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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 01/09/2003

Kentucky Lake:  Headwater Elevation - 354.82  Surface Temperature - 47

Lake Barkley:  Headwater Elevation - 354.60  Surface Temperature - 47
Both lakes are stained with some current present but as predicted last week the heavy draw down was cut back considerably over the weekend.  Higher than normal water temperatures for this time of year are still present on the main lakes with the shallower water in the bays having somewhat lower temperatures.  

The cold nights are causing a rapid cooling in the shallow water and this has precipitated a large shad kill on both lakes.  Although this shad kill has really slowed the bite because of all the abundant forage it should really pay off later in the year with some great fishing.  From what I have observed and has been reported to me this shad kill is a very big one and that is good news since last year we did not have a very big kill.  
As stated before,  the bite has really slowed with the shad kill but I have received a few reports of Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass being taken on the rocky main lake primary and secondary points as well as the first rocky secondary points in the bays on Kentucky Lake.  All of the reports I have received said that they were catching all their fish on Texas rigged Snoozer road kill cammo tubes dragged slowly on the bottom or by slow rolling crawdad colored Shadraps near riprap banks.  
I talked to 3 Crappie anglers yesterday and they all said they were only getting a few fish by vertically fishing small jigs and minnows over brush piles in 15-20 ft of water on the main lakes.  They all said the bite has slowed considerably since the shad kill began.  

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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.

In Flight
Photo by John Mitchell

Gliding gracefully over the water, this heron keeps a stealthy eye out for his next meal. Herons are one of the more common species of birds that can be seen at Kentucky Lake.