Explore Kentucky Lake

Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley Fishing
Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Contact Us About Us
Switch Mobile/Desktop

Archived Fishing Report

Cool Spell Could Help Fishing

Written by Steve McCadams | Originally published 08/08/2012

It appears the weatherman will send a touch of fall this way as rainy days are expected to precede a cool front as the weekend approaches. Cooler conditions are expected for a few days with below average temperatures that should work in favor of fishermen on Kentucky Lake.
Highs are forecasted to be in low 80’s this weekend with nights cooling off into the mid 60’s, a welcomed change from the hot and humid conditions that have lingered earlier in the week.
Lake levels have been a bit unusual too as elevation has risen a few days with more runoff entering the Tennessee River watershed from thunderstorms upstream. Projected elevation for the weekend will be 358.4 at Kentucky Dam. Upstream at New Johnsonville lake levels will be in the 358.3 range.
Surface temperature has been in the 86 to 89 degree range this week but may cool some this weekend. Water color has been clear. Some current has been present this week as TVA continues to push water through Pickwick and Kentucky Dams.
Summer bass patterns have held up well despite a rash of hot weather that has hung around for about two weeks. Some nice stringers have been taken by anglers working main lake ledges and the presence of current lately has improved the ledge bite.
Popular presentations have ranged from some drop-shot presentations on the deep sides of ledges to activity up on the top sides of sandbars where both crankbaits and jig and craw combos have worked. Big Texas rigged worms have been consistent producers as well with such colors as blue fleck, pumpkin pepper, red shad, and black/blue pearl just to name a few.
Some bass have been running shad up on the top sides of sandbars at times in depths of 7 to 10 feet only to fall back on the deeper sides of ledges and hang out until a feeding spree occurs and the fish push some shad toward the shallow zones.
In addition to the popular drop-off summer pattern has been the continuation of fish taken around milfoil grassbeds. The abundance of aquatic vegetation is harboring a lot of baitfish and bass have been relating to the grass pattern all summer.
Tossing spinnerbaits and Texas rigged worms have works well but a few mornings and late afternoons have seen some surface activity take place on buzzbaits, floating fluke style jerk baits and assorted chuggers such as Rebel’s Pop-R and Storm’s Chugg-Bug.
Grass is present around island rims and extending out on points where some good submerged cover is present, especially if the grass fragments are near ditches or deep water.
Night fishing has been attracting a few boats in an attempt to beat the heat lately. Tossing spinnerbaits along gravel banks has produced a few fish too.
Crappie action has been fair with a few fish coming from 10 to 13 foot zones. Fish were scattered but relating to structure in the depth range and showing a preference for jigs tipped with minnows and live minnows themselves fished in a vertical presentation.
While a few fish were coming from deep sides of ledges in 18 to 24 feet activity was somewhat slow in the deeper areas when compared to the structure in midrange depths.
An occasional boat was seen trolling deep diving crankbaits along the edges of drop-offs and picking up a mixture of crappie, sauger, bass and catfish at times.
Although August is normally a popular time to see some surface activity from schooling white bass no sightings are coming in.
Some boats are night fishing and working minnows beneath floating lights where a few crappie have been taken.   No doubt the approaching cool spell will bring a welcomed change to the fishing scene.

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.

Honker Bay
Photo by John Mahler

Honker Bay, located near The Nature Station, is a great place to hike or simply stop to observe a beautiful sunset.