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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 09/05/2002

Kentucky Lake:  Headwater Elevation - 356.07   Surface Temperature - 81

Lake Barkley:  Headwater Elevation - 355.90  Surface Temperature - 82
The lakes are two feet over winter pool and on a slow drawdown.  The record crowds here over the past weekend made the fishing a little slow once the noise of all the boats and other watercraft started buzzing around the lake late Saturday morning.  Prior to the crowds showing up to celebrate the Labor Day weekend the bite on the bass was pretty good.  

The bite seems to be returning on Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley should settle down over the next day or so.  The Largemouth Bass are being taken on main lake points and on or near the flats around rock and/or wood as they are feeding on schools of shad.  These fish are being taken on topwater lures, deep and medium running crankbaits, and spinnerbaits on the main lake points and along rocky creek channel banks and secondary points as well as on the flats near wood cover using topwater lures, shallow running or lipless crankbaits, spinnerbaits, soft plastic lures or jignpig  pitched near wood cover.  
The Smallmouth Bass are being taken on main lake primary and secondary points especially around pea gravel as well as in the bays both on rocky creek channel banks and pea gravel secondary points.  These fish are taking topwater lures early and late, crankbaits, and tube baits fished on Carolina rigs, Texas rigs, and tube jig heads.  
Some of the lures that have been producing are:  Rebel Pop-r's in natural shad, Zara Spooks in white and shad patterns, Lucky Craft Sammy in Chartruese, Gambler buzzbaits in white and black, Davis X-wire spinnerbaits in blue glimmer, Norman Deep Litte N in rootbeer, Davis Fishco medium and shallow running crankbaits in shad, tennessee shad and grey ghost, rattletraps in blue/chrome and rootbeer, Zoom lizards in variations of green, Snoozer's 3.5" tubes in road kill cammo and smoke/purple, Strike King Bitsy Flip jigs in variations of green with Zoom junior chunk trailers in matching colors dipped in chartruese, and Stanley Jigs in black/blue with black/blue trailer.  
The White Bass have been slow with the better catches coming around the mouths of the bays vertically jigging small spinner type baits or by trolling with small deep running crankbaits.  
The Crappie are slow with few reports coming in.  Most of the reports show that the best bet is to vertically fish small minnows around deep brush piles along creek channel ledges near the mouths of the bays.  These bite on these fish should start picking up soon in these areas.  
The Bluegill are very active along deep rocky creek channel banks and around deeper docks with wood cover.  These fish are readily taking crickets and worms fished under bobbers.  
The Catfish are being taken near the main river channels in 20-30 ft of water by bottom fishing with large minnows and cut baits. 
Best bite this week:  The Smallmouth are taking topwater lures early and late.
There are a lot of signs that we may be in for an early fall here in the lakes area. The main lake ledge fish are moving toward the bays and the gizzard shad are showing up in the bays.   

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.

Elk Herd
Photo by Melodie Cunningham

This herd of female elk are enjoying a winter's day in the Elk and Bison Prairie in Land Between The Lakes.