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 10/02/2014

Kentucky Lake:  Water level at Kentucky Dam - 355.05  Surface Temperature - 77

Lake Barkley:  Water level at Barkley Dam - 355.05  Surface Temperature - 77
 
Both lakes are one foot above winter pool.  Kentucky Dam generation varied over the past day between 21,000 cfs - 56,000 cfs with the higher flows during the hot afternoon hours.  Barkley Dam  generation varied over the past day between 8,200 - 24,900 cfs with the higher generation during the hot afternoon hours.  

With the lake levels down, everyone needs to be cautious when navigating the lakes.  Use the navigation channels unless you know exactly where you are and if you are not sure, idle your boat until you are sure you are in safe water.  
 
As many of you know, I am a retired military man.  I will not be publishing a report next week as I will be attending my annual military reunion which we have been doing for 26 years now.  

We will do a little trout fishing and whole lot of catching up and telling stories of the ol times and I always look forward to seeing so many of my fellow veterans with whom I had the privilege of serving our country.
 
This past week was a mirror of the weather patterns we have been having for the past 3 weeks with high pressure, blue skies and flat water.  The only exception this past week was last Sunday when we had a high level low pressure center move over the lakes bring low cloud cover and light wind.  This little weather change turned the fish and some nice bags of fish were weighed in at the Toyota Owners tournament out of Paris.  

It took 25 lbs to win the tournament.  Of course on Monday the high pressure, blue skies and flat water returned along with temperatures near 90 each day since and we were back into the slower early fall transition bite we have been experiencing over the past few weeks.  This warm up period actually raised the water temperatures 2 degrees this week and this is not good.  

We need to get the water temperatures down to get more fish actively feeding and moving into the creeks and bays to feed up for the coming winter.  As I have mentioned in my last couple of reports, this fall transition period is always a tougher bite overall and normally last 5-6 weeks depending on water temperatures and weather patterns.  

We have been concentrating our efforts in the creeks and bays and on shallow main lake flats where large schools of small threadfin shad have already transitioned and catching the early transitioned bass.  We are catching more numbers of smaller bass feeding on these shad but we are also managing to get some nice keeper sized with an occasional very good fish...but the numbers are low and you just have to grind it out to put together a good limit.  
 
We have our second fall cold front coming through the lakes area this evening and into tomorrow morning.  The forecast for Friday is for a  high of 71 and low of 43 with a 70% chance of showers in the morning with wind W 16.  Saturday's forecast is for a high of only 62 with a low of 41 with wind from the W 15.  Sunday is showing a high of 75 with a low of 50 with wind SSW 14.  Keep tabs on that wind forecast for Sunday... it could get worse than is forecasted with some very rough water. 

Hopefully this cold front will drop these water temperatures and get them moving into the right direction.  The extended forecast into mid next week is showing a slow warming trend back to highs in the lower 80's by midweek but some nice night time low's in the lower 50's. 
 
LARGEMOUTH BASS: Largemouth are being taken on ledges on the main lakes and in the mouths of the deeper creeks and bays 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 bite is scattered as the shad and fish are moving around a lot and it is hit and miss. 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, slow rolled spinnerbaits and square billed crankbaits. We are taking some shallow topwater bass in the backs of the creeks and bays early in the morning and late evening on walking baits and splash baits. We are taking bass on lead in channel banks and on staging points in the creeks and bays after sunrise and during the day on finesse jigs, shaky heads, and light Carolina rigs with creature baits. 

Some bass are also being taken during late morning and during the day on flats in the creeks and bays where they are chasing schools of 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. 

Smallmouth are being taken on the primary points and secondary 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.  

We are getting most of these fish on jigs and shakey heads.  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 and Yamamoto Senkos in green pumpkin and shaky heads. 
 
CRAPPIE:  Crappie are being taken on staging brush piles on ledges around the mouths of the creeks and bays in 12-16 ft of water by vertical jigging with small curly tail jigs tipped with minnows.  There are some reports of some Crappie being taken in the creeks and bays over brush piles in 8 - 10 ft of water off secondary channel points being taken in the same manner.  
 
White Bass: White Bass are being taken along the river channel ledges and on creek channel ledges around the mouths of the creeks and bays with inline spinners, blade baits 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.


Peek-a-boo
Photo by Jennifer Dunnaway

We photographed this doe peeking from behind some tall grass near Honker Bay in Land Between The Lakes.