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 09/22/2011

Kentucky Lake:   Water Level at Ky Dam - 357.35   Surface Temperature - 74

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 357.35   Surface Temperature - 74
 
Both lakes are about two feet below summer pool and on a slow draw down.  Heavy rains in the area and up river late last weekend and earlier this week caused the lakes to rise a little but the lakes are dropping again a couple of inches each day as the TVA is slowly lowering the lakes to normal levels for this time in September which would be about 3 feet below summer pool. 

Kentucky Lake current flow this week is averaging about 46,000 cfs around the clock.  Lake Barkley current flow is averaging about 16,000 cfs around the clock.  
 
The current forecast for tomorrow and the weekend is for post frontal north quadrant light winds with high's in the low to mid 70's and night time low's in the low 50's.  There is a slight chance of isolated thunderstorms this evening and on Sunday.  Of course wind and weather forecasts can change rather quickly this time of year so be sure to check the latest forecasts before venturing out on the lakes.
 
As I mentioned last week, we are in the transition period now from summer to fall patterns and the schools of baitfish are moving a lot during this period and so are the bass that are following them.  As is normal during the fall transition, the bass are spread out and moving so a lot of different patterns are taking fish but this constant movement of the bass makes it tougher to put limits of keeper sized and better bass in the boat.  

As I mentioned last week, during the transition period, most big tournaments are won with an average of 15-16lbs per 5 fish limit per day.  The winning weights in some of the tournaments last weekend were a little lower than this.  We still have bass roaming the ledges, roaming main lake flats, on main lake points and in the creeks and bays on secondary points, channel banks and on the flats. 

We have the first wave of Threadfin Shad in most of the creeks and bays now.  These are the young smaller Threadfin and there are a lot of short bass in the creeks and bays with them but there are some keeper sized and better fish also with them.  It is an angler's choice of which pattern you want to fish from ledges to the backs of the creeks and bays right now.  

As for myself, I tend to spend more time in the creeks and bays during the transition once the first wave of Threadfin have come in.  I look at it this way, the majority of the shad will go to the creeks and bays to feed up for winter and once they are in there, they are not leaving until the unstable winter weather arrives, thus the bass in there are not leaving either and these areas will only get better as more shad come in.  

We have put at least a limit of keeper sized bass or more in my boat 3 out of the last 4 days fishing the creeks and bays on both lakes and on the day we did not put a limit in the boat, I believe we could have but due to the nature of the type trip we were doing the odds go down as we were doing a lot of running all day looking at spots for a tournament two weeks away.  
 
 
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth are being taken on a myriad of patterns as we are in the fall transition now.  Largemouth are being taken on the old river and creek channel ledges on the main lakes and around the mouths of the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on deep diving crankbaits, swim baits, Carolina rigged creature baits, shaky heads and jigs.  

Largemouth are also being taken on flats near the ledges on the main lake as schools of bass are chasing schools of baitfish.  These fish are being taken on crankbaits (both lipped and lipless), spinnerbaits and swim baits.  Largemouth are also being taken on primary points as well as secondary points and creek channel banks in the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on crankbaits (both medium running and lipless), swim baits, spinnerbaits, Texas rigged creature baits, shaky heads and finesse jigs.  

There have been a few reports of some early morning topwater on the points with walking baits and chugging type baits. Largemouth are also being taken on the flats creeks and bays on early morning topwater lures, spinnerbaits, swim baits and lipless crankbaits.  
 
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth are being taken on main lake points and on seconday points in creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on crankbaits, spinnerbaits, swim baits, jigs and shaky heads.  I have had a couple of reports of some early morning and late evening top water bite on main lake points on walking baits.   
 
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Lucky Craft Sammy in chartreuse shad and ghost pearl lemon,  Slong's spinnerbaits in blue glimmer, Strike King 6XD and 3XD series crankbaits in sexy shad, Bandit crankbaits in rootbeer, Big Hammer swim baits in sexy smelt and shad,  Strike King Red Eye Shad in sexy shad and chrome sexy shad, Charmer Timber Pups in green pumpkin and watermelon/purple, Charmer Shaky Head worms in green pumpkin candy and Alabama crawl, Zoom trick worms on shaky heads in green pumpkin and Last Cast Hairy Bug jigs in green pumpkin with matching Net Baits Kickin Chunk.  
 
Crappie:  Crappie are being taken over brush piles around the mouths of the creeks and bays in 10-15 ft of water by spider rigging with small minnows and jigs.  
 
White Bass:  White Bass are being taken on the humps and ledges around the mouths of the creeks and bays by vertically fishing with inline spinners and small spoons.  Some White Bass are being taken in the creeks and bays on the flats by casting  inline spinners and spoons into schools of fish feeding on schools of small baitfish but these fish are running small.
 
Bluegill:  I did not receive any reports on the Bluegill this week.
 
Catfish:  Catfish are being taken in 20-30 ft of water on the old river channels with bottom rigs baited with yellow tails.  Note:  We have been catching a number of good sized Channel Cats in the creeks and bays under the schools of small baitfish while fishing for bass with lures....might be a good idea to put some jugs out back there.

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.


Hematite Lake
Photo by Shawn Dunnaway

One of the hidden gems is this beautiful small lake in Land Between The Lakes. This shallow lake features lily pads, abundant wildlife, and a two-mile trail circling the lake. The trail in the back features a unique boardwalk.