Explore Kentucky Lake

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

Archived Fishing Report

Summer Temps Treat Anglers Pretty Good; Bass/Crappie Action Holds Up

Written by Steve McCadams | Originally published 08/07/2013

Kentucky Lake’s summer fishing scene continues to hold up well and has been the beneficiary of some pretty nice weather. In fact, the last few weeks have seen several days with cloud cover, light winds and morning temps somewhat below average.
Late July and early August is known for hot and humid weather but it hasn’t been too bad as of late. Some fog entered the picture at times too and kept the sun at bay while anglers enjoyed some early morning fishing.
Lake levels have been stable the last few days with readings of 357.6 at both Kentucky Dam and upstream at New Johnsonville Steam Plant. There has been a slight amount of current flowing in the main river channel and it’s just about right for catfish and bass fishermen.
Surface temperatures this week have remained in the 82 to 85 degree range. Water color has been clear across most of the reservoir.
Summer crappie fishing has been decent this week as those cloudy days have helped keep a few fish biting in the 12 to 15 foot range. Deeper stakebeds and brushpiles are still holding on to a few scattered fish. Jigs tipped with minnows have continued to produce in the midrange cover.
At midmorning I’ve been backing out to the deeper ledges and finding some pretty good fish as it seemed the shallow or midrange bite slowed as the sun rose higher. 
The deeper ledges have produced the most fish as structure located on the edge of the drop-off and on the deep side in depths of 17 to 24 feet have been holding the most crappie. I fished the deeper zones using double hook bottom bumping rigs baited with minnows.
A few scattered boats are slow trolling Bandit crankbaits along the main lake ledges and finding some scattered crappie using this technique. A catfish, bass, white bass and an occasional sauger are showing up at times as well for the trollers.
Bass fishermen have altered their patterns between ledge fishing and working some submerged milfoil grassbeds where schools of pin minnows are holding. There are some grassbeds showing up further south on the reservoir down around New Johnsonville and along some river islands and flats south of Paris Landing.
Good schools of baitfish are holding around boat docks, piers, treelaps and wherever grass is showing up. The pin minnows are attracting bass too and tossing spinnerbaits, Texas rigged worms, and some assorted topwater jerk baits and buzzbaits has produced at times, especially in the early morning and late afternoon periods of low light.
The ledge bite continues to hold up and the current has been about right lately for bass fishermen working those sandbars adjacent to the main river channel. Tossing a Carolina rig with a worm, lizard, or crawfish imitation has been a popular producer as have been big Texas rigged worms in the 10-inch length range. Hopping a jig and craw combo is always a popular summer bait too.
Having a big crankbait tied on is part of the summer arsenal as well. The big deep divers have worked well all summer and will likely continue to produce for several more weeks. Strike King, Rapala, Bandit, and Bill Norman are a few of the more popular crankbaits that offer a series that dives down to the 10 to 14 foot depths when fished on light line.
Catfish action has improved lately with some decent stringers coming from beneath the New McWherter Bridge here at Paris Landing. Other boats are working the edge of the main river channel this week where feeder creeks empty into the main channel and focusing on the 30 to 35 foot depth range.
Nightcrawlers have been the bait of choice, along with a few chicken livers and various commercial stink bait concoctions. The slow and gradual current lately has worked in favor of catfishermen as well.
Mayfly hatches have attracted a few bluegill to some shallow areas where overhanging trees are providing a canopy of shade as the flies fall to the surface. Casting ultra-light with small Rooster Tails or bobbers and crickets has produced pretty good.
Anytime you get below average temperatures mixed with cloudy days it teams up for pretty good fishing conditions this time of year!

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.

Photo by Melodie Cunningham

This pileated woodpecker is one of the more common woodpecker species in North America. It is also one of the largest forest birds in the region.