface Temperature - 86

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 358.75  Surface Temperature - 87
 
Both lakes are just under summer pool level and on a slow drawdown.  Expect the lake levels to reach one foot below summer pool by the end of this month in accordance with the TVA River Operating Schedule barring any unforeseen influx of water from upstream.  We have been having the typical deep summer heat here in the lakes area this week but at least earlier this week we had cloud cover and some wind to take the edge off the heat.  

The forecast for Friday and Saturday is for sunny skies and daytime highs near 100 with heat indexes in the 105 degree plus range.  A heat advisory has already been issued for the next two days by the National Weather Service.  The present forecast for Sunday is for a 40% chance of scattered thunderstorms and a high of 93.  If you are going to be out on the lakes this weekend, make sure you have plenty of cold water and sun block. 
 
The ledge bite for bass has continues to be spotty, especially during the morning hours.  The best ledge bite is of course, when the TVA is generating current, which this week has been between 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.  We are catching some good keepers during the non current periods but not numbers of fish in most cases.  The best pattern has been on ledges topping out at around 12 feet or deeper and dropping into the 25 ft range or deeper.  

The key is to fish slow with Carolina rigs, Texas rigs, shaky heads and dragging jigs.  The most active bite during the morning and early afternoon has been in the creeks and bays where Largemouth are chasing schools of young baitfish from the spring spawns.  A good topwater bite is present early and late in the day in the backs of coves and the creeks and bays.  During the day, these shallow fish are being taken shallow on spinnerbaits, chatterbaits and lipless crankbaits.  

Largemouth are schooling on  these fry on secondary points and channel banks in the creeks and bays during the early morning hours and through out the day.  Most of these shallow summer fish are small fish but some nice keeper sized fish are also being taken with a few up to the 5 and 6 lbs range being reported.  The night bite this week has also been reported as spotty, with some very active fish on some nights and some nights the bite has been reported as slow.  

White Bass anglers are still doing best during the non current draw hours by vertically fishing the deeper creek channel and old river channel ledges or by trolling these areas.  The White Bass, like the Largemouth and Smallmouth are most active during the late afternoon and early evening hours when current is being drawn.   
 
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth Bass are being taken on the old creek and river channel ledges primarily on Carolina rigged small creature baits and large worms, Texas rigged large worms, finesse shaky heads and dragging football head jigs.  

Largemouth are also being taken early and late in the day on the shallow flats in the backs of the creeks and bays and in the feeder coves on topwater lures, spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits.  Largemouth can also be taken on secondary points and channel banks in the creeks and bays feeding on schools of young baitfish topwater lures, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, Texas rigged creature baits and jigs.  
 
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth Bass are being taken on the old creek and river channel ledges on Carolina rigged small creature baits, finesse shaky heads and dragging football head jigs.  The better Smallmouth bite has been reported at night on main lake points and the first secondary points in the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on dark colored spinnerbaits, Carolina rigged small creature baits and tubes, tube jigs and finesse jigs.  
 
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Lucky Craft sammy in ghost pearl lemon, Rebel Pop R in black/chrome, Slong's spinnerbait in blue glimmer, Bandit 200 and 300 crankbait in rootbeer and splatterback, Rapala DT 6 and 10 in silver,  Strike King red eye shad in blue/chrome, sexy shad and chrome sexy shad, Charmer timber pup in watermelon/purple and green pumpkin, Charmer 10.5 " ribbon tail and gator tail worm in plum and green pumpkin, Strike King rodent in amistad special, Slong's fooball head jig in voodo and D&L football head jig in cumberland craw.
 
White Bass:  White Bass are being taken along the old river and creek channel ledges on the main lakes by vertically fishing with inline spinners, small spoons and minnows on tight line rigs.  White Bass are also being taken by trolling inline spinners and small spoons behind deep diving crankbaits.  During periods of current draw, Whites Bass can be taken while surface feeding on the flats near the old channel ledges by casting inline spinners, small spoons and small surface popping lures into the feeding the schools.  
 
Catfish:  Catfish are being taken along the old river channels on bottom bouncing rigs baited with leech/shrimp combinations as well as on bottom rigs baited with large minnows, cut baits and leech/shrimp combinations.  The Channel Catfish are being taken in 20 - 30 ft depths and the Blue Catfish are being taken in the 25 - 40 foot depths.  These fish are most active during the periods of current draw and at night.
 
Bluegill:  Bluegills are being taken along deep rocky creek channel banks on small jigs tipped with worms fished just off the bottom.  Bluegills are also being taken at night around deeper lighted docks with wood cover on crickets and worms fished under bobbers.  

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.


Geese in Flight
Photo by Murray Blake

These Canadian geese are just beginning their yearly migration south to avoid the long, cold winter. They will return in spring to the welcoming waterways of the Kentucky Lakes Area.