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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 09/18/2002

Kentucky Lake:  Headwater Elevation - 355.69   Surface Temperature - 80

Lake Barkley:  Headwater Elevation - 355.65  Surface Temperature - 83
 
The lakes are about 1.5 ft over winter pool but projected to rise to 2 feet over winter pool tomorrow.  We have had a lot of rain in the area since last weekend so the water levels are fluctuating some each day as the excess water is being drawn off.  The Largemouth Bass are being caught on main lake points early and late and also they are being taken on secondary points in the bays and on the shallow flats at the backs of the bays near wood cover.  

Some schooling fish are showing up on the secondary points and on the flats also.  The fish on the points are taking topwater, crankbaits, and Carolina and Texas rigged plastics.  The shallow fish are taking topwater, spinnerbaits, rattletraps and shallow running crankbaits as well as Texas rigged plastics and jignpig flipped into wood cover. 
 
The Smallmouth have been slow for the past few days but they should be back on the bite as the weather patterns settle over the next few days.  The bite prior to the slowdown was on primary main lake points and secondary points in the bays using topwater and crankbaits early and late.  The later day bite was on crankbaits and Texas rigged plastics on deep rocky creek channel banks.  These patterns should be the same when the bite starts to improve again.  
 
Some of the productive lures being reported this week are:  Lucky Craft Sammy in Chartruese, Zara Spook in Chartruese and shad patterns, Rebel Pop-R in shad patterns, Fishco Crankbaits in Grey Ghost, Rattletraps in Blue/Chrome and Smokey Joe, Bandit crankbaits in Rootbeer, Norman Deep Little N in Rootbeer,  Xwire spinnerbaits in Blue Glimmer, Snoozer 3.5" tubes in Road Kill Cammo and Smoke/Purple, Zoom lizards in Watermelon Seed, Strike King Bitsy Flip jigs in Watermelon with Zoom Super Jr Chunk Watermelon Seed trailer dipped in chartruese, and Stanley jigs in black/blue with black/blue trailer. 
 
The White Bass are slow overall with some fish coming in by trolling crankbaits and mepps spinners along the main lake ledges and at the fronts of the bays.  I have seen a number of jumps in the creeks this past week although the fish appear to be on the small side.  These top feeding fish can be taken on small topwater popping baits, roostertails, and small spoons cast into the feeding schools.  
 
The Crappie are still slow but some reports of fish being caught at the mouths of the bays are coming in although most of these fish are reported to be small.  These fish are being taken by vertically fishing small jigs tipped with crappie nibbles or small minnows fished over wood cover in 15-20 ft of water.
 
The Bluegill are still active along the deep rocky creek channel banks and around docks with wood cover.  These fish can be readily taken by fishing crickets and worms under bobbers.  
 
The Catfish are biting a little better now and are being caught along the main river channels and also in the creek channels on bottom rigs using shad minnows and cut baits. 
 
The lakes are below summer pool now and those not familiar with the lakes should be very careful when running.  Use the channel marker buoys and idle when you are not sure about the depth of the water around you.   

More Kentucky Lake Fishing Reports

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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!

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Shy Doe
Photo by J. Kent Harmon

The dense forests in Land Between The Lakes make the perfect hiding place for deer and other native species. You never know who might be peeking at you from the treeline.