Explore Kentucky Lake

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

Archived Fishing Report

Anglers Say Goodbye to Stubborn Spring; Summer Scene Off to Good Start

Written by Steve McCadams | Originally published 06/19/2014

Catfish have been on the prowl thanks to increased current in the Tennessee River channel. Bigger bass have backed off the banks. Hefty stringers of June crappie have been taken this week and action should hold up well for a few more weeks. Even some late bedding bluegill were taken and mayflies continue to hatch.
Kentucky Lake’s summer fishing scene is holding up well despite some warm days this week as spring loses its grip to summer. For me it was a stubborn spring and I was glad to see March and April in the rearview mirror. May was nice and June has been great fishing thus far.
I’ve been on the lake almost every day the last few weeks and some light winds teamed up with cloud cover to deliver pretty nice fishing conditions most days.
Lake levels are down about a foot from last week at this time as TVA pushed a lot of water through the system this week. The reservoir is back down to normal summer pool and will be stable the next few days.  Projections for the weekend will be 359.1 at Kentucky Dam with slightly lower elevation upstream at New Johnsonville where the elevation will be 358.9.
Surface temperatures are in the 80 to 83 degree range. Water color is clear in the main lake area of Big Sandy with a slight stain present in the Tennessee River channel.
Thanks to steady current that stimulates baitfish activity, catfishermen in the Paris Landing area boated some nice stringers this week. A lot of dandy catches were taken beneath the Paris Landing bridge area and north of the bridge as the fish were really holding on the down-current sides of piers and on the edge of the channel itself.
Baits of choice have been nightcrawlers, cut shad or skipjack, chicken or turkey livers, leeches and some big minnows.
Bass action continues to hold up well with the bigger stringers coming from main lake ledges where anglers are tossing those big deep diving crankbaits, along with Carolina and Texas rigged worms, jig and craw combos, swim baits, and spoons.
Not all the bass are deep as some weedbeds and island rims have been holding fish too. Anglers working surface baits in the early morning and late afternoon are still catching fish in shallow cover. Also paying dividends have been spinnerbaits and Texas rigged worms worked over shallow grass or around treelaps where baitfish are holding.
Summer crappie continue to bite well. Nice stringers were taken again this week from stakebeds and brushpiles in the 12 to 15 foot depth range.
Jigs tipped with live minnows are working well. Also tipping jigs with Berkley Power Bait in the chartreuse or white colors have stimulated strikes. 
I’ve had some nice catches this week as the fish are in their typical early summer pattern and relating well to structure. The crappie have been consistent, staying in the same depth range for several weeks and sporting an appetite.
Mayfly hatches continued this week and will reoccur throughout the summer. You can find a lot of bluegill and bass around the shallow bushes and overhanging trees where steep banks with deeper water close by are quite appealing.
The weatherman may paint a picture of hot and humid conditions at times but he isn’t a fisherman! So, don’t let him keep you off the lake as it’s been quite nice out there lately!

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 Angela Smith

Kentucky sunrises can dirty dance with the best of them. Experience yours at Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley.