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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 03/26/2015

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 356.18  Surface Temperature - 56

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 356.35  Surface Temperature - 55
Both lakes are 3 feet below summer pool.  Kentucky Dam was spilling at a rate of 79,500 cfs this morning.  Barkley Dam was spilling at a rate of 50,200 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 ranges from slightly stained to stained.  Lake Barkley is stained.  There is still some wood debris floating on both lakes so keep and eye out for this debris when navigating the lakes.  I mentioned in last week's report that the bite was steadily improving and that I expected some better tournament results last weekend from those we had seen the prior week.  

This indeed proved to be the case as a number of 20 plus pound bags of 5 fish were weighed in during the FLW College Open tournament last weekend.  There were still a large number of anglers that struggled with only 2 keeper fish or less during each day of the tournament but a good number of anglers were able to find some cooperative fish and brought in limits.
The water temperatures have risen considerably over the past week and we are no doubt now on an established early prespawn pattern with the Largemouth and prespawn pattern with the Smallmouth.  The Alabama rig has been very popular this past week as has been medium running crank baits, suspending jerk baits, lipless crankbaits and jigs.  
We have had some nice warm weather over the past week but a nasty early spring cold front came through the lakes area this morning which will make for some uncomfortable fishing today and through Saturday before warmer a warming trend returns on Sunday.  The forecast for for Friday and Saturday is for high's in the 40's and low's in the mid to upper 20's.  Wind NNW13 is forecasted for Friday and NNE5 for Saturday.

Although it will be cold Sunday morning, the forecast is for a high of 62 with the wind swinging to the SSE16.  The extended forecast shows a warming trend through mid next week with temperatures in the 60's early in the week to reach a high in the 70's by Wednesday.  Of course this is March and the weather and wind forecasts can change at any time so make sure you check the latest forecasts before venturing on the lakes.
Largemouth Bass: Largemouth are being taken 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. On warmer days some shad and bass are moving shallow on the flats in the creeks and bays during the warmer part of the day.  These fish can be taken with lipless crankbaits.  
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. 
Productive Lures: Some of the more productive lures this week have been: Rapala Shad Raps, DT6 and DT 10 crankbaits in Demon and Red Craw, Excite and Strike King medium running crankbaits in black/chartruese, Strike King Red Eye Shad and Excaliber One Knocker lipless crankbaits in red or orange with black crawdad patterns,  Smithwick suspending Rogues in chrome with black back, Rapala X-raps in black/silver, Bag 5 custom painted Mega Bass jerk baits in Blue Glimmer,  Lucky Craft Pointers and Bag 5 custom painted Mega Bass jerk baits in Aurora Black, D&L jigs in Cumberland Craw and Oops patterns and Charmer shakey head worms as well as Yamamoto senkos on D&L and Slong's shakey head jigs in green pumpkin.
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 with small jigs dressed with small minnows. The Black Crappie are staging 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. 

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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.

Lunch Time!
Photo by Melodie Cunningham

Splash! This bald eagle is diving for a tasty fish. Bald eagles use their exceptional eye sight to spot their prey up to a mile away!