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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 03/31/2011

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Ky Dam - 357.13    Surface Temperature - 54

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 357.10  Surface Temperature - 54
 
Both lakes are two feet below summer pool and falling.  I mentioned in last week's report that we had some unpleasant weather coming last weekend and the forecast was certainly right on with cold wind and rain over the lakes area this past weekend and through mid week.  These cold fronts dropped the water temperatures back down into the low 50's and this coupled with a continued drop in the water levels moved the Largemouth that we were catching shallow back into deeper water and has kept the Crappie still holding deep awaiting more favorable conditions for spawning.  

The Largemouth that were shallow backed out to deeper staging points and banks and have been somewhat scattered.   Of course we still have those Largemouth on the main lake points and channel banks that had not yet moved into the creeks and bays still holding there.  We have managed to put some nice Largemouth in the boat but with the fish scattered, the numbers are a lot lower than one would expect to have this time of the season.  The Crappie anglers have really been struggling this past week from all the reports I have received.  

One of my bass clients went out with one of the best Crappie guides on the lakes one day this week and they failed to boat any Crappie at all.  I talked to another guide that had just come off the lake after a day of Crappie fishing and they had a total of four fish.  All of the Crappie reports I have had indicate the Crappie are stacked out deep still and have been reluctant to bite with the dropping water and changing weather conditions.  
 
The weather forecast is for a warming trend starting this weekend and continuing though next week.  This should raise our water temperatures to a more normal level for this time of year and although the water is still being drawn down at about one half foot per day, we should see the water levels stabilize sometime early next week and then begin a slow rise once again toward summer pool.  Once the lake levels quit dropping and coupled with the warming forecast we have for next week, the bite for both bass and Crappie is going to get better fast.  
 
Largemouth Bass:   Largemouth are being taken on main lake points and channel banks with suspending jerkbaits, slow rolled crankbaits, lipless crankbaits, slow rolled spinnerbaits, shaky heads and jigs.  Largemouth are also being taken on secondary points and channel banks in the creeks bays on the same lures.  Some of the best fish seem to be coming from bars extending off main lake points and from around wood cover in the creeks and bays. 
 
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth are being taken on main lake points and the first secondary points in the creeks and bays.  Gravel points and banks are producing the best Smallmouth.  Although some very nice single fish are being taken, the numbers are low.
 
Some of the more productive lures reported this week are:  Lucky Craft Pointers in aurora black, Smithwick Rattlin Rogue in hot rod, Rapala Xrap in black/silver, Spro Little John medium diver in chartreuse black back and spring craw, Rapala shad rap in crawdad, hot steel and firetiger,  Bandit 300 in red crawfish, Xcaliber One Knocker in foxy shad, foxy mama and rayburn red, Strike King Red Eye Shad in sexy shad and red craw, Strike King spinnerbaits in sexy shad, Slong spinnerbaits in blue glimmer, Charmer shaky head worms in green pumpkin and green pumpkin candy on Slong's shaky head jigs, Slong's jigs in phantom with green pumpkin Net Baits paca chunk trailers.  
 
Crappie:  The Crappie are being taken over brush piles in 15-25 ft of water around the mouths and in the front halves of the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken by vertically fishing with small jigs, minnows and minnow/jig combinations.  The bite has been reported as slow this week.  

More Kentucky Lake Fishing Reports

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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.


In Flight
Photo by John Mitchell

Gliding gracefully over the water, this heron keeps a stealthy eye out for his next meal. Herons are one of the more common species of birds that can be seen at Kentucky Lake.