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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 01/19/2012

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Ky Dam - 355.05   Surface Temperature - 46

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 355.20  Surface Temperature - 46
Both lakes are one foot over winter pool.  Both dams are spilling water due to heavy rains upriver coming thru the lakes.   Kentucky Lake has been spilling water at an average rate of around 126,00 cfs over the past few days.  Lake Barkley has been spilling water at an average rate of around 59,000 cfs over the past few days.   
Well here we are into the third week of January and we are still experiencing the milder late fall weather patterns which have been the benchmark all winter here.  Of course this milder weather has continued to keep the Bass and Crappie more active than we normally expect this time of year and anglers continue to report good catches of both species.  

The current weather forecast reflects that this milder weather will continue through the weekend and into next week.  A weak cold front is passing through the lakes area today and the forecast for tomorrow and Saturday is a slight cooling trend with highs in the mid to upper 40's with low's in the mid to upper 30's.  A chance of showers if forecasted for both days.  The weather is forecasted to rebound on Sunday with high's in the 50's and low's in the upper 30's.  This milder weather pattern is in the forecast through the coming week.  Of course this is January and this time of year forecasts can change rapidly so be sure to check the latest forecast before you venture on the lakes.  
If you are going on the lakes this weekend to enjoy some of the good fishing being reported, take care and be aware of the fact that our water temperatures are in the range for hypothermic conditions so be prepared for this with a survival kit in your boat consisting of a protected set of dry clothes, dry soup and fire starter.  

Don't forget that cell phone and remember, keep the cell phone in a protected waterproof bag also, they don't work real well after they get soaked.  Let someone know where you will launching and fishing and let them know when you expect to return.  Winter fishing can be a lot of fun, but it can be a really bad experience if you are not prepared for the possibility of getting wet and/or stranded on the water.  
The Alabama rig continues to dominate the reports from bass anglers on the lakes with some reports of Largemouth and Smallmouth also being taken on suspending jerkbaits, single swim baits and jigs.  Crappie anglers are still reporting catches of good numbers of fish and although most of the numbers are reportedly just below keeper size,  a person can get a good mess of keeper sized Crappie and larger over the course of the day.  
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth are being taken on primary points and ledges on the main lakes on Alabama rigs, swim baits,  suspending jerkbaits and jigs.  The Alabama rig continues to be the dominate technique with some very good catches being reported.
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth are being taken on the same patterns, lures and techniques as the Largemouth Bass.  
Productive lures reported this week were:  Net Baits BK swimbaits in pearl and blue pearl and Big Hammer swim baits in pearl and sexy smelt fished on Alabama rigs.  Lucky Craft pointers in aurora black, clown and table rock shad, D&L jigs in Cumberland craw and "oops" patterns as well as some reports of unspecified brand jigs in natural brown colors.  
Crappie:  Crappie anglers are reporting numbers of fish by spider rigging over deep brush on the main lake ledges in the 15-20 ft depth range.  Small jigs and minnows have been the baits of choice. I have received a few reports of minnows under bobbers working in the 10-15 foot range over brush also on warmer afternoons.  

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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.

Honker Lake
Photo by Jennifer Dunnaway

In June these beautiful lily pads are in full bloom at Honker Lake in Land Between The Lakes. Honker Lake is a great place for wildlife viewing and hiking.