Explore Kentucky Lake

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

Archived Fishing Report

Cool Windy Days Slow Anglers

Written by Steve McCadams | Originally published 02/20/2013

Moderate weather is in the forecast and anglers hope the return to warmer conditions with less wind will help the fishing scene on Kentucky Lake that has been the victim of cold, windy days lately.
Most anglers got blown off the lake last weekend in the high winds despite some warm temperatures entering the picture but there were just too many whitecaps to overcome. Bass and crappie anglers have had a pretty tough week overall but that could improve as the weekend approaches.
The weatherman indicates normal conditions are in the forecast and anglers will be out in force as February fades away. 
Surface temperatures this week continued to hang around the 45 to 48 degree range. That could modify some by the weekend if pleasant weather arrives. Water color has been good across most of the reservoir.
Lake levels have been falling slowly since last week but should stabilize soon as TVA is getting the reservoir back down near its winter pool elevation. Projections for the weekend will see readings of 354.5 at Kentucky Dam. Upstream at New Johnsonville lake levels are forecast to be in the 355.2 range.
For the last few weeks lake levels have been falling and creating a lot of current in the main river channel. At times lake stages have varied more than two feet between Kentucky Dam and New Johnsonville as a lot of water pushed through the system but it appears things will level out as the weekend approaches and less water passes through.
Crappie anglers will be back out on the main lake ledges this weekend and next week when winds allow as most of the catches in the Paris Landing sector are coming from deep drop-offs. Depths of 16 to 22 feet have been producing fish with a lot of activity in the 18 foot depth range.
The deep venues are popular this time of year as the bulk of baitfish schools ride out the cold snaps in deeper depths that are less vulnerable to quick temperatures changes. The main forage base of threadfin shad will occupy deep water until surface temps climb back into the mid 50’s.
A few anglers were reporting some success from West Sandy lately where deeper brushpiles and stakebeds were holding fish in 12 to 15 foot depths. Once warm weather returns look for fish to move up toward shallow areas and perhaps suspend out over deep water.
Bass anglers have been tossing some lipless crankbaits over shallow mud flats where some submerged grass mats were holding a few fish. Contrasting the shallow flats pattern has been some main lake ledges where jig and pig combos, Alabama rigs, deep diving crankbaits and some Carolina rigged craws have produced.
The gravel banks should start producing more fish by early next week if warm weather arrives and some fish move up. Crawfish colored crankbaits will be popular in the weeks ahead when worked slowly around rocky points and gravel banks with wind blowing in. Slow rolling big spinnerbaits will be worthy of consideration in the days ahead too.
Watch for the overall fishing scene to improve once surface temps climb back out of the 40’s and cross the 50-degree threshold. March is fast approaching and while winter weather will continue to plague anglers from time to time, warmer weather will slowly creep back into 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.

Winter Wonderland
Photo by Jennifer Dunnaway

If the road conditions permit, a drive through a snow-covered Land Between The Lakes is a must! This winter wonderland is every photographers dream come true.