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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 07/31/2003

Kentucky Lake:  Water level at Ky Dam - 358.07   Surface Temperature - 85

Lake Barkley:  Water level at Barkley Dam - 358.15  Surface Temperature - 85
 
The lakes have remained level at about one foot below summer pool during the past week.  Water level projections for this weekend would indicate that the water levels will be stepped down slowly again over the next few days or so.  I would expect a possible drop of another foot over the next week as the lakes are slowly being stepped down to winter pool.  
 
The Largemouth Bass are being taken both shallow near the backs of the bays near wood cover and on creek channel ledges, main river ledges, humps on the main lake and near the mouths of the bays, and on deep main lake points.  The shallow fish are being taken by fishing top water early and late in the day as well as by fishing spinnerbaits, shallow running crankbaits, and Texas rigged soft plastics near wood cover.  These fish are targeting small schools of fry that have yet to move out into deeper water.  

The main pattern is the deeper pattern mentioned fishing ledges, humps, and deep points.  These fish are being taken on Carolina rigged soft plastics, deep running crankbaits, large Texas rigged worms, and jignpig.  The deeper fish are more active late in the morning and during the afternoon when current is being generated.  
 
The Smallmouth Bass are being taken on rocky deep main lake points and the first few rocky secondary points in the bays as well as on the same ledges and humps as the Largemouth.  These fish are being caught on the same lures and techniques used to catch the deep Largemouth.  The Smallmouth Bass are also being taken at night on the east side of Kentucky Lake at night on main lake primary and secondary rocky points.  These fish are being taken on dark spinner baits, jignpig, and Carolina rigged dark tubes.  
 
Some of the productive lures reported as productive this week are:  Rebel Pop R in black/chrome, Lucky Craft Sammy in american shad, Hook Some Bass spinnerbaits in blue glimmer, Zoom Monster worms in red shad and junebug, Hook Some Bass brush hounds in watermelon/red, Bandit crankbaits in rootbeer/chartruese and blue/chartruese, Rapala DT 16 in black/chrome and bluegill, Norman DD14 and DD22 in white, Hook Some Bass jigs in black/blue and pumpkin, and Snoozer tubes in watermelon burst, road kill cammo, and smoke purple.  
 
The White Bass are active on the main lake river ledges.  Although some jumps are being reported they are of short duration.  Most of the catches are being taken by vertically jigging spoons or small inline spinners along the ledges.  Some fish are being taken by trolling the spoons and inline spinners behind deep running crankbaits along the ledges.  
 
The Bluegill are being taken around docks with wood cover and also along deep rocky creek channel banks in the bays.  These fish are being taken by fishing crickets and worms under bobbers.  The fish along the creek channel banks are being taken in the 6 - 10 ft zone near the first dropoffs along the bank.  
 
Catfish are being taken at night near the main river channel ledges and near the U.S.  68 bridge riprap on Kentucky Lake by fishing bottom rigs with leeches, nightcrawlers, and cut baits. 

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.


Paddleboarding
Photo by Cliff Grizzard

Karson takes advantage of the last few minutes of daylight by paddleboarding on Kentucky Lake.