Lodging Fishing Attractions Towns & Bays Dining Events Real Estate Maps Lake Conditions

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

Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 04/25/2013

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 359.63  Surface Temperature - 62

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 359.70  Surface Temperature - 63
Both lakes are slightly more than one half foot over summer pool and on a slow rise.  Kentucky Dam has been generating an average of around 51.500 cfs most of the day today.  Barkley Dam has been generating an average of around 30,300 cfs today.  
I mentioned last week that the TVA was pulling the bottom out of the lake after heavy rains had taken lake levels over summer pool.  The TVA leveled the lakes earlier this week about one half foot below summer pool.  This draw down moved most of the Largemouth out of the shallow spawning areas and sent them back to staging banks and points just off the spawning flats.  

This is where we were locating our fish at the beginning of this week.  The TVA started the lakes on a slow rise around mid week and  the Largemouth started moving back into the shallows.  We received about an inch of rain earlier this week with the passing of another unseasonably cool cold front which aided in raising the levels some.  With the Mississippi and Ohio rivers in flood stage down stream, the TVA has cut the discharge rates and the lakes are now once again over summer pool and still on a slow rise.  

So, this up and down, raising and lowering and then raising the lake levels has kept us busy following the Largemouth but we have managed to stay on the fish and the bite has been overall good.  The weather forecast for tomorrow is for a high of 67 and low of 53 with wind SE at 8.  Prepare for some more wet weather on Saturday with a 70% chance of rain, high of 64 and low of 57 with SE winds at 12.  Sunday is calling for a high of 69 and low of 52 with wind SE at 4.  

The extended forecast for early to mid next week is calling for highs in the upper 70' to low 80's and low's in the 50's.  Did you notice that there are no 40 degree or 50 degree for high's and temperatures in the 30's for low's?  This is the first forecast we have had in a long time without one or two of those nasty cold days.  

The fishing conditions look good for the shallow late prespawn and spawn patterns for the next number of days.  Our best patterns when we fishing the shallow spawning areas this past week was with Texas rigged lizards and whacky rigs.  Our best pattern when the fish had backed out to the staging areas was the Texas rigged lizard and finesse jigs with some medium running crankbait bite.  I had a number of reports from my network folks of spinnerbaits and chatterbaits working also on the shallow fish as well as jigs and shaky heads.  
Largemouth Bass:  The Largemouth are primarily on late prespawn and spawning patterns on the shallow flats around brush and vegetation.  These fish are being taken on Texas rigged lizards, whacky rigs, spinnerbaits, jigs and shaky heads.   We still have Largemouth on the staging bank and points also and these fish are being taken on medium running crankbaits, Texas and Carolina rigged lizards, jigs and shaky heads.  Expect more Largemouth to be moving shallow over the next few days as the water levels and water temperatures rise.  
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth are on spawn and post spawn patterns now with fish being taken on gravel banks in cuts on the main lake and on gravel banks in the front halves of the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on slow rolled medium running crankbaits, Carolina rigged creature baits, tube jigs and shaky heads.  Expect to start seeing some early morning topwater action on the post spawners very soon on the pea gravel points on the main lake and around the front of the creeks and bays.  
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Bandit medium running crankbaits in rootbeer and rootbeer/chartreuse, Bag 5 medium running custom painted crankbaits in green gizzard shad, Charmer lizards in green pumpkin and watermelon/red, Charmer timber pups in green pumpkin and watermelon/red, Charmer tubes in green pumpkin and road kill, Charmer shaky head worms in green pumpkin and watermelon purple, Zoom trick worms in green pumpkin, green pumpkin blue, watermelon red and watermelon purple on whacky rigs, Slong's spinnerbaits in white and white/chartreuse and D&L advantage jigs in Cumberland Craw with Net Baits Mini Kickin B trailers in green pumpkin.  
Crappie:  Just like the bass anglers, the Crappie anglers are having fun chasing the fish with the up and down water levels over the past week or so but just like the bass folks, the Crappie anglers are putting fish in the boat.  Most of the reports I have had lean towards catching the Crappie this week in 3-8 ft of water over brush piles and with jigs slow rolled under bobbers or by casting curly tail jigs and road runners to spawning banks in 3-6 ft of water.  Most reports indicate that the Black Crappie are pretty much done spawning and the White Crappie are now spawning.  Some good catches are coming to the cleaning stations.
Bluegill/Redear:  A few reports of these fish being taken by Crappie anglers on small jigs around the stake beds and brush piles but no reports of spawning activity as yet.  Most folks and me also, believe these fish will start actively feeding and spawning with in the next week or so.  I know I am getting some scattered bluegill and red ear bites on my soft plastics while bass fishing but not nearly as active as it gets when they are spawning.  
Catfish:  I am still this week getting reports of Channel Catfish being taken on shallow rocky shorelines and on rocky bottoms near deep water by fishing with night crawlers fished on bottom and also under bobbers.

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.

White Egret
Photo by Melodie Cunningham

Commonly mistaken for a heron, egrets can commonly be seen wading in shallow water near the lakes edge.