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 03/19/2015

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 355.74  Surface Temperature - 52
Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 355.80  Surface Temperature - 51
Both lakes are about 3 feet below summer pool.  Kentucky Dam has gates open and was spilling at a rate of 113,664 cfs this morning.  Barkley Dam has gates open and was spilling at a rate of 60,200 cfs this morning.  

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. 
General Conditions:  Kentucky Lake water ranges from stained to moderately stained.  Lake Barkley water is heavily stained.  Although a good bit of the debris we had floating last week has thinned out, there is still some floating debris and boaters need to keep an eye out for this and also I have seen some logs that have gotten hung up on the bottom here and there in deeper water so beware of this also when running.  
The water temperatures rose about 4 degrees over the past week and this has gotten the Bass and Crappie a little more active over the past few days.  We are still running about 4-5 degrees behind normal water temperatures for this time in March, but the early prespawn bite on the Bass has now started and this should get better as the water warms up more over the next week or so.  

Although the Bass are still somewhat scattered, we are taking a good number of buck bass now as well as some larger Bass.  I expect the tournament results on the north end of the lake this weekend to be much better than we saw last weekend.  

The Black Crappie are getting active and have been staging on brush off spawning banks this week also.  Although most of the reports I have had indicate that Crappie are still being taken by vertically fishing over deep brush piles, I also observed and have had reports of Black Crappie being taken by casting curly tail jigs and road runner type baits to the banks and points with wood cover.  
We had a couple of cold fronts come through the area over the past few days with cooler temperatures, rain and wind but the forecast for the weekend and into early next week looks better with daytime highs ranging in the low 60's and night time low temperatures in the 40's.  

Right now it appears the next front is forecasted to come through the area bringing some cooler temperatures toward the latter half of next week.  Keep in mind that this is March and the weather forecasts and conditions are subject to change at any time so make sure you check the weather and wind forecasts regularly before you venture on the water.  
Largemouth Bass: Largemouth are being on main lake points as well as secondary points and channel banks inside the creeks and bays.  Rocky banks and points have been the best producers for us this week but we are also taking some fish on the gravel banks and points.  These fish are being taken on Alabama Rigs, suspending jerk baits, medium running crankbaits, jigs and shakey heads.  Overall the Largemouth fishing is fair and improving.  
Smallmouth Bass: A few Smallmouth are being taken on both rocky and gravel points and banks near the channels on the main lake and on secondary points in the creeks and bays. These fish are being taken on suspending jerk baits, slow rolled crank baits and jigs. The bite is scattered on these fish but they are actively feeding when you come across one or two.  
Crappie: The Crappie bite is being reported as fair with some fish being taken over brush piles in 15-20 ft of water inside the mouths of the creeks and bays by spider rigging and bottom bouncing with small jigs dressed with small minnows.  The Black Crappie are starting to stage on points and banks in the creeks and bays with wood cover and are being taken by casting curly tail jigs and road runner type baits to the shoreline.  

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.

Fishing at Sunset
Photo by Sherry Bailey

So many childhood memories have been made on the banks of Kentucky and Barkley Lakes. These boys are determined to fish until the sun goes down.