Explore Kentucky Lake

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

Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 04/10/2003

Kentucky Lake:  Water level at Ky Dam:  358.05  Surface Temperature:  58

Lake Barkley:  Water level at Barkley Dam:  358.20  Surface Temperature:  59
It has been cool, windy and wet for the most part over the last week here in the lakes area.  Although this has made fishing somewhat uncomfortable, the fishing has remained relatively good considering all the cold fronts that have transverse the area this past week.  

The lakes have risen over the past week to just one foot under summer pool and they are still rising.  This rise in the water levels and the forecasted warm weather over the upcoming weekend and into next week should make for some really great fishing.  
The Largemouth Bass are in the bays and on prespawn feeding patterns.  Although numbers of big fish are still scarce there are plenty of Largemouth being caught with an occasional big fish being reported.  These fish are being caught on secondary creek channel points and banks on crankbaits, texas rigged and Carolina rigged lizards and tubes, spinnerbaits, and jignpig.  Largemouth are also being taken in good numbers by fishing the flats and shallow cuts in the bays with lipless crankbaits and spinnerbaits.  

With the rapid rise in water we are experiencing and the warm temperatures in the forecast the Largemouth bite should only get better.  Expect many of the fish to start moving into the vegatation such as the yellow flower beds found in the backs of coves and bays as well as the buck brush.  Flipping plastics such as lizards, tubes, and trick worms, jignpig as well as working spinnerbaits and topwater baits near these areas should be the next pattern I would expect to develop very soon.  
The Smallmouth fishing is still being reported as sporadic with some fish being taken on jerkbaits, crankbaits, tubes, and lizards fished on main lake points and secondary points in the bays.  Hopefully we will see a better bite on these great fighters over the next week as fishing conditions improve.  
Some of the lures reported as productive this past week are:  Xwire spinnerbaits in blue glimmer, Hook Some Bass spinnerbaits in blue glimmer, War Eagle spinnerbaits in white and white/chartruese, Rattletraps in blue/chrome, Bandit crankbaits in rootbeer/chartruese, Rapala Shadraps in original crawdad and black/silver, Snoozer tubes in road kill cammo, Zoom and Hook Some Bass lizards in green pumpkin, watermelon, and plum, Hook Some Bass jigs in black/blue, and Smithwick Rogues in clown and black/gold. (Note:  the Hook Some Bass lures mentioned are made by a new lure company and I have been field testing some of their lures this week and as you can see some of them have produced well.  I will be doing a product review on some of their products with contact information in next week's report)
The Crappie fishing has been good even with the bad weather over the past few days.  From the reports I am receiving, Kentucky Lake is having a more consistent bite than Lake Barkley but some good reports from Barkley have been received also.  The Crappie are being taken from brush piles in 6-10 ft of water as well as near brush and other wood cover in 3-6 ft of water.  Good catches are being reported  by fishing for these fish vertically with minnows and small tube jigs and by casting tube jigs and curly tail jigs near the wood cover.  The warm weather and rising water should put more of these fish near the banks this next week and if you can get away to go Crappie fishing, this would be the time to do it.  
The Bluegill are being taken near brush piles in 6-10 ft of water as well as around docks with wood cover by fishing wax worms and red worms under bobbers.  

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.

Cedar Waxwing
Photo by Teresa Gemeinhardt

The Cedar Waxwing is a beautiful bird that is common to The Land Between The Lakes region. You're likely to find them near fruiting trees and shrubs.