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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 08/21/2002

Kentucky Lake:  Headwater Elevation - 356.88   Surface Temperature - 84

Lake Barkley:  Headwater Elevation - 357.0  Surface Temperature - 84
Fishing conditions have been a mixed bag since last week.  Midweek saw the lakes area with overcast skies, heavy rains, and high winds which gave way to sunnier warmer conditions over the weekend and into the first part of this week.  Water temperatures dropped significantly last week to the low 80's but are slowly returning to normal summer temperatures as the summer heat has returned to the area.  

The changing conditions made fishing tough on some days and very good on other days.  The primary bite patterns seemed to change through out each day and one had to be alert to the fact that the fish were moving with the change in cloud cover and dropping water temperatures.  The Largemouth Bass have settled down some now and they are being caught both on main lake and creek channel ledges as well as on the flats and secondary points in the bays.  

From what I have observed over the past few days I would say that a number of the bass moved in off the ledges during the cool down and are now staged near the mouths of the creeks and feeding on schools of shad in the bays near shallow water early and late.  The ledge Largemouth are taking deep running crankbaits, Carolina rigged worm, lizards, tubes, and creature baits as well as jignpig.  The shallow feeding Largemouth are taking topwater buzzbaits and stick baits, spinnerbaits, small crankbaits, jignpig, and Texas rigged worms, lizards, and tubes.   
The Smallmouth Bass are being taken from main lake ledges and main lake primary and secondary points. There are some Smallmouth also feeding on the schools of shad in the bays near rocky creek channel banks.  The Smallmouth are taking Carolina rigged lizards, tubes and creature baits, deep crankbaits, and jignpig.  
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Zara Spook in white or natural shad, black or white buzzbaits, Norman DD14 in Tennessee Shad, Fishco crankbaits in natural shad and crawfish patterns, Bandit 200 series crankbaits in rootbeer/chartruese, Rattletraps in chrome/blue, Zoom lizards in watermelon/red, Zoom Brush hogs in variations of green, Strike King bitsy flip jig in watermelon with Zoom Jr Chunk matching trailer dipped in chartruese, Snoozer 3.5" tubes in road kill cammo and smoke/purple, and Davis Xwire spinnerbaits in blue glimmer.  
The Crappie are slow with little action being reported.  Those that are catching some are working the main lake ledges by vertically fishing small minnows in 15-20 ft of water.  
The White Bass action has been good over the past couple of days with current being generated and light winds.  These fish are being taken in jumps along the river and creek channel ledges on the main lake with roostertails, smallcrankbaits, and small popping topwater baits fished in the actively feeding schools.  During periods of no topwater activity these fish are being taken by jigging slab spoons and roostertails on the ledges near bottom.
The Catfish are being taken near the river channels in 20-30 ft of water bottom fishing with minnows, dipbaits, and cut baits.  
The Bluegill are active along deep rocky creek channel banks and also around docks with wood cover.  These active fish are being taken on worms and crickets fished under bobbers.  Some good bluegill are coming in off the deeper banks.  

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.

Take A Kid Fishing
Photo by Shawn Dunnaway

These boys had a blast bank fishing on Kentucky Lake. Take your kids on a fishing trip to Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley!