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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 07/09/2015

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 362.43  Surface Temperature - 83

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 362.65  Surface Temperature - 82
 
Both lakes are 3 and one half feet above summer pool and on a draw down.  Both dams are spilling with gates open.  
 
General Conditions:  It has been a week of thunderstorms, rain and rising lake levels. We have received over 8 inches of rain in the past week and there were also heavy rains up the rivers resulting in the current above normal lake levels. The lakes levels should start dropping tomorrow if the TVA forecast is correct.  

There is already some debris floating on Barkley and I would expect to start seeing some on Kentucky as the lakes are drawn back down.  The water clarity on Barkley ranges from stained  to heavily stained with some muddy water in the backs of some of the creeks.

Kentucky has stained water in the river channel and there is some heavily stained water in the backs of some of the creeks.  The ledges are still producing some nice fish although the numbers are still not as plentiful as one would expect this time of year.  With the water having backed up into the brush in the backs of the creeks and bays, some anglers are having success there with early morning topwater and then flipping the brush with jigs, tubes and Texas rigged creature baits.  
 
The forecast for tomorrow is for a high of 91/low of 72 with a 40% chance of thunderstorms and wind WSW10.  The weekend outlook is for hot summer conditions with high's in the 90's/lows in the mid 70's with wind WSW10 on Saturday and WSW6 on Sunday.  The hot weather continues into next week with high's in the 90's/low's in the 70's and wind from the WSW through mid week.
 
Largemouth Bass: Largemouth are being taken ledges on the main lake and around the mouths of deeper creeks and bays. These fish are being taken on deep diving crank baits, Carolina rigged creature baits, dragging large football head jigs, Texas rigged large worms, shakey heads and drop shot rigs as well as large spoons and large swim baits. 

Largemouth are also being taken on primary points and channel banks of the main lake using the same techniques as mentioned above. Largemouth are also still being taken near brush and vegetation in the backs of the creeks and bays, especially early and late in the day where they are feeding on schools of spring fry. 

These fish are being taken on topwater lures, Texas rigged creature baits, tube jigs and jigs as well as spinner baits. Largemouth are also being taken at night on main lake banks and points on dark skirted spinner baits.
 
Smallmouth Bass: Smallmouth are being taken on rocky main lake primary points and secondary points in the front halves of the creeks and bays as well as on ledges. These fish are being taken on Carolina rigged creature baits, jigs, tube jigs and shakey heads. The summer night bite for these feisty fighters is on now and they are being taken on large dark skirted spinnerbaits on both gravel and rocky main lake points. 
 
Productive Lures: Some of the more productive lures reported this week are: Strike King XD10 in chartreuse sexy shad and blue/chartruese, Lucky Craft Sammy in ghost pearl lemon and Strike Splash baits in bone for the shallow topwater bite, Charmer Timber Pups in green pumpkin and watermelon/purple on Carolina rigs (deep) and Texas rigs (shallow), Charmer shakey head worms on drop shot rigs in green pumpkin and watermelon/purple as well as Robo worms in green pumpkin variations, Charmer 10.5 inch worms in plum and green pumpkin/purple on Texas rigs, Necessity football head jigs and D&L football head jigs in Oops and Cumberland Craw patterns, Slong's and Necessity shaky heads with Charmer shaky head worms in watermelon candy.
 
White Bass: White Bass are active with a number of schools of these fish surfacing early in the morning around the mouths of the creeks and bays. These fish are being taken by casting inline spinners into the feeding schools. 

So far most of these fish are smaller fish. Some larger Whites are now being taken by trolling inline spinners behind deep diving crank baits along channel ledges and vertically fishing inline spinners and small spoons over schools of deeper fish. Numbers of White Bass are also schooling on shallow flats early in the morning in the backs of the creeks and bays feeding on schools of spring fry. The White Bass activity is increasing. 
 
Catfish: Channel Catfish are being taken on creek channel ledges with cover on bottom rigs baited with night crawlers. Catfish are also being taken in the old river channels now in 20-30 ft of water on bottom rigs with cut baits and yellow tails during periods of current.

More Kentucky Lake Fishing Reports

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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.


Beaver Dam Outlook
Photo by Melodie Cunningham

The view from the top of this beaver dam shows a Kentucky Lake inlet in late spring. An inlet like this one is habitat to a variety of exciting wildlife and plants just waiting to be explored!