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 08/08/2013

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 357.67  Surface Temperature - 82

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 357.80  Surface Temperature - 81
Both lakes are slightly more than one foot below summer pool and on a slow drawdown.  Kentucky Dam has been generating an average of 60,000 cfs today.  Barkley Dam cut their generation flow down to 8,000 cfs early this morning.  
Although not terribly hot this past week, it has been humid and we have had our share of scattered thunderstorms in the lakes area.  A stationary front to our south with high pressure to our east has been pumping a lot of moisture into the area this week and a slow moving cold front to our northwest has been spawning these storms.  The wind though has cooperated with some nice light wind days except for when thunderstorms come through the area.

These storms are forecasted to continue over the next few days so anglers need to check the weather often and keep an eye out for these storms.  These storms have some nasty lightning and localized high winds.  The forecast for tomorrow is for a high of 84 and low of 71 with wind NW5 and a 60% chance of scattered thunderstorms.  Saturday's forecast is for a high of 83 and low of 69 with wind ENE5 and a 40% chance of scattered thunderstorms.  

Sunday is not much different with a high forecasted of 86, low of 72 with wind SSW5 and a 30% chance of thunderstorms.  This pattern is forecasted to continue until next Tuesday when a cold front is forecasted to transverse the lakes area bringing slightly cooler weather with high's in the upper 70's and low's in the 60's with light north winds by mid next week.
Although we do not have as much current as last month, the rain we have been getting in the local area and up the Tennessee river valley has kept given us a steady current on Kentucky Lake with only a few hours of low flow.  Barkley had a steady current all week until this morning when the generation level at the dam dropped to 8000 cfs.  

Our water temperatures are still running about 6-7 degrees below what we normally have this time of year, keeping the oxygen levels good and we aren't getting the over 100 degree heat index days we expect this time of year so we really can't complain as this has been one of the coolest summer's I can remember in years.  

Our best bite on the ledges continues to be on the slower techniques (Carolina rigs, dragging football head jigs and Texas rigged large worms).   We are running into an occasional school where crankbaits, swim baits and spinnerbaits pay off but these have not been as consistent as the slower techniques, especially for larger fish.
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth are being taken on the old river and creek channel ledges on the main lakes and around the mouths of the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on deep diving crankbaits, swim baits, slow rolled spinnerbaits, Carolina rigged creature baits, Texas rigged large worms and football head jigs.

Some Largemouth are also being taken in current breaks around main lake points and also secondary points in the front halves of the creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on deep and medium diving crankbaits, Texas rigged large worms and jigs.   

Some Largemouth are also being taken in the backs of the creeks and bays, especially early in the morning and late in the evening on top lures and spinnerbaits. Largemouth are also being taken shallow during the day by pitching tubes, jigs and senko type lures near wood cover.    

Our best bite this week in my boat has been on Carolina rigged creature baits and dragging football head jigs on the ledges with some quick action early in the morning on the shallow flats in the backs of the creeks and bays with top lures.    
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth are being taken  in current breaks on gravel main lake points as well as on old creek channel ledges on the main lakes and around the mouths of the creeks and bays.  The fish on the points are being taken on top lures early and deep diving crankbaits, finesse jigs, tube jigs and Carolina rigged creature baits during the day.  

The ledge fish are being taken on  Carolina rigged creature baits and football head jigs.  The best bite on the Smallmouth is at night now fishing rocky points with current breaks on the main lakes and inside the mouths of the creeks and bays.  These feisty summer night feeders are taking spinnerbaits with dark colored skirts and large single Colorado blades as well as on jigs and tube jigs.    
Some productive lures reported this week are:   Lucky Craft Sammy in ghost pearl lemon,  Slong's spinnerbaits in blue glimmer, Strike King 6XD crankbaits in powder blue back with chartreuse side and chartreuse sexy shad, Norman DD22 in chartreuse with blue back,  Bag 5 custom painted deep diving crankbaits in green gizzard shad and  Big Hammer swim baits in sexy smelt, Charmer timber pups in green pumpkin and watermelon/purple on Carolina rigs, Charmer 10.5" ribbon tail worms in plum and green pumpkin on Texas rigs, D&L football head jigs in Cumberland Craw and "oops" patterns, and Slong's football head jigs in Cumberland Craw (all with Net Baits  paca punch green pumpkin trailers).
White Bass:  White bass are being taken along the old creek channel ledges on the main lakes as well as on the humps and ledges around the mouths of the creeks and bays by vertically fishing with inline spinners and small spoons.  Whites are also being taken by trolling inline spinners behind deep diving crankbaits in these areas.  

Some white bass are also being taken early in the morning around mayfly hatches.  I have observed a number of surface feeding whites early in the morning on the main lake flats but these jumps are short in duration.  
Bluegill:  Bluegills are being taken around overhanging trees and also around wooden docks early in the morning after mayfly hatches.  These fish are being taken on crickets and worms fished under bobbers.    
Catfish:  Catfish are being taken on the old river channel ledges in 20-30 feet of water on bottom rigs baited with shrimp/leech combinations and night crawlers.  Some nice catches are being reported.   

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

This majestic elk eyes the camera cautiously. To see bulls with fully developed racks, visit the Elk and Bison Prairie in the fall!