Explore Kentucky Lake

Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley Fishing
Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Contact Us About Us
Switch Mobile/Desktop

Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 04/21/2011

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Ky Dam - 358.36   Surface Temperature -  64

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 358.40  Surface Temperature - 64
Both lakes are a little over one half foot below summer pool.  More rain, more storms and more wind has been the weather menu for this past week.  I always expect a lot of windy days here in the spring but I cannot remember ever seeing so many days as we have had this spring with double digit winds.  But despite the wind and wet weather the fishing has been overall good this week even though some days the wind restricted our movement the bass were still biting good enough to give us some good action no matter where we were fishing.  

Some of the Largemouth have moved up to the shallows and are fanning their nests with some spawners but most of the Largemouth we took this week were still on staging banks and points near the spawning areas.  We have even taken some bass out on the ledges around the mouths of the bays this week that have yet to move back toward the shallows so there is going to be plenty of prespawn and late prespawn Largemouth fishing to come over the next few weeks. 

According to my logs, the Largemouth patterns we are seeing now are about one week behind where we normally are at this time.  I would think this is probably due to the up and down fluctuation of the water levels here this past month and also lower water temperatures than normal earlier this month.  Whatever the reason, it just means we are in for a lot more shallow fun fishing on the Largemouth this spring.  

Despite the weather, most  of the reports I have gotten from the Crappie anglers this week has been positive.  Although everyone is not getting limits, it seems that some nice bags are being taken on both Black and White Crappie.  The reports I have received are indicating that most of the Black Crappie being caught are post spawn and the White Crappie are prespawn and spawning fish which is what I would expect for this late in April.  
As I mentioned before, we had a lot of rain again this past week and although Barkley ranges from heavily stained in the backs of some creeks to stained and Kentucky is stained somewhat, the water is more than fishable on both lakes.  We have more storms and wind in the forecast for this weekend and next week.  

The winds are forecasted from the south this weekend and most of next week in double digits.  Anglers really need to be aware of the latest wind and weather forecasts before venturing on the lakes.  This time of year, storms can materialize very fast and winds can make main lake travel hazardous.  Please wear your PFD and hook up your engine kill switches.....these two devices will do more to save your life than anything else you can do when on the water but they only work if you utilize them.
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth are being taken on staging banks and points as well on spawning flats in the backs of the creeks, coves and bays.  These fish are being taken on spinner baits, shallow running and lipless crankbaits, Texas rigged creature baits, shaky heads and jigs.  A few shallow fish are also being reported on topwater lures.  Largemouth are also still being taken on deeper transition banks, points and ledges in the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on deep diving crankbaits, Carolina rigged creature baits, swim baits, Texas rigged creature baits and jigs.  
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth Bass are being taken on gravel banks in main lake coves and in the front halves of the creeks and bays.  These fish are in spawning modes right now and are aggressive.  These fish are being taken on crankbaits, Carolina rigged creature baits,  jigs and tube jigs.  Some nice fish are being taken but numbers are low.
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Strike King Series 6XD in Tennessee shad,  Strike King Series 3 in sexy shad, Bandit 200 and 300 in rootbeer/chartreuse, Strike King Red Eye Shad in red craw and sexy shad, Slong's spinnerbaits in white/chartreuse, BassTrix swim baits in blue back herring and chartreuse shad, Zoom Lizards in green pumpkin, watermelon/purple and pumpkin, Charmer Timber Pups in green pumpkin, watermelon/purple and green pumpkin orange with purple flake, Reaction Innovation Sweet Beaver in green pumpkin, Charmer tubes in road kill, Last Cast jigs in green pumpkin and Slong's jigs in phantom both with green pumpkin crawfish trailers.  
Crappie:  Crappie are being taken in the creeks and bays on staging brush piles and mats in 6-10 ft of water by vertically fishing with small jigs and minnows as well as by casting curly tail jigs or suspending small jigs or minnows under bobbers.  Crappie are also being taken by casting curly tail jigs, road runners and fishing with minnows under bobbers on around shallow brush in 3-6 ft of water.  This shallow bite is best early in the morning and late in the evening.  
Bluegill/Red Ears:  Bluegills and Red Ears are being taken on staging gravel bars in 4-6 ft of water in the coves and backs of bays.  These staging fish are being taken by fishing with spider jigs tipped with worms on split shot rigs slow rolled on bottom and by fishing with worms and spider jigs tipped with worms 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.

Photo by Melodie Cunningham

This majestic elk eyes the camera cautiously. To see bulls with fully developed racks, visit the Elk and Bison Prairie in the fall!