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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 06/29/2012

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 357.56  Surface Temperature - 84

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 357.55  Surface Temperature - 85
Both lakes are one and one half feet below summer pool with little change expected.  Kentucky Dam has been generating at an average of 18,000 cfs around the clock this past week.  Barkley Dam has been generating between 6000 - 7800 cfs around the clock this past week. 
I thought is was hot last week but the heat wave this week made me appreciate the 90's we has last week.  Daytime highs have been over the 100 degree mark for the past few days and this is forecasted to continue into early next week.  No rain is in the forecast so the severe drought continues here in the lakes area.  

The forecast for the weekend is for daytime highs in the low 100's and night time low's in the mid 70's.  Light winds are in the forecast for the weekend and into next week also. Make sure you have plenty of cold water in the boat and drink more than you think you need. The ledge bite started picking up last weekend from the slower bite we had the week prior.  The best daytime bite is early in the morning and again in the late evening.  

Slower presentations continue to be the best bite for us such as Carolina rigs, Texas rigs and dragging football head jigs.  Drop shots and shaky heads are producing also.  We have taken some fish on spoons and crankbaits but overall, the slower presentations are producing more bass for us.  The feeds we are getting into are short lived on the tops of the ledges but we are finding more fish are holding over the deep sides of the ledges, especially on stumps and brush piles.  
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.  These fish are being taken on deep diving crankbaits, ripping spoons, Carolina rigged creature baits, Texas rigged large worms, dragging football head jigs, drop shots and shaky heads.  The slower presentations are producing more fish for us when fished very slow.  

You must pay close attention because many of the bites are very light.  Largemouth are also being taken around docks with wood cover and also in shallow water near wood cover.  These shallower fish are feeding on schools of fry and can be taken with senko baits and shaky heads around the docks and on spinnerbaits Texas rigged small creature baits around the shallow wood.  
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth Bass are being taken on the old river and creek channel ledges on the main lakes.  These fish are being taken on Carolina rigged creature baits and dragging football head jigs.  Some Smallmouth are also being taken early and late in the day on main lake gravel points with Carolina rigged tubes, shaky heads and jigs.  The numbers of Smallmouth being taken are low but a few nice fish are being caught.
Night Bass Fishing:  I had a number of reports of a good night bite on Largemouth and fair bite on Smallmouth this past week.  The primary pattern has been fishng main lake  channel points and the first secondary points in the creeks and bays with dark skirted spinnerbaits.  
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Bag 5 custom painted deep diving crankbaits in green gizzard shad, Strike King XD 6 in sexy shad, Strike King Sexy Spoons in shad patterns, Charmer 10.5" ribbon tail worm in plum, Charmer Timber Pups in green pumpkin and watermelon/purple, Strike King rodent in Amistad Special, Charmer shaky head worms in green pumpkin on shaky heads and drop shot rigs, Slong's spinnerbait in blue glimmer and D&L football head jigs in Cumberland Craw and "Oops" patterns with Net Baits Kick NB trailers in green pumpkin and summer craw.
White Bass:  Whites are being taken along the old river ledges by vertically fishing with inline spinners and small spoons as well as minnow rigs.  Whites are also being taken by trolling inline spinners and small spoons behind deep diving crankbaits.
Bluegills:  Bluegills are being taken early and late in the day as well as at night around docks with wood cover.  These fish are being taken on bobber rigs baited with crickets and small worms.  
Catfish:  Catfish are being taken along the old river channel near ledges in 20-30 ft of water with bottom bouncing rigs baited with leeches and shrimp combinations.  Some Catfish are also being taken on bottom rigs with cut baits.

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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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.