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Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley Fishing
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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 11/21/2002

Kentucky Lake:  Headwater Elevation - 355.56   Surface Temperature - 54

Lake Barkley:  Headwater Elevation - 355.20  Surface Temperature - 54
 
The water levels of both lakes continues to fluctuate daily varying between near winter pool and 1.5 ft above winter pool.  Anglers need to be aware of these fluctuations as they are occurring to be successful.  The Largemouth Bass are still feeding on schools of shad in the bays.  

These fish are moving with the baitfish which means there are times like when the water is rising that you can expect to be successful near shallow flats because as the water is rising the baitfish tend to move shallow.  The reverse of this of course is when the water levels are dropping the shad schools are moving out to deeper water and so are the bass that are feeding on them.  

When this happens expect to find your bass on secondary points or under the schools of shad over open water in the bays.  The Largemouth are being taken in the shallow water on topwater, spinnerbaits, lipless crankbaits, shallow running crankbaits, and Zoom flukes.  The deeper bass are being taken on crankbaits and spinnerbaits fished near wood cover and on secondary points with some reportedly being taken on crankbaits fished under the schools of shad in open water.  
 
The Smallmouth Bass have been biting a little better on some days but they still have not gotten as aggressive in feeding as one would expect this time of year.  They are being taken on the main lake pea gravel primary and secondary points on Texas and Carolina rigged tubes and jignpig.  Some few reports of catching the Smallmouth on suspending jerkbaits and crankbaits in these areas has been reported but not enough to say it is a primary pattern.  
 
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Chug Bug in shad colors, X-wire spinnerbaits in blue glimmer, Rattletraps in bone and blue/chrome, Bandit and Norman crankbaits in rootbeer, Lucky Craft pointer in American Shad,  Snoozer tubes in Road Kill Cammo and Zoom flukes in natural shad colors.
 
The Crappie bite has been good this week with catches being reported on both lakes at varying depths.  On Kentucky Lake I have seen a number of good catches coming in from deep water in the 15-20 range by vertically fishing small jigs and minnows at the 8-10 ft levels.  There are still good reports of Crappie being caught on Mid and South Barkley in the 4-6 ft depths by fishing small jigs and minnows under bobbers near wood cover.  
 
The White Bass are actively feeding in the bays on the schools of shad and are taking roostertails cast near the feeding fish.  Most of the fish that I am seeing are of the smaller variety but they can provide a lot of fun.
 
The Bluegill are active around docks with brush and along rocky creek channel banks using worms fished under bobbers.  
 
Please remember that hypothermic conditions now exist and let someone know where you are going to be fishing and what time you expect to return.  Take precautions by taking with you and extra set of dry clothing and a survival kit when venturing on the water.  

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.


Elk
Photo by Melodie Cunningham

When exploring the Elk and Bison Prairie in The Land Between The Lakes, it's always exciting to catch a glimpse of a bull like this one!