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 05/06/2011

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 371.84  Surface Temperature - 66
 
Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 371.85  Surface Temperature - 66
 
First, I would like to apologize to all those folks in that I am late this week in getting this weekly fishing report out.  As most of you are aware, I normally write my report on Thursday evening and it can be viewed late Thursday evening or Friday morning depending on the website you visit for the report.  

I do appreciate all those folks that called today and left messages saying they hoped everything was ok with my family and I.  The reason I did not get my report out on time last night was that I received a call from a friend  just as I was starting to write my report last night and was informed that some of his friends (two adults and one child) were in a disabled boat by the canal on Ky Lake.  The motor was blown and all they had was trolling motor power.  

With the strong current present on Kentucky Lake and knowing a trolling motor battery would not last long in that current as far as trying the get to safety, I made the decision to get out there on the water and get these folks to safety.  Thanks to one of my other good friends (Charlie Hardin - owner of Charmer Baits) who was down here for some fishing, we managed to get on the water in the dark last night and get these folks to safe port.  It was very late when we got in last night and I was just too tired after guiding all day also, to write my report.  Thanks again for your understanding and especially thanks to those folks who were concerned and called today. 
 
Both lakes are 13 feet over summer pool and on a drawdown.  After reaching a record high water level the lakes finally crested and are now being drawn down.  The current forecast if for the lakes to be drawn down at a rate of about one foot a day.  

Of course, how fast the lakes are drawn down from present levels is dependent on how much water can be sent downstream where the lower Ohio and Mississippi rivers are expected to crest at record levels over the next day or two.  No major rain events are in the immediate forecast so this is good news for all of us.  The present forecast for the near future is for winds out of the south on Saturday at around 15 mph and a 50% chance of scattered thunderstorms starting late tomorrow morning and lasting through tomorrow evening as a cool front comes through the area.  Behind this cool front, a warm front is  expected to stall out  over the lakes area on Sunday and  bring temperatures in the low to upper 80's through midweek.  
 
The bass fishing has been overall good this past week.  As one would expect with the lakes flooding and water temperatures lower than normal for this time of the season, we have a number of patterns that have been working.  We still have plenty of late prespawn bass, we have some bass spawning and we have some post spawn bass that spawned before the floods came.  

With the waters up, many people are flipping and pitching trees and backwater brush for Largemouth as well as taking bass in shallow water where the water has covered up fields of grass.  Some folks are fishing the flooded over brush lines, ditches and where the normal shorelines where, if not for the high water, one would expect to find the late prespawn bass feeding.  (This is where I have been spending most of my time this week because I learned long ago, that late prespawn bass will relate more to normal waterlines than move back into the jungles during a flood).  

Some folks are fishing the front secondary points in the creeks and bays as well as the primary points for both post spawn Largemouth and the post spawn Smallmouth.  The reports I have received on Bluegills and Red Ear indicate the bite is getting better and I can attest to the fact that some big ones are picking up our soft plastic bass lures around flooded over gravel points and on gravel bottoms where one would normally expect to find them in numbers this time of year.  

Catfish anglers have been cleaning up on the flats as they have been roaming the flooded flats feeding up for spawn with some Catfish already relating to rocky shorelines and flats where they spawn.  Crappie anglers are reporting their bite to be scattered with the best bite being over deep brush piles in the creeks and bays as Crappie are suspending over this cover.
 
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth are being taken by flipping and pitching soft plastic worms, creature baits and tube baits around flooded trees and backwater brush as well as on spinner baits, chatterbaits and shallow running crankbaits in areas where flood waters have covered heavy grass fields.

Largemouth are also being taken in flooded over buck brush and ditches which would normally be the normal shallow front brush and ditch channels at normal pool.  These fish are primarily being taken on Texas and Carolina rigged lizards and creature baits, shaky head worms and jigs tipped with crayfish trailers.  

Some Largemouth are being taken on primary points and secondary points in the creeks and bays.  These fish are post spawn and are being taken on Carolina and Texas rigged worms and creature baits, shaky heads and jigs tipped with crayfish trailers.  
 
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth Bass are being taken on primary points and the first secondary points in the creeks and bays.  These fish have rested up from the spawn and are feeding.  These fish are being taken on swim baits, jigs, shaky heads and tube jigs.  Although the Smallmouth are still not reminiscent of the numbers of past years, some nice fish are being taken.
 
Some of the more productive lures reported this week are:  Slong's spinner baits and chatterbaits in blue glimmer and white/chartreuse, Strike King spinnerbaits in white/chartreuse, Zoom lizards in green pumpkin and watermelon/purple, Charmer timber pups in green pumpkin, Charmer shaky head worms in green pumpkin on Slong's shaky head jigs, Charmer tubes in green pumpkin and green pumpkin orange fleck, Slong's flat top jigs in phantom and Last Cast hairy bug jigs in green pumpkin with matching Net Baits Baby Paca Craws used as trailers.  
 
Crappie:  Crappie fishing is reported as slow and scattered bite are being reported.  The best pattern as reported to me has been by vertically fishing with small jigs and minnows over deep brush piles located along old creek channels about half way back in the creeks and bays.
 
Bluegill/Red Ear:  These feisty fish are being taken on flooded over gravel points and gravel bottoms in 12 - 14 ft of water as well as off flooded ramps and road beds by fishing with split shot rigs slow rolled on bottom baited with small creature jigs tipped with worms.  Some Bluegill are also being taken around flooded brush and trees with worms and crickets under bobbers.
 
Catfish:  Catfish are being taken on jug lines and bottom rigs baited with nightcrawlers and shrimp fished over rocky bottoms and rocky shorelines.  Some very good catches are being reported.

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.


Cedar Waxwing
Photo by Teresa Gemeinhardt

The Cedar Waxwing is a beautiful bird that is common to The Land Between The Lakes region. You're likely to find them near fruiting trees and shrubs.