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 09/08/2011

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Ky Dam - 358.05   Surface Temperature - 76

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 357.85  Surface Temperature - 76
 
Both lakes are one foot below summer pool and rising.  The lakes have been on a rise for the past few days due to heavy rains up river from tropical storm Lee.  The present forecast is for the lakes to reach near summer pool by late tomorrow.  At this time the lakes are not forecasted to go above summer pool.  Kentucky Lake has been releasing water at an average rate of about 45,000 cfs around the clock for the past few days.  Lake Barkley has been releasing water at an average rate of about 30,000 cfs around the clock for the past few days.  This rate is forecasted to continue.  
 
In addition to the rising waters, we have been experiencing lower than normal day time highs and night time low temperatures this week along with strong north winds over the week which resulted in lake wind advisories up through yesterday each day.  These lower temperatures and north winds dropped the water temperatures 7 degrees since Sunday.  
 
The high winds from the north kept me off the lakes until today as it did most of the folks that take lake wind advisories seriously.  I did get on the water today and have received a few reports but not quite as many reports received as normal due to the winds this week.  

I was on the water today for 5 hours this morning checking on the bass patterns since I had not been on the water this week myself.  I had taken today off because I was privileged to attend Grandparents Day with one of my grandson's at his school this afternoon.  This is what I experienced this morning:   I went to the shallows first in the backs of two bays.  I threw some topwater to no avail in the shallows but did manage a couple of short bass on a spinnerbait.  

I then backed out and fished two ledges at the mouths of the bays.  I caught both short fish and keepers on a Carolina rigged creature bait and slow rolling a swim bait.  After establishing that there were no numbers of fish yet back shallow and still numbers of fish on the ledges, I moved back into the bays and fished some high percentage points and banks.  I found large schools of shad in 4-10 ft of water and a number of hungry bass.  

I caught fish on spinnerbait, crankbait and jig with the most fish coming on the jig. I ended up the morning with a total of 26 bass of which 12 were keepers or better size.  Basically, what I found was exactly what I expected to find.  

The cooler temperatures has started some larger schools of shad to transition toward the backs of the bays which is the beginning of the fall transition period.  This transition period normally lasts around 5 weeks or so but does not normally start until the last week of this month.  Fall is coming early folks, so as is normal with the fall transition, you can expect a myriad of patterns to be working from the main lake ledges to the backs of the bays.  I really expect to see some of those larger schools of shad back shallow in the bays within the next few days.  

Of course the water rising like it is will move that along some, but I am sure we will see the water beginning to drop again  sometime early next week unless there is another unforeseen influx of water.  Another thing I observed today was two catfish anglers jug fishing back in one bay in about 4-8 ft of water and they were loading up on catfish which have moved up shallow with the rising water.  
 
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth Bass can be taken on the old river and creek channel ledges on the main lake and around the mouths of the creeks and bays.  These fish can be taken on Carolina rigged creature baits, Texas rigged large worms, slow rolled swim baits and jigs.  

Largemouth are also being taken on primary points as well as secondary points and creek channel banks in the creeks and bays.  These fish can be taken on spinnerbaits, crankbaits, jigs and shaky heads.  Some Largemouth are also being taken on the flats in the backs of the creeks and bays on topwater lures, spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits.  
 
 
Smallmouth Bass:  I received one report on the Smallmouth this week and this report was from one of my network guys that was fishing wind blown primary points on Kentucky Lake this morning.  This report indicated a fair bite on these wind blown points this morning on deep running crankbaits and jigs.  With the water temperatures cooling, I expect the main lake points will be the ticket for the Smallmouth over the next number of weeks.  
 
 
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Lucky Craft Sammy in ghost pearl lemon, Storm Chug Bug in shad patterns, Strike King XD6 and XD3 in sexy shad, Bandit 200 in rootbeer chartreuse, Slong's spinnerbait in blue glimmer, Strike King red eye shad in sexy shad and chrome sexy shad, Big Hammer 5" swim bait in sexy smelt, Charmer Timber Pup in watermelon/purple and green pumpkin, Charmer 10.5" gator tail worm in green pumpkin and Last Cast Wooly Bug jig in green pumpkin with matching Net Baits Kickin Chunk.  
 
White Bass:  No report received.
 
Bluegill:  No report received.
 
Catfish:  No report received but note my observation above of Catfish being taken on the flats in the creeks on jug lines.

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.


Hoot
Photo by Susan Eizenga

If you are visiting Land Between The Lakes after dark, you are sure to hear the hoots of one of the many species of owls that can be found in this region.