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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 11/25/2011

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Ky Dam - 356.02   Surface Temperature - 56

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 356.10  Surface Temperature - 56
Both lakes are two feet over winter pool and on a drawdown.  More heavy rains in the lakes area and up the rivers this past week pushed lake levels up to nearly three feet over winter pool but the dams have been spilling over the past few days and the lake levels are now dropping.  Both lakes are forecasted to drop another foot over the next few days but of course this can change as we have more rain in the forecast as another nasty front is approaching and should move through the lakes area on Saturday.  Kentucky Dam is spilling at an average rate of 93,000 cfs around the clock and Barkley Dam is spilling at an average rate of 41,000 cfs around the clock.
As mentioned above, we had a lot of rain earlier this week.  Some areas got as much as 4-5 inches.  These storms and high winds kept most of us off the lakes earlier in the week but we did get some relief the past couple of days from the high winds and storms.  The heavy rains muddied up a number of the creeks on Lake Barkley and the main lake is stained.  

We have some stain in a few of the creeks and bays on Kentucky Lake but really not too bad overall.  The main lake on Kentucky is lightly stained to clear.  Another cold front is coming which is going to produce some more wind and rain this weekend.  The wind forecast for Saturday is for southerly winds at  20 mph plus with rain.  The wind forecast for Sunday is for northwest winds around 17mph.  These winds will make for some rough water this weekend, so if you are planning on being out there, plan your trip accordingly.  

We now have water temperatures that are favorable for hypothermic conditions so make sure you are prepared in case you go overboard or just get wet and get stranded.  Have a plan on how you would get back in your boat, have a change of dry clothes in the boat as well as dried soup, fire starter and of course your cell phone should be kept in a waterproof bag.  

This next cold front is going to bring us some colder weather as one would expect around this time of year as we are fast approaching winter.  Highs next week are forecasted to be in the mid 40's with night time low's in the low to mid 30's.   These colder weather is going to start dropping our water temperatures for sure so we don't have much of this fall fishing season left.  
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth are being taken on main lake points as well as on secondary points and creek channel banks inside the creeks and bays.  There was still some fish on the shallow flats earlier this week but with the water now dropping, these fish are pulling out to the deeper banks and points in the creeks and bays also.  The Largemouth are being taken on crankbaits, spinnerbaits, Alabama rigs, swim baits suspended jerkbaits and jigs.  These fish are still feeding up for the on coming winter and if you can hit the right day, the action can be good.
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth are being taken on main lake points and gravel bars as they are feeding up for the winter.  With the current now being generated, these fish were more active over the past few days in the current breaks on crankbaits, suspending jerkbaits and jigs.  
Some of the more productive lures reported this week were;  Bandit crankbaits in rootbeer/chartreuse and rootbeer, Norman Deep Little N in rootbeer, Lucky Craft pointers in aurora black and chartreuse shad, Slong's spinnerbaits in blue glimmer, Big Hammer swim baits in pearl and sexy smelt and Last Cast jigs in green pumpkin with matching net baits trailer.
White Bass:  I did not get any reports on the White Bass this week but we ran into some schools of them on deeper flats in the creeks as they were feeding on schools of shad.  
Crappie:  Crappie anglers have reported good catches this week while fishing over brush piles in the 10-15 ft range with small jigs and minnows under bobbers.  Some Crappie anglers are taking fish on creek channel banks around wood cover by casting road runners and curly tail jigs.  

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.