Explore Kentucky Lake

Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley Fishing
Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Contact Us About Us
Switch Mobile/Desktop

Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 06/21/2012

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 357.58  Surface Temperature - 81

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 357.58  Surface Temperature - 81
Both lakes are one and one half feet below summer pool with little change forecasted.  The drought continues here in the lakes area and there is nothing in the future forecasts to show that the drought will be broken.  Kentucky Dam has been generating an average of 18,700 cfs flow around the clock for the past number of days.  Barkley Dam has been generating at an average flow of 6000 cfs around the clock for the past number of days.   
The first day of summer was yesterday and the weather this week has reflected just that.  It has been hot on the water with daytime temperatures in the 90's.  As indicated above, there is little current on the lakes and certainly not enough current to activate many ledge feeds for those fishing ledges for the bass.  

I reported last week that the ledge bite had slowed some and this was pretty much reflected this week.  We are taking bass on the ledges but the feeds are short lived and only a few fish taken during the feeds.  Most of the time we are taking our fish over the side of the ledges or near the bottom of the ledges where they are sitting on structure and cover.  

The best techniques continue to be the slower techniques such as Carolina rigs, Texas rigs, dragging jigs, shaky heads and drop shots.  A few fish are being taken on crankbaits but not very many and the numbers of bites on reaction lures has been low.  As many of my clients can tell you, if you want to catch some nice fish on the ledges, you need to fish slow and if you think you are fishing slow enough, slow down some.  The early summer back up fry pattern is holding up most days, with some bass being taken around docks and also shallow wood cover.
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth are being taken on the old river and creek channel ledges on the main lakes and around the mouths of the deeper creeks and bays.  The most productive techniques have been Carolina rigged creature baits, Texas rigged large worms. dragging football head jigs, shaky heads and drop shots.  

Make sure you cover all the ledge, from top to bottom as many of the fish are holding over the deep side but we are occasionally getting some nice one, two or three fish short lived feeds on the tops of the ledges too.  Largemouth are also being taken on secondary points in the creeks and bays as well as around docks and shallow wood cover where they are feeding on schools of fry.  These fish on the points are being taken on medium running crankbaits, Texas rigged creature baits and tubes as well as jigs.  The dock and fish on shallow wood cover are being taken on Texas rigged creature baits and tubes, spinnerbaits, stick baits and shaky heads.
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth are being taken on the old river and creek channel ledges on the main lake.  These fish are being taken on Carolina rigged creature baits, shaky heads and dragging football head jigs.  
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Bandit 200 and 300 series crankbaits in rootbeer and speckled back,  Slong's spinnerbaits in blue glimmer, Yamamato Senkos in green pumpkin/black fleck, Charmer Timber Pups in green pumpkin and watermelon/purple, Charmer 10.5" worms in plum, Charmer shaky head worms in green pumpkin and watermelon/purple on shaky head jigs and drop shot rigs, D&L football head jigs in "oops" and Cumberland Craw patterns with Net Baits Kickin B trailers in green pumpkin and summer craw.
White Bass:  White Bass are being taken along the old river channel ledges by vertically fishing with inline spinners and small jigging spoons.  White Bass are also being taken by trolling along these ledges with inline spinners and small spoons behind deep diving crankbaits.  
Bluegill:  Bluegills are being taken early and late in the day around Mayfly hatches.  These fish are being taken on crickets and worms fished under bobbers.  The Mayfly hatches can be located around over hanging trees and around docks.  
Catfish:  Catfish are being taken along the old river channel ledges in 20-30 ft of water by bottom bouncing rigs baited with leeches and shrimp combinations.  Some are being taken also on bottom rigs baited with yellowtails.

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.

Rocky Shores
Photo by John Mahler

Although the terrain in this part of the country is typically flat, you'll still find an occasional rocky shoreline like this one on Kentucky Lake.