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 09/18/2014

Kentucky Lake: Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 355.80 Surface Temperature - 76

Lake Barkley: Water Level at Barkley Dam - 356.00 Surface Temperature - 76
Both lakes are at 3 ft below summer pool. Kentucky Dam has been varying generation between 21,000 cfs - 42,000 cfs over the past day, with the higher genertion during the afternoon hours. Barkley Dam has been generating between 8100 cfs - 24,000 cfs over the past day, with the higher generation during the late afternoon/early evening hours. 

The first fall cold front that I mentioned was coming through the lakes area late last week arrived and the weather this week has been really nice with cooler days and nights with light winds. I predicted last week with the cooler nights coming in the water temperatures would start dropping and if it dropped enough this would signal the fish it was time to start moving into the early fall migration to the creeks and bays to feed up for winter.

Well, the water temperatures did drop with the cooler weather (6 degrees since this time last week) and the shad and bass are in the early stages of the fall migration. This migration in the fall is drawn out and the fish are moving around a lot on the main lake and in the front halves of the creeks and bays. 

Typically, this is one of the tougher times of the year to put together large numbers and bigger bass in the boat and that is what I have been seeing this week. We are catching from the ledges and points on the main lake to the backs of the creeks and bays. As is typical with the fall migration, bass tournament weights which are always a good indicator of the fall transition go down. This past weekend it only took 28 lbs (10 fish) to win the 2 day FLW College Regional. 

Normally this fall transition lasts about 5 weeks or so depending on water temperatures, but the good news is that is has started and the progression of shad and bass to the shallows will only get better as we progress into the fall. The really good news is that yesterday, I saw the first large schools of young threadfin shad begin showing up in numbers in the shallows where they had moved from mid creek ranges so the transition has started. The weather forecast is showing a slight warming period over the next few days with an approaching cold front forecasted to transverse the area on Sunday. Friday's forecast is for a high of 82, low of 59 with wind E5, Saturday is calling for a high of 86, low of 65 with wind SSW6, Sunday is calling for a high of 83, low of 59 with a 40% chance of thunderstorms with the incoming cold front, wind W9. 

The extended forecast shows post frontal conditions through mid next week with day time highs back to the mid 70's and night time low's in the lower 50's with post frontal north winds. 
LARGEMOUTH BASS: Largemouth are being taken on ledges on the main lakes as well as on main lake points and on secondary channel points in the front halves of the creeks and bays. There is some early and late topwater bite on the points but it is scattered. The ledge fish and the fish on the points are more consistent using slow techniques with smaller lures on Carolina rigs, shakey heads and jigs but some of the fall transitioning fish are starting to school on main lake points and it is opportunity fishing and not consistent but there are reports of these traveling schools and when you find them you can get well quick with a crankbait. 

Some bass are also being taken early and late on main lake flats near stumps on topwater lures and slow rolled spinnerbaits. Some bass are also being taken during late morning and during the day on flats in the creeks and bays where they are chasing small shad. These fish are being taken on spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, lipless crankbaits and slow rolled square billed crankbaits. The fish are scattered 

there but can be taken with patience. Overall, the Largemouth bite during the day is slow. The better bite is consistently being reported late in the afternoon on ledges with current and better at night on main lake points. The night fish are being taken on dark colored spinnerbaits and jigs and the bite has been reported as good.
SMALLMOUTH BASS: Smallmouth are being taken on main lake ledges on jigs and Carolina rigged creature baits as well as on main lakes points and the first points and channel banks in the front halves of the creeks and bays.. The numbers of fish are not great but some quality fish have been taken. Smallmouth are also being taken at night on rocky points and banks on Kentucky Lake with dark colored spinnerbaits and tube jigs. Good Largemouth are also being taken on this night pattern.
Some of the more productive lures reported this week: Strike King Splash baits in shad patterns and Lucky Craft Sammy in ghost pearl lemon, Bag5 custom painted lipless and square billed crankbaits in blue glimmer pattern, Charmer timber pups in green pumpkin and watermelon with purple flake on Carolina rigs, D&L football head jigs in Cumberland craw and Oops patterns on the ledges and the baby advantage jigs in the same patterns on the points and channel banks in the creeks and bays, Chatterbaits in blue glimmer, Slong's spinnerbaits in blue glimmer, Charmer shaky head worms in green pumpkin blue and green pumpkin on Slong's shakey heads, Yum Dingers in green pumpkin on flick shake heads and shaky heads. 
White Bass: White Bass are being taken along the river channel ledges and adjacent flats by vertically fishing with inline spinners and small spoons as well as by trolling with small spinners behind deep diving crankbaits. The better bite is reported with the vertical fishing and the White Bass bite is reported as good right now. 
Catfish: Catfish are being on the main lake on river channel ledges in 20-30 ft of water by bottom bouncing shrimp and leach combinations and also on bottom rigs baited with cut baits with best bite during the current draw periods.

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

These geese float gracefully on a warm autumn day. Honker Lake was actually named for the number of Giant and Interior Canadian geese it attracts.