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 09/26/2013

Kentucky Lake - Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 356.77  Surface Temperature - 76

Lake Barkley - Water Level at Barkley Dam - 356.85  Surface Temperature - 76
Both lakes are just a few inches more than two feet below summer pool and on a slow draw down.  Kentucky Dam had an average generation of  56,000 - 59.000 cfs today.  Barkley Dam had an average generation of 15,300 - 15,600 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.  
Heavy rains in the lakes area and up river late last week caused the lakes levels to rise over a foot above last week's levels.  The lakes are now on a draw down to bring them into normal levels for this time of year.  This draw down is giving us some current on the main lakes and improved the ledge fishing this week some what.  

We are still taking bass in the creeks and bays as they are feeding on schools of young baitfish.  The fall transition bite has continued to be typical this time of year with numbers of keeper and larger sized Largemouth being low but still we are being rewarded now and then with a nice fish but there are plenty of smaller fish biting to keep us busy.  The weather forecast for tomorrow is for a high of 85 and low of 60 with wind ESE7.  

Saturday's forecast is for a high of 85 and low of 64 with a 20% chance of rain and S wind at 7.  Another front will be traveling though the lakes area on Sunday with a high of 74 and low of 61 and a 60% chance of scattered thunderstorms with wind WSW at 7.  High's around the 80 degree mark and low's in the lower 60's are forecasted for next week with light southerly winds.  

I would expect the water temperatures to continue to drop slowly with next week's forecast and this should bring a few more shad and bass into the creeks and bays.
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  with the current 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 working finesse jigs on the 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.  

I have run into a couple of schools of keeper sized and better fish feeding on the flats in the creeks this week. I have also had some reports of some schools of keeper sized and better fish working the shallow main lake flats feeding on schools of baitfish.
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.  We have also been taking some keeper Smallmouth in the creeks and bays on rocky channel banks on finesse jigs and tube jigs.  
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, 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 football head jigs in Cumberland Craw, D&L baby advantage jigs in Cumberland Craw and "oops" patterns as well as 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.  
Crappie:  I have had a number of reports of anglers taking Crappie over staging brush piles in the front halfs of the creeks and bays by vertically fishing with small jigs and small jigs tipped with minnows over brush piles in 12-15 feet of water.  
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. There are a number of Channel Catfish cruising the shallow flats in the backs of the creeks and bays and feeding on schools of baitfish.  We have taken a number of these Catfish this past week on crankbaits while fishing for bass. 

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.

Bald Eagle
Photo by Melodie Cunningham

This majestic bald eagle is keeping a close eye on his Kentucky Lake neighborhood. The months of January and February are the best times to catch a glimpse of bald eagles in Land Between The Lakes.