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 07/06/2012

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 357.55   Surface Temperature - 87

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 357.55  Surface Temperature - 86
Both lakes are one and one half foot below summer pool with little change expected.  Kentucky Dam has been generating an average of 18,000 cfs around the clock the past week.  Barkley Dam has been generating an average of 6,000 cfs around the clock for the past week.  
Not only has the excessive heat wave we had last week continued into this week, but the humidity has risen also giving some really hot days over the century mark.  This heat wave is forecasted to continue through Saturday with a little relief in the forecast for Monday and Tuesday.  We actually have high's in the 80's forecasted for Monday and Tuesday, something we have not seen in a long time.  

The severe drought also continues here in the lakes area with the only precipitation recorded coming from a few late afternoon thunderstorms which have been generated by the heat and rising humidity.  Here at my house near the Moor's, we have yet to see any rain.  There is a 30% chance of some rain on Sunday and 40% chance on Monday as the next front passes through the area.  

Make sure you have plenty of water and sunscreen with you when you venture on the water and more importantly, make sure you drink plenty of the water.  Keep an eye out for those afternoon thunderstorms as they have some dangerous lightning and localized high winds.  Don't wait too late to get to a safe port when you see one of these nasty storms approaching.  
The bass fishing has not changed much since my report last week.  The best bite is still early morning and late evening.  The ledges are producing some good bags of Largemouth with slower techniques like the Carolina rig, Texas rig, drop shots and dragging jigs being the most productive.  

We are also getting some fish on deep diving crankbaits, swim baits and spoons but the slower techniques are producing more fish.  The feeds we are getting on the ledges have been short lived but productive with most of the fish being taken over the side of the ledges or near the bottoms of the ledges.  

I have been doing a lot of Ledge Teaching trips over the past few weeks and we have taken fish on ledges at depths from 7 feet to 40 feet so depth, just like I teach in my classes, is a relative term, so don't get locked into trying to fish every ledge the same depth.  
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:  The night bass fishing reports I received this week are still showing that main lake channel points and the first secondary points in the creeks and bays are producing on large dark colored spinnerbaits and jigs.  More Largemouth are being reported than Smallmouth but a few nice Smallmouth are aggressively taking the 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, 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.  Hoppy's spinnerbaits in black/blue and black/purple are working on the night bite as well as D&L jigs in black/blue with matching trailers.  
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

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.

Photo by Melodie Cunningham

When exploring the Elk and Bison Prairie in The Land Between The Lakes, it's always exciting to catch a glimpse of a bull like this one!