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 04/12/2012

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Ky Dam - 356.43  Surface Temperature - 64

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 356.56  Surface Temperature - 64
 
Both lakes are two and one half feet below summer pool and on a slow rise.  Both lakes should reach summer pool level during the last week of this month in accordance with the TVA River Operating Schedule barring any unforeseen large influx of water. 

Kentucky Dam has been generating at an average rate of around 7000 cfs during the afternoon and evening hours over the past few days and generating at an average of around 20.000 cfs during the morning hours.  Barkley Dam has been generating at an average of 8100 cfs around the clock over the past few days. 
 
I mentioned in last week's report that it was going to get cooler this week.  Well, I was wrong, it did not get cooler, it got down right cold.  The cold front that was forecast to come through the lakes area earlier this week brought some night time temperatures around the freezing mark and daytime highs in the 50's to lower 60's.  

Of course we had some cold north wind to compliment this colder weather which served to send a chill down the spine that was now covered up in Gortex rather than the T-shirts and shorts we had been enjoying with the early warmer weather.  As you can see the water temperatures took a nose dive.  Water temperatures this morning were 8 degrees lower than this time last week.  

As one would expect, this rapid drop on the water temperatures slowed the Largemouth bite, but we did manage a limit or better the past few days even with the nasty post frontal conditions.  A number of patterns are still producing but the best producing pattern for us over the past few days has been on lead in banks and secondary points in the back halves of the creeks and bays.  

Finesse jigs and Texas rigged lizards have been our most productive lures this week.  The bite has been very light this week and you have to pay attention, if you think something is looking at your bait, you need to set the hook.  We are getting a lot of pickups of our lures on the lead in banks where a number of Largemouth started spawning late last week with the full moon.  

There are still a lot of prespawn Largemouth to move up though and this cooling of the water temperatures could be a blessing in that it will slow down the number of fish that are spawning until the slow rising water gets into the normal shallow spawning areas.  The Crappie anglers also took a hit with the cold front slowing down the Crappie bite on the shallower fish but some fish were still being taken by anglers fishing in the 10-15 ft depth ranges over brush piles.  
 
The forecast for the weekend is showing much warmer temperatures in the 80's for day time high's and 60's for lows.  It is going to be windy on the lakes this weekend with forecasts showing South quadrant winds over 20 mph.  Anglers need to plan their trips accordingly and realize that these type south winds can make for some very rough water on both lakes.  

These forecasted temperatures and the wind should raise the water temperatures considerably over the next few days.  The extended forecast into next week is showing day time high's in the 70's and night time low's in the high 40's which is much more seasonable for us.  
 
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth Bass are were being taken on a myriad of patterns before the recent cold front and I expect these patterns will return in force with the warm-up coming this weekend.  In addition to the lead in bank pattern I mentioned above as being productive over the past few days, we also took fish off the ledges earlier this week.  

The ledge fish were taking Carolina rigged lizards and creature baits and jigs.  Largemouth are being taken on lead in banks and secondary points in the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on medium running crank, Texas rigged lizards and creature baits, tube jigs, shaky heads and jigs. Some Largemouth are also being taken on shallow flats in coves and the backs of the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on topwater lures, spinnerbaits, lipless crank and whacky rigged worms.  This shallow water pattern slowed with the cold front that came through but should recover as the water warms up over the weekend.  
 
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth Bass are being taken on gravel banks in the creeks and bays as well as on the main lake.  These fish are mostly post spawn now and are being taken on jigs, tube jigs and shaky heads.  We have taken a number of bucks this week and had a few reports of single large female post spawned fish.  
 
Productive lures reported this week:  Strike King Red Eye Shad in sexy shad and chrome sexy shad, Slong's spinnerbaits in blue glimmer and white/chartreuse, Bandit crank in rootbeer/chartreuse, Charmer shaky head worms in green pumpkin candy on Slongs and D&L shaky head jigs. Charmer lizards and timber pups in green pumpkin, D&L advantage jigs in "oops" pattern and Last Cast hairy bug jigs in green pumpkin both using Net Baits Kick N B Jr trailers in summer craw and green pumpkin.
 
Crappie:  The Crappie bite slowed some with the cold front also this week but anglers that moved out to the 10-15 foot depth range and fished vertically over brush piles with small jigs and minnows were reporting some success on the post spawn fish.  With the water warming coming this weekend, we should see some of the late spawners get active in the 5-8 ft water range over brush piles off spawning banks.  
 
Bluegill and Redears:  Bluegills are being taken on gravel banks and flats in 3-5 ft of water especially near wood cover by fishing with worms under bobbers and by dragging worms on split shot rigs.  Redears are being taken on gravel bars in 5-6 ft of water by dragging worms on split shot rigs across the bottom.  
 
Catfish:  Channel Catfish are being taken near rocky main lake flats and on shallow and mid range rocky banks in the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on night crawlers fished on bottom and under bobbers

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.


Fallow Deer
Photo by Murray Blake

There are only a few small herds of fallow deer in Land Between The Lakes, but occasionally a lucky explorer will catch a glimpse of one.