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Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley Fishing
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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 05/08/2003

Kentucky Lake:  Water level at the dam:  361.14   Surface Temperature:  68

Lake Barkley:  Water level at the dam:  361.40  Surface Temperature:  68
This weather this past week has seen some beautiful days and some days of very severe weather conditions.  A stationary front northwest of the lakes area was spawning severe thunderstorms nearly every day.  We have experienced high winds,  heavy rains, large hail, and some tornadoes to boot over the past week as well as having some periods of just beautiful weather in between the storms.  This past week on the lake gives a good reminder that during the storm season here you need to keep one eye on the fish and one eye on the sky for quickly changing weather conditions.  

The lakes are both a little over 2 ft above summer pool as a result of the heavy rains and both dams have most of the gates open spilling water.  There is a good bit of debris in the lakes from the rising waters and heavy currents so be careful, especially in the river channels.  
The Largemouth Bass fishing has been excellent over the past week with late prespawn, spawn, and some post spawn patterns all being reported.  The late prespawn fish are taking Texas rigged creature baits, tubes, and lizards, buzzbaits, chug baits, floating worms, sinking worms, and spinnerbaits fished in the flooded cover in front of the buck brush as well as some late prespawn fish being taken on the back secondary points in the bays using Carolina rigged lizards, creature baits and also medium running crankbaits.  The spawning fish are taking Florida rigged tubes, lizards, jignpig, and sinking worms fished on the beds.  There are some post spawn fish showing up on the secondary points, humps, and roadbeds.  These fish are being taken on Carolina and Texas rigged worms, lizards, tubes and crankbaits.  
The Smallmouth Bass are active on main lake primary and secondary chunk rock points as well as chunk rock secondary points in the bays.  These fish are taking crankbaits and tubes both fished on jig heads and by Texas rigging.  
Some of the productive lures this week are:  Snoozer tubes in road kill cammo, watermelon burst, and green pumpkin, Zoom baby brush hogs in junebug, watermelon/red, and green pumpkin, Zoom and Hook Some Bass lizards in pumpkin/chartruese, green pumpkin, and watermelon/red, Zoom trick worm in orange, watermelon/red, and chartruese, Hook Some Bass Deadstick worm in pumpkin, smoke/red, and green pumpkin, Xwire and Hook Some Bass spinnerbaits in blue glimmer and white/chartruese, Bandit crankbaits in rootbeer/chartruese, and Lee Sisson Lures' Slim Willie D in purple sun.  
The Crappie are slow and no improvement should be expected with the lake levels fluctuating.  Some fish are being taken around shallow flooded cover but these fish are mostly smaller males.
The Channel Catfish are being taken near rocky shorelines and in the bays near rocky areas on nightcrawlers and cut baits fished on bottom rigs.
The Bluegill and Shellcrackers are very active and are being taken in the bays in coves with flooded vegatation.  Most of the bedding areas are now in 6-8 ft of water due to the flooding.  These fish are taking wax worms and pinched nightcrawlers fished on bottom and under floats.

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.

Fallow Deer
Photo by Murray Blake

There are only a few small herds of fallow deer in Land Between The Lakes, but occasionally a lucky explorer will catch a glimpse of one.