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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 07/10/2003

Kentucky Lake:  Water level at Ky Dam - 358.4   Surface Temperature - 85

Lake Barkley:  Water level at Barkley Dam - 358.3  Surface Temperature - 85
The lakes have been dropped over a foot since last week.  It appears that the slow draw down to winter pool has started.  This drawdown normally takes place over 6 to 8 weeks.  
The Largemouth Bass are primarily being taken on the humps, creek ledges, and main river ledges although there are some good numbers of fish still being caught shallow in the bays near grass and wood cover especially early and late in the day.  The deeper fish are being taken with Carolina and Texas rigged worms, lizards, creature baits, and tubes as well as deep crankbaits and jignpig.  The shallow fish are being taken by fishing topwater lures early and late, Texas rigged worms, lizards, creature baits, and tubes as well as shallow and medium running crankbaits and jignpig.  Some shallow fish are also being taken on soft jerkbaits.  
The Smallmouth Bass are being taken primarily on Kentucky Lake by fishing the main lake humps and ledges during the day with deep running crankbaits, Carolina rigged lizards and tubes, and jignpig but there are also some Smallmouth being taken early and late in the day in the bays on topwater lures, Texas rigged tubes, and medium running crankbaits fished near grass and on chunk rock secondary points.  The Smallmouth are also being taken at night on the main lake primary points and the first secondary points in the bays by fishing dark colored spinnerbaits, Carolina and Texas rigged tubes, and jignpig.  
Some of the productive bass lures reported this week are:  Zara Spook in natural shad and white, Lucky Craft Sammy in american shad, Storm chug baits in white, Yozuri chug baits in chartruese, Berkley 10" power worms in red shad and junebug,  Zoom brush hogs in watermelon/red, Hook Some Bass brush hounds in green pumpkin, Rapala DT 16 in black/chrome and bluegill, Norman DD14 and DD22 in blue/chartruese, white, and Tennessee Shad, Hook Some Bass jigs in black/blue and black/brown, and Snoozer's tubes in road kill cammo and smoke/purple.
The White Bass are active along the main river ledges and at the mouths of the bays.  I have not observed but one or two jumps this week and they are still of very short duration.  These fish are best caught by vertically jigging small spoons and in line spinners near the ledges and creek channel mouths or by trolling small spoons or in line spinners behind medium and deep diving crankbaits.  
The Catfish are being taken along the main lake ledges, especially near the mouths of the creek channels by bottom fishing with leeches, nightcrawlers, and cut baits.  These fish are being taken at the 20 - 25 ft levels.  
The Bluegill are active around docks at night and along rocky creek channel banks in the bays.  These fish are being taken by fishing crickets and worms under bobbers.  The fish that are on the creek channel banks are being taken at the 6-10 ft depths.  
The heat indexes this time of year can soar during the day so make sure you take plenty of drinking water out on the lakes with you.  

More Kentucky Lake Fishing Reports

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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.

Fishing at Sunset
Photo by Sherry Bailey

So many childhood memories have been made on the banks of Kentucky and Barkley Lakes. These boys are determined to fish until the sun goes down.