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 12/12/2001

Kentucky Lake:  Headwater Elevation - 355.2   Surface Temperature - 54

Lake Barkley:  Headwater Elevation - 355.0  Surface Temperature - 54

The lakes leveled off over the past weekend and the fishing improved overall at the beginning of the week but as I write this report both lakes are on the rise again as a result of heavy rains over the past 24 hours with more rains forecasted for tomorrow.  

Both dams are spilling at this time and this is keeping the waters on a slow rise rather than a rapid rise.  There was a lot of heavier rains in the upper Tennessee Valley so we can expect these conditions to continue for the next few days at least.  

Prior to this round of heavy rains the Largemouth Bass were still biting in the bays with some reports of big fish now being caught on the main lake points.  

The Largemouth in the bays are reported to be taking tube jigs, spider jigs, spinnerbaits, rattletraps and small crankbaits on secondary points and on the flats near wood cover on both lakes.  

The Smallmouth Bass have remained active on the main lake points on the LBL side of Kentucky Lake.  They are taking jignpig and medium running crankbaits fished on rocky points.  The best reports of catches of Smallmouth are coming from areas north of the U.S. 68 bridge.  

The best reports of  catches of Largemouth are coming from the areas of both lakes south of the U.S. 68 bridges.  Some of the lures that are reported to have been working earlier this week are:  For Smallmouth - Frenzy crankbaits, Rapala Shadraps, and jignpig combinations (no brand name mentioned).  For Largemouth:  Snoozer's Purple/Smoke tube, Strike King Spinnerbaits, Rattletraps, Rapala Shadraps, and Yamamoto Spider jigs.  

The crappie improved somewhat during the level water period of the first part of the week and were reported to be taking minnows and small jigs tipped with minnows tightlined over brush in 12-20ft of water on creek channels.  There are still reports of some very good trophy sized catfish being caught on South Barkley using cut skipjack baits near the river channel.  

I would expect that the crappie fishing will slow again with the water being pulled hard at the dams now.  The Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass bites should continue to be good as long as the water temperatures remain in the 50's.  

The Largemouth Bass seem to be moving more toward the main lake now as this seasonal migration should continue as the water cools.  

Take care when you go on the water and make sure you have extra dry clothes and a survival kit with you.  Hypothermia is a real threat now if you get wet.  Let someone know where you are departing from, where you plan to fish, and when you expect to return

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.


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.