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 08/16/2012

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 358.51   Surface Temperature - 84
Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 358.50  Surface Temperature - 84
Both lakes are about one half foot below summer pool with little change over the past week.  Both lakes are about one foot above where we normally are this time in August.  This is due to an influx of water from up the rivers, especially the Tennessee river.  We have seen more current on Kentucky Lake this week than we have all summer with most of the week having an average of around 35,000 cfs of generation around the clock.  

Today that generation was stepped up to 41,000 cfs and the forecast is for this level of generation to continue as the lake is slowly drawn down to normal levels in accordance with the TVA River Operating Schedule.  Barkley Dam has been generating an average of 7800-7900 cfs around the clock this past week. 
A cool front came through the lakes area on Monday bringing with it storms and cooler weather.  The weather this week has been nice since the frontal passage on Monday with just a few pop up afternoon storms. 

 The temperatures certainly have been much nicer.  Another cool front is passing through the lakes area tonight bringing more storms tonight and very early tomorrow.  This front will cool things down for the weekend with highs in the low to mid 80's and post frontal north quadrant winds in the forecast for tomorrow and the weekend.  Next week is looking good with day time high's around 90 and light south quadrant winds.   
The increase in current flow has kept the ledge bass feeding this week with some crankbait and swim bait bite but the most productive techniques continue to be Carolina rigs, Texas rigs, dragging jigs and drop shots.  Some Largemouth are still being taken in the creeks and bays also as they are feeding on schools of fry.  These shallow fish can be taken on topwater lures and spinnerbaits on the flats and secondary points early in the morning and late in the evening with Texas rigs, shakey heads and jigs being the better bite on secondary points during the day.  
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth Bass 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, spoons, Carolina rigged creature baits, Texas rigged large worms, football head jigs, drop shots and shaky heads.  

Largemouth are also being taken in the creeks and bays where they are feeding on schools of  fry.  These fish are being taken on the flats and  secondary points early and late in the day on topwater lures and spinnerbaits.  These fish are being taken around docks and on secondary points during the day on Texas rigs, shakey heads and finesse jigs.
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth Bass are being taken on the old river and creek channel ledges on the main lakes on Carolina rigged creature baits and dragging jigs.  Some Smallmouth are also being taken on main lake gravel points early in the morning on jigs and tube jigs.  The numbers of these fish are low, but some nice single fish are being taken.
Night Fishing:  A fair night fishing bite on both Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass is being reported.  The better bite is coming off main lake points and the first secondary points in the creeks and bays.  Slow rolled large dark colored spinnerbaits, jigs and tube jigs are the most productive lures being reported.  
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Strike King XD Series 6 crankbaits in sexy shad and chartreuse sexy shad, Rapala DT16 in parrot,  Charmer 10.5" ribbon tail and gator tail worms in plum and green pumpkin.  Charmer Timber Pups in green pumpkin and watermelon/purple, Charmer shaky head worms in green pumpkin and green pumpkin candy on shaky heads and drop shot rigs, Slong's spinnerbait in blue glimmer, Slong's football head jigs in Missouri Craw and Bass Buster,  D&L football head jigs in Missouri Craw, Cumberland Craw and "Oops" patterns with Net Baits Kick NB trailers in green pumpkin and summer craw as well as Bruiser Baits trailers in the same color patterns.  

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 deep diving crankbaits with attached inline spinners and small spoons.  Good catches of Whites have been reported this  week.  I did not see any jumps this week nor did I have any jumps reported to me this week.  
Bluegills:  Bluegills are being taken early and late in the day around mayfly hatches near overhanging trees and around docks.  Blue gill are also being taken along deep rocky channel banks with deep wood cover.   These fish are being taken on bobber rigs baited with crickets and small worms around the mayfly hatches and on split shot rigs tipped with pinched night crawlers on the deep rocky channel banks.  
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.  This bite has improved this week with the increase in current.  

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.

Fall at Kentucky Lake
Photo by Shane Dunnaway

A beautiful palette of colors can be experienced at Kentucky Lake during autumn. It's a site to see!