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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 08/07/2002

Kentucky Lake:  Headwater Elevation - 357.29  Surface Temperature - 87
Lake Barkley:  Headwater Elevation - 357.30  Surface Temperature - 88
 
Although the fishing was slow over the past weekend it started to pick up again on Monday as the TVA started pulling water again to lower the lake levels.  The lakes are on a slow draw down to winter pool.  There are Largemouth Bass feeding both shallow in the bays and also on the main lake old creek and river ledges.  The shallow fish are feeding on schools of shad fry and there is a good early and late bite on the flats in the bays near wood cover such as stake beds, stumps,  and crappie brush.  

These fish are taking topwater buzz baits and chug baits as well as rattletraps, small crankbaits, spinnerbaits, Texas rigged worms, lizards, and tubes, and jignpig worked around the wood cover.  The fish on the main lake are taking Carolina rigged worms, tubes, and creature baits as well as hitting deep diving crankbaits, and jignpig.  There have been a number of reports of schooling bass working in the bays on the shad fry and also along the main river ledges feeding on larger schools of shad.  
 
The Smallmouth Bass are located on the main river and old creek channel ledges for the most part and are taking the same lures as the Largemouth located there.  There are some Smallmouth being caught on rocky deep creek channel banks as they are feeding on schools of shad fry there also.  There are Smallmouth being caught at night on the main lake points on the LBL side of Kentucky Lake.  The bite on these fish improved some over the past few days as current was being generated during the night.  These fish are taking dark colored Spinnerbaits and jignpig.
 
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Buzzbaits in white and black, Rebel Pop R's and Rapala Skitter Pops in natural shad patterns, ProVise Spinnerbaits in blue glimmer and white, Rattletraps in chrome/blue and smokey joe, Bandit and Norman shallow running crankbaits in rootbeer, Norman DD14 and DD22 in white, Berkley Power worms in red shad, Zoom lizards in green pumpkin/chartruese, Zoom brush hogs in green pumpkin with chartruese tails,  Snoozer tubes in smoke/purple and watermelon burst, and Stanley jigs in black and black/blue with black or blue trailers.
 
The White Bass have been more active this week with the current being generated and good catches have been reported on both lakes.  The fish can be caught when surface feeding near the main river ledges and at the mouths of the creeks using Roostertails and small crankbaits.  When not feeding on the surface these fish are being caught by vertically jigging Roostertails and slab spoons.  
 
The Crappie are slow with few reports coming in.  The few reports indicate some being caught on the main river ledges in 20-25 ft of water by vertically fishing small minnows on tight lines.  
 
The Bluegill are very active on deep rocky banks and around docks with wood cover.  These fish can be readily taken on crickets and wax worms fished under bobbers.  
 
The Catfish are being taken along the main river ledges in 25-30 ft of water bottom fishing minnows, night crawlers and cut baits.

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 Herd
Photo by Melodie Cunningham

This herd of female elk are enjoying a winter's day in the Elk and Bison Prairie in Land Between The Lakes.