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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 05/23/2013

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 358.80  Surface Temperature - 71

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 358.90  Surface Temperature - 71
 
Both lakes are at summer pool.  Kentucky Dam has been generating at a rate of 69,000 cfs the past few hours.  Barkley Dam has been generating at a rate of 35,700 cfs over the past 24 hours.  
 
Both lakes settled in at summer pool levels earlier this week.  We have had storms and wind the past few days associated with a cold front that passed through the lakes area last night bringing us post frontal conditions today with blue skies and cooler temperatures.  

We have a trailing  dry cold front that will pass through the area this evening giving us another cooler day tomorrow with a high of 72 and low of 48 with NNE wind at 10.  On Saturday we are looking at a high of 76 and a low of 58 with wind SE at 8.  Sunday if forecasted to have a high of 79 and low of 62 as a 30% chance for isolated thunderstorms creeps back into the picture with ESE wind at 5.  

Memorial Day is showing a high of 83 and low of 65 with a 40% chance of scattered thunderstorms and wind SE at 7.  All in all, it is a pretty good forecast for the holiday weekend.  The extended forecast shows a return to the high 80's by mid week.  
 
I mentioned last week that I would be staying on the late prespawn bite as long as it was productive.  Over the past couple of days I have seen this pattern dwindle down as most of late prespawn moved up to spawn.  There is still an active shallow water bite, but it is more just male bass guarding the nests.  

The action on these fish can be fruitful, just don't expect to catch many large fish.  Primary points and ledges around the mouths of the creeks and bays are starting to see more fish but there is still a good number of post spawners hanging in the creeks and bays on secondary points and channel banks.   

Although I have yet to see any shad spawning, we are in the temperature range for this to happen and very well may be happening in some of the creeks and bays.  I have not had any reports on this fun pattern yet and as I mentioned, I have not seen any of this activity myself, but I certainly expect  to soon.  From the number of boats I saw on Kentucky Lake today, I would say we are going to have a busy holiday weekend on the lakes so be careful out there, drive defensively and please show courtesy to the other boaters and anglers.  Kentucky Lake ranges from lightly stained to clear.  Lake Barkley is stained.  
 
Please take time out of your fun this Monday to pause and give thanks to those that have given their all so that we can still enjoy the freedoms of our great nation.  
 
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth are being taken on main lake primary points as well as ledges around the mouths of the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on deep diving crankbaits, Carolina rigged creature baits, Texas rigged worms and jigs.  Largemouth are also being taken on secondary points and channel banks in the creeks and bays.  These post spawn fish are being taken on crankbaits, Carolina and Texas rigged creature baits and jigs.  Largemouth are also being taken on the flats in the backs of the creeks and bays and in coves.  These fish are being taken on topwater lures  (especially near vegetation), spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, swim baits, Texas rigged creature baits and jigs.  
 
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth are being taken on main lake points and on ledges on the main lakes.  These fish are being taken on deep diving crankbaits, Carolina rigged creature baits, tube jigs and jigs.  Some nice fish are being reported but not large numbers.
 
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Strike King XD 6 series crankbaits in parrot, chartreuse sexy shad and sexy shad, Rapala DT 16 crankbaits in parrot.  Chatterbuzz buzzbaits in white and black, Rebel Pop R in black/silver, Yozuri Pop n Splash in lemon with ghost body, Charmer 10.5" ribbon tail worm in plum, Charmer timber pups in green pumpkin and watermelon red, Slong's spinnerbaits in blue glimmer and white/chartreuse, Big Hammer swim baits in sexy smelt and DL advantage and football head jigs in Cumberland craw and "oops" patterns.
 
Crappie:  Post spawn Crappie are being taken over brush piles and mats in 10-15 ft of water along old creek channels near the mouths of the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken by vertically fishing with small jigs and minnow/jig combinations.
 
White Bass:  White Bass have been schooling around the ledges and humps at the mouths of the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on inline spinners fished vertically.
 
Bluegill and Red Ears:  These fish are on the beds and folks are reporting good catches this week.  With the full moon this weekend, this will only get better.  The gills are being taken on the flats in the backs of the creeks and bays in 3-5 ft of water.  The Red Ears are being taken on gravel bars and banks near vegetation.  These fish are readily taking crickets under bobbers and split shot rigs with small creature jigs tipped with worms slow rolled on the bottom.
 
Catfish:  Channel Catfish are still spawning on the rocky banks on the main lake and on rocky bottoms on the flats in the creeks and bays.  These fish are taking night crawlers fished under bobbers and on bottom rigs.  Good catches are being reported.

More Kentucky Lake Fishing Reports

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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.


Honker Bay
Photo by John Mahler

Honker Bay, located near The Nature Station, is a great place to hike or simply stop to observe a beautiful sunset.