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 09/19/2013

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 355.65  Surface Temperature - 79

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 355.70  Surface Temperature - 79
Both lakes are about three and one half feet below summer pool and on a slow draw down.  Kentucky Dam has been generating an average flow of 37,000 cfs today.  Barkley Dam has been generating an average flow of 15,300 cfs today.

With the water levels now well below summer pool, boaters should be cautious about navigating outside of the marked channels.  Just because these are big lakes does not mean they are deep lakes.  Certainly, nothing can ruin a fun fishing trip quicker than a damaged lower unit or even worse an injury caused by striking an unseen underwater object.  
Cooler days and cooler nights have dropped the water temperatures 5 degrees since this time last week.  Fall is definitely in the air.  Some more cooler days and nights are in the offing for the weekend and into early next week.  The forecast for tomorrow is for a high of 80 and low of 59 with wind SW11 and an 80% chance of thunderstorms as a cold front transverses the lakes area tonight.

The forecast for the weekend is for post frontal conditions with a high on Saturday of 78 and low of 50 with wind N9 and a 20% chance of early morning showers.  Sunday is showing a high of 75 and low of 49 with wind NNE10.  The post frontal conditions continue into next mid week with high's in the low 80's and low's in the lower 60's with light post frontal winds.
Typical of this time of year with the bass and baitfish in the fall transition patterns there has been little change from the past week with us having taken fish early in the mornings on main lake points and also back shallow in the creeks and bays on topwater lures and then backing out to deeper flats and lead in banks using spinnerbaits, crankbaits, swim baits and jigs.  

We have also been taking fish on the ledges during the day, but as reported last week, the baitfish and the following bass are moving a lot on the ledges so it is a matter of finding which spots have the baitfish right now and capitalizing on the following bass when they decide to eat.  We are still taking ledge fish on crankbaits and swim baits but the most productive techniques have been Carolina rigs and jigs.  Expect more fish to move into the creeks and bays with the dropping water temperatures. 
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth are still being taken on the river and creek channel ledges on the main lakes as well as around the mouths of the creeks and bays.  Some fish are being taken on deep diving crankbaits and swim baits but the more productive bite has been on Carolina rigged creature baits and dragging football head jigs. The ledge fish have been scattered this week but we are still managing to find some actively feeding fish.  

Largemouth are also being taken in the back halves of the creeks and bays as they are feeding on schools of young threadfin shad.  These fish are being taken on topwater lures early and late in the day with  spinnerbaits, lipless and square billed crankbaits and chatterbaits working during the day on deeper flats and lead in banks.  The better bite has been around schools of small white and yellow bass where the Largemouth are mixing in with these feeding smaller fish.  

Although we are taking some numbers of fish on this shallow water pattern, most of the fish are small or just over keeper size with an occasional 3 lbs - 5lbs fish or two some days.    
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth are being taken on main lake gravel and rocky points early and late in the day on topwater lures and then on finesse jigs and tube jigs during the day.  The numbers are low on these fish but an occasional really nice one is being taken. 
Some productive lures reported this week are:   Lucky Craft Sammy in ghost pearl lemon, Strike King KVD splash baits in bone,  Slong's spinnerbaits in blue glimmer, Bag 5 custom painted Strike King XD 6 series baits in blue glimmer and green gizzard shad,  Bag 5 custom painted square billed crankbaits in blue glimmer pattern, Bandit medium running crankbaits in rootbeer/chartreuse,  Bag 5 custom painted Strike King Red Eye shad in blue glimmer, Chatterbaits in blue glimmer with twin tail Yamamoto trailer in blue pearl, Charmer timber pups in green pumpkin and watermelon/purple on Carolina rigs, Slong's football head jigs in Cumberland Craw,  D&L baby advantage jigs in Cumberland Craw and "oops" patterns as well as Last Cast hairy bug jigs in green pumpkin, Charmer shaky head worms on drop shot rigs in green pumpkin candy and Charmer tubes in road kill and green pumpkin.  
White Bass:  White Bass are being taken on the old river channel ledges where they are feeding on schools of baitfish.  These fish can be taken by vertically fishing with inline spinners and small spoons.  Some fish are also being taken by trolling inline spinners behind deep diving crankbaits along the river ledges and main lake creek channel ledges as well as on old creek channels around the mouths of the creeks and bays.  
Catfish:  Catfish are being taken on the old river channel ledges in 25-35 feet of water using nightcrawlers and cut baits.  The best bite is during periods of 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.

Water Break
Photo by Melodie Cunningham

This young buck has taken a quick break for a drink. Deer are one of the more common types of wildlife that can be seen in this region.