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 01/02/2002

Kentucky Lake:  Headwater Elevation - 354.39    Surface Temperature - 44

Lake Barkley:  Headwater Elevation - 354.34   Surface Temperature - 45

As expected the subfreezing cold we have been having the past couple of weeks has caused the water temperatures to nosedive into the mid 40's.  There is very little reportable fishing activity on the lakes as daytime temperatures here are not getting above the freezing level.  

The lakes have returned to winter pool and as expected this has improved the Crappie bite which at this time is the only notable reports I am receiving.  Most of the reports seem to have the best crappie bite in the creeks on Kentucky Lake and North Barkley Lake and around the river islands on South Barkley Lake.  

Although most of the reports have the Crappie being caught in 12 - 16ft of water on small jigs and minnows, I am receiving some reports of Crappie being very shallow near brush on minnows.  This is typical of winter crappie here as on sunny days there are times you can find schools of hungry crappie moving shallow following baitfish that are seeking warmer water.  

The predominate color jig that is being reported is red/chartruese curly tail jigs.  I have received no significant reports on any other species this week.  Hopefully the air temperatures will rise above the freezing level soon and more people will try their luck at the winter time fishing and I will have more information for you.  

I myself have not been out as I have been busy with the holidays and also I do not care to fish when the air temperatures are less than freezing.  The Sauger should be moving into the canal now and I plan on checking them out very soon.  

Every year as the water temperatures drop like they did this past week or so these tasty fish will stack up in the canal area and some great catches from there during this period.  I have not received any reports on the Largemouth or Smallmouth Bass but I would expect the bite has slowed considerably from the great bite we were having before this cold snap.  

I would suggest that if you are going to try for bass that you target Smallmouth Bass on the main lake points and use small hair jigs or tubes.  I have in the past experienced many great days of Smallmouth fishing on Kentucky Lake on the LBL shoreline main points using these baits fished on light line.  

You can bet as soon as the air temperatures move above freezing that I will be out there giving them a try. 

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.

Fall at Kentucky Lake
Photo by Shane Dunnaway

A beautiful palette of colors can be experienced at Kentucky Lake during autumn. It's a site to see!