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 09/04/2003

Kentucky Lake:  Water level at Ky Dam - 356.76  Surface Temperature - 84

Lake Barkley:  Water level at Barkley Dam - 356.65  Surface Temperature - 84
We received heavy rains over the Labor Day weekend and through the first part of this week.  The cold front that was causing these heavy rains finally moved through the area yesterday.  The heavy rains raised the lake levels about 6 inches and the TVA is continuing to pull water to bring the lake levels down toward winter pool.  This means that you can expect current on both lakes at least through the weekend which should keep the ledge fishing good for White Bass, Largemouth, and Smallmouth Bass. The weather forecast for the weekend is clear skies and cooler temperatures.
The Largemouth Bass are still being taken on main lake river and creek channel ledges and humps as well as creek channel ledges and humps near the mouths of the bays.  These fish are being taken on Texas and Carolina rigged large worms, creature baits, and tubes as well as deep diving crankbaits and jignpig.  Some fish are being taken on the main lake flats on topwater lures, lipless crankbaits, and spinnerbaits as they are feeding on schools of baitfish.  

A good number of threadfin shad have moved into the bays although they are not yet balled up in schools for protection.  Some fish are being taken in the bays on secondary points and on the flats in the backs of the bays over submerged grass as they feed on these shad.  These fish are being taken on topwater lures, Texas rigged tubes, lipless crankbaits, and spinnerbaits.  
The Smallmouth Bass are being taken on main lake river ledges and humps and on rocky main lake primary and secondary points as well as rocky secondary points near the mouths of the bays.  These fish are being taken on Texas and Carolina rigged tubes, jignpig, and deep diving crankbaits with some few reports of fish being taken on topwater early and late in the day.  

I am still receiving reports of some good catches of Smallmouth being taken at night on the LBL side of Kentucky Lake on rocky main lake points and rocky secondary points near the mouths of the bays.  These fish are being taken on dark colored spinnerbaits, jignpig, and Carolina rigged dark tubes.
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Lucky Craft Sammy in chartruese, Rapala DT 16 in bluegill and black/silver, Lee Sisson Slim Willie D crankbait in grey ghost,  Hook Some Bass spinnerbaits in blue/glimmer, Zoom Monster worms in plum, Hook Some Bass baby brush hounds in watermelon/red, and watermelon/purple, Hook Some Bass jigs in green pumpkin, Hook Some Bass tubes in amber/red and green pumpkin, and Snoozer tubes in road kill cammo and watermelon burst.  
The White Bass have been active this week with a number of jumps reported.  These fish are being taken in the jumps by casting inline spinners, small spoons, and small crankbaits into the feeding schools.  These fish are also being taken by trolling deep running crankbaits near the mouths of bays and along the river channel ledges with a small spoon or inline spinner attached to the rear of the crankbait by a leader.  
I have not received any reports on the catfish this week, probably because of a lack of angler activity due to the heavy rains but I would suggest that if you are going to try them this weekend that you concentrate on the main river ledges in 20-30 ft of water and try bottom bouncing rigs baited with threadfin shad.  
The Bluegill are active on deep secondary points in the bays in the 10-15 ft range by fishing worms and crickets under bobbers.  The Bluegill are also active around docks at night under lights fishing the same 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.

Take A Kid Fishing
Photo by Shawn Dunnaway

These boys had a blast bank fishing on Kentucky Lake. Take your kids on a fishing trip to Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley!