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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 03/22/2013

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 355.31   Surface Temperature - 51

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 355.40  Surface Temperature - 51
 
Both lakes are about one and one half feet over winter pool.  Kentucky Dam has been spilling at an average rate of 97,000 cfs over the past 12 hours.  Barkley Dam has been spilling at an average rate of 54,500 cfs over the past 12 hours.   
 
The below normal temperatures and north winds have continued to hang around the lakes area this past week.  It amazes me that one can look at three different weather reporting sources and get three totally different forecasts over the past few days.  

One thing all of the weather sources I have been checking have in common is that the late winter weather patterns we have been experiencing will continue over the weekend and into next week.  The forecast for today is for highs in the upper 40's with a chance for light snow and rain showers with ENE wind at 8 mph.  

The forecast for Saturday is for a high of 55 with E wind at 5-10 and a chance of rain.  The forecast for Sunday is for a high of 45 with rain/snow with high winds out of the NW 15-25 with gusts to 40 as another cold front passes through the area.  

The extended forecast through early next week is for high's in the low 40's and winds out of the NW.  If this forecast is close to correct, it does not bode well for raising our water temperatures. We are already running about 6-7 degrees below normal water temperatures for this time in March.

Earlier this week, the water temperatures finally broke through the 50 degree mark on the north end of the lakes and it now appears we may be lucky to hold onto those temperatures this next week with the present forecast.  

The bass fishing has been up and down with the cold fronts but there was a noticeable increase in the Largemouth bite in staging areas of the creeks and bays when the water temperatures picked up earlier in the week.  The better bite is still on the south end of Kentucky Lake where the water temperatures are a few degrees higher but we are putting fish in the boat on the north end.  

Our biggest bag on 5 best fish this week was over 20lbs on the north end.  We had some heavy rains earlier in the week and this put some stain in the river channel areas on Kentucky Lake but the creeks are clear for the most part.  Barkley is stained and has more color to it with some of the larger creeks such as Eddy and Little River having muddied up from the heavy rains.  

Make sure you check the latest weather and wind forecasts before venturing on the lakes, especially this coming Sunday.  Remember, we still have weather and water temperatures that are prime for hypothermia if you get wet.  Take a survival kit on the water with a change of dry clothes, let someone know where you will be fishing and when you expect to return.  Keep your cellphone in a waterproof bag, it may save your life.  
 
Largemouth Bass: Largemouth are being taken on staging ledges around the mouths of the creeks and bays on Alabama rigs and jigs.   Largemouth are also being taken on main lake points and channel banks in the current breaks as well as secondary points in the front halves of the deeper creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on suspending jerk baits, Alabama rigs, jigs, and slow rolled medium running and lipless crank baits.  
 
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth are being taken on main lake points and channel banks in the current breaks on suspending jerk baits, slow rolled medium running crankbaits,  Alabama rigs and jigs.  Some big early females have been taken but the numbers are low.  
 
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Bag 5 custom painted Mega Bass jerk baits aurora black,  Lucky Craft pointers in Pearl Ayu,  Strike King jerk baits in green gizzard shad, Smithwick Rogue jerk bait in table rock shad, Rapala shadraps in original crawdad,  black/silver and bleeding olive flash, Bag5 custom painted shadraps in rootbeer, D&L jigs in Cumberland craw and oops pattern, Strike King red eye shad in chrome sexy shad, sexy shad and orange craw and Big Hammer swim baits on Alabama rigs in pearl.  
 
Crappie:   Crappie are being taken on the main lake and around the mouths of the creeks over brush piles.  These fish are being taken on the main lake in 15-20 ft of water by vertically fishing with small jigs and minnows.  The fish around the mouths of the creeks are being taken in 10-15 ft of water on staging brush by vertically fishing with small jigs and small minnows with some reports of fish being taken by casting curly tails jigs to the brush.  

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.


Bullfrog
Photo by Ray Stainfield

No camping excursion is complete with a serenade from the resident bullfrog. There are a vast variety of amphibians to be found throughout the Land Between The Lakes Area.