Lodging Fishing Attractions Towns & Bays Dining Events Real Estate Maps Lake Conditions

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

Archived Fishing Report

Cool Weather Coming For Anglers

Written by Steve McCadams | Originally published 09/06/2012

Kentucky Lakes fishing scene this week had a mixture of hot and humid conditions with some thunderstorms thrown in there at midweek and while summer made its presence known, it may lose its grip this weekend as a cool snap is on the way.
    
Forecasts indicate fall conditions will enter the picture later this week, bringing a welcomed reprieve that could jumpstart autumn angling. Temperatures are expected to fall into the upper 50s at night and climb only into the upper 70s during the day once the weekend arrives.
    
The cool conditions should stimulate bass and crappie action and it will be welcomed by catfishermen too. Seems the first cool spell of fall perks up sluggish fish that take on a more active mood as they too feel the cooler conditions and increase feeding sprees.
    
Surface temperatures this week reflected the hot weather and lingered around the 82 to 84 degree range but will likely fall several degrees by early next week once cool nights enter the picture.
    
Water levels had been falling slowly since last week but actually rose a few inches at midweek, a likely response to some heavy thunderstorms across the Tennessee River watershed. Projected elevation for the weekend will be 356.4 at Kentucky Dam. Upstream at New Johnsonville projections are for 356.3.
    
Water color remains clear across the reservoir.
    
Watch for crappie to improve next week as more shad migrate toward shallow regions in response to cooler surface temps. Once those big schools of threadfish shad start schooling at the surface and meander toward shallow water while feeding on zooplankton the crappie will be hot on their trail.
    
That means more fish will move into midrange depth zones of 9 to 13 feet or less, especially if cloudy days enter the picture. The last week or so there have been several small fish hanging out in those midrange structures but bigger fish were hard to come by, a scenario that could change quickly next week.
    
Once surface temps fall back into the 70s anglers should see significant improvement as crappie will take on a more aggressive attitude with an increased appetite.
    
Baits of choice lately continue to favor jigs tipped with live minnows. Just live minnow rigs have worked well too.
    
Bass action has been good and anglers are finding those weedless frogs and rats working well over thick grass mats but at the same time deeper ledges and some flats with fragments of grass have worked well too.
    
Main lake ledges are still worth consideration and tossing big crankbaits, Texas rigged worms, and Carolina rigs have continued to produce.
    
As lake levels fall more aquatic grassbeds are exposing themselves so there is an abundance of hydrilla, spiny leaf, and milfoil present. Finding baitfish in the grass has been the key but the fish have used the thicker grass that provides a shady canopy with open pockets are close by.
    
Watch for some improvement in the topwater bite next week once cooler conditions arrive.
    
Catfishing on the main river channel has bit hit and miss this summer but on the days when current was flowing fish responded favorably. Bouncing bottom in the 25 to 35 foot depths where feeder creeks entered the main channel have been productive. Nightcrawlers and chicken livers have been popular bait choices as of late.
   
It appears a touch of fall is fast approaching and no one will complain if the season gets here a week or two early.    

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.


Racoons
Photo by Teresa Gemeinhardt

These two brothers are playing hide and seek with the photographer in this picture taken in Land Between The Lakes.