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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 09/18/2003

Kentucky Lake:  Water level at Ky Dam - 355.20   Surface Temperature:  80

Lake Barkley:  Water level at Barkley Dam - 355.30  Surface Temperature:  79
Early fall weather patterns continue in the lakes area with cool nights and warm days.  Water levels continue to fall slowly and the lakes are just slightly one foot over winter pool.  Navigating the lakes with the lower water levels can be hazardous to your boat unless you are inside the navigation bouys or know the water well.  Take care and if you are not sure of the water depth outside the navigation lanes you should take extreme caution.  
The Largemouth Bass are in transition to fall patterns on both lakes.  There are still fish being taken on the main lake river channel and creek channel ledges and humps.  These fish are being taken with deep running crankbaits, Texas rigged large worms, Carolina rigged creature baits and tubes, and jignpig.  

Some Largemouth have moved into the bays and are feeding on schools of shad.  This is especially true south of the U.S. 68 bridges on Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley.  North Barkley seems to be somewhat ahead of north Kentucky Lake for the bay patterns but north Kentucky should catch up soon.  I noted the first large shad schools balling up for protection on north Kentucky within the past few days.  The Largemouth in the bays can be found on primary and secondary points and also on the flats.  These fish are being taken on topwater lures, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, soft jerkbaits, and Texas rigged tubes.  
The Smallmouth Bass are being taken on the main lake river ledges and humps as well as on the primary and first secondary rocky points in the bays.  These fish are being taken with some topwater lures early and late, crankbaits, jignpig, Carolina and Texas rigged tubes.  
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Lucky Craft Sammy in chartruese and american shad,  Lucky Craft G splash in chartruese, Rebel Pop R in black/chrome, Norman deep little n crankbaits in rootbeer, Bandit crankbaits in rootbeer, Lee Sisson Slim Willie D crankbaits in grey ghost and purple sun, Bill Lewis Rattletraps in blue/chrome, Hook Some Bass spinnerbaits in blue glimmer and blue glimmer/chartruese,  Zoom monster worms in plum, Hook Some Bass baby brush hounds in watermelon/red, Hook Some Bass jigs in green pumpkin, Hook Some Bass tubes in amber/red, and Snoozer tubes in road kill cammo and watermelon burst.
The White Bass are being taken on main lake river ledges and off main lake points by vertically jigging small spoons and inline spinners.  A few jumps have been reported but these have been of short duration.  
The Crappie are being taken by vertically fishing in 12-15 ft of water over brush and wood cover on main lake creek channels and near the mouths of the bays.  These fish are being taken on small minnows and minnow/jig combinations.
The Bluegill are active around docks with wood cover and also on main lake rocky points.  These fish are being taken around docks on worms fished under bobbers and on the points by fishing worms on split shot rigs.  
I have not received any reports on the Catfish this week but some of my bass fishing clients have caught some good channel catfish on crankbaits and tubes near wood cover in the bays.  These fish are obviously feeding on the schools of shad in the bays and one should be able to take these fish on bottom rigs with night crawlers.

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.

Colorful Bridge
Photo by Shane Dunnaway

In the back of Hematite Lake in LBL are a series of boardwalks and bridges. In autumn, spectacular colors of foliage are scattered throughout, as seen here on this "colorful" bridge.