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 09/09/2010

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 356.16   Surface Temperature - 79

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 356.20  Surface Temperature - 79
Both lakes are three feet below summer pool.  We have been enjoying some nice early fall weather this week with day time temperatures around the low to mid 80's most days and night time lows in the 60's.  We had even cooler night temperatures last weekend with lows down around the 50 degree mark.  These cooler nights has continued to drop the water temperatures and the shad are starting to react to these lower temperatures.
I have seen a number of schools of young shad moving to the creeks and bays this week signaling the early beginnings of the transition to fall patterns.  As is normal during the transition of the shad to the shallows, the younger shad will move in first and the schools of bigger shad start moving quite a bit on the main lakes.  

During this transition period, which usually lasts a few weeks, the Largemouth Bass get somewhat spread out as they are following these shad schools.  This movement normally brings about a myriad of patterns from which to choose and I have been seeing this develop more and more through this past week.  We are getting the Largemouth from the ledges to the backs of the creeks and bays as well as on the main lake flats.  Our best fish are still coming from the ledges and deep primary points on the main lakes as well but we are starting to see more nice fish showing up on the staging ledges around the mouths of the creeks and bays as well as some more numbers of keepers starting to show up on the shallow flats in the backs of the creeks, bays and coves.  

The current forecast for the next week is for day time highs in the low to mid 80's and night time low's in around the 60 degree mark.  This should continue to drop the water temperatures which of course will keep the shad and the bass moving toward the creeks and bays.  Remember, this transition takes a few weeks to complete and there will be a myriad of patterns available and bass anglers need to monitor which creeks and bays are getting more early shad in them and also check your ledges for shad before you start fishing as the deeper shad are now more mobile and moving quite often.  

As is also normal for this early period of shad movement, there are schools of Largemouth pushing shad up on the flats off the ledges and one needs to keep an eye out for schools of bass feeding on these schools.  Most of these schooling fish are short fish but it is not that unusual to happen upon a school of nice keepers feeding on the main lake flats also.  
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth are being taken on a myriad of patterns.  Largemouth are being taken on the river and creek channel ledges on the main lake as well as around the mouths of the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken primarily on Carolina rigged creature baits, Texas rigged large worms, dragging football head jigs and shaky heads.  

Largemouth are also being taken on deep primary points on deep diving crankbaits, Carolina rigged creature baits and jigs.  Largemouth are also being taken on secondary points and channel banks in the creeks and bays on medium running crankbaits, Carolina rigged creature baits, jigs and shaky heads with some early morning and late evening topwater lure bite.  Largemouth are also being taken on the shallow flats in the creeks and bays on topwater lures, spinnerbaits, chatterbaits and lipless crankbaits.  The best topwater bite is early and late in the day.  
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth Bass are being taken on main lake points and the first secondary points in the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on Carolina rigged creature baits, jigs and shaky heads.  Some nice fish are being reported but not large numbers on the shaky heads.
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Lucky Craft Sammy in ghost pearl lemon and chartreuse shad, Lucky Craft Gunfish in ghost pearl lemon, Rebel Pop R and Rapala Skitter Pops in black/silver.  Strike King Series 6 and XD6 crankbaits in sexy shad and gizzard shad,  Bandit 200 and 300 series  crankbaits in rootbeer, Strike King Red Eye Shad in blue/chrome and sexy shad, Slong's spinnerbaits and chatterbaits in blue glimmer, Charmer 10.5" gator tail worms in green pumpkin, Charmer Timber Pup in watermelon/purple and green pumpkin, Reactions Sweet Beaver in green pumpkin and Strike King Rodent in Amistad Special, Charmer Shaky Head worms in green pumpkin and Zoom Trick worm in green pumpkin/purple on shaky heads and Slong's football head jig in green pumpkin and green pumpkin purple with green pumpkin trailers.  
White Bass:  White Bass are being taken on along creek and river channel ledges on the main lakes and also around the mouths of the creeks and bays. These fish are being taken by vertically fishing with inline spinners and small spoons.  Some schools of White Bass are starting to show up shallow in the creeks and bays feeding on schools of small baitfish, but these fish are small so far.
Catfish:  I did not have any reports on the Catfish this week.  
Bluegill:  Bluegills are being taken along rocky creek channel banks and off rocky main lake points by vertically fishing with small jigs tipped with worms.  I have had some reports of nice Bluegills taken this week on this pattern.
Thanks to all the folks that supported the benefit tournament last weekend for the Brinegar family.  It was reported that 27,000 dollars was raised to assist Ronnie and his family.  A really big thanks and hats off to Bart Schutz and Scott Duckworth.  These fine gentlemen won the tournament with over 18lbs of bass and then donated their  2500.00 winnings back to the Brinegar family... now that is one class act!!

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.

Kentucky Lake Sunset
Photo by Shawn Dunnaway

Sunsets at Kentucky Lake are special. You can find them on the eastern banks of Kentucky Lake looking west across a mile of ripples and waves. There's nothing quite like experiencing a sunset on Kentucky Lake.