Explore Kentucky Lake

Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley Fishing
Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Contact Us About Us
Switch Mobile/Desktop

Doug Wynn's Fishing Report

Home | Fishing | Reports | Doug Wynn

Doug Wynn

Capt. Doug Wynn
(270) 703-7600
Website - Email

Doug Wynn's Fishing Report

For February 6, 2019

Report for Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley

Hey Y'all from the Excel Bay Pro 203.

I'm still on the mend from my back and knee surgeries and the only time I've been in my boat is trying to clean it up for the West KY Boat and Outdoor Show recently in Murray.

We had a great attendance at our booth and for the two seminars I did, both Saturday and Sunday. Thanks so much for the kind words, handshakes, and encouragement I received. The seminars were very full Saturday but not so much Sunday after the snow and ice overnight.

I still had a great time and it was so good to have folks walk up and introduce themselves as readers of my reports and viewers of the Fishing Tip of The Week videos. We will be filming more videos soon. If you have ideas for videos please get in touch with me.


It seems to be what day you are talking about as to how good the fishing was. One day it is dead then good the next day. One huge aspect that has been a factor all winter is the amount of current that is being pulled through  the dam. Numbers as high as 200,000 cubic feet per second aren't typically conducive to good fishing.

What is different in our situation is we have seen this kind of discharge for most of the late fall and winter. I'm not going to say the fish are comfortable with that much current but if it lasts for extended periods of time, the fish still have to eat sometime.

The reports I'm getting are from all the way from Big Sandy to Kentucky Dam. Historically, the areas south of the Tennessee line will see good fishing start up 2-3 weeks ahead of those toward the dam. Same goes for Barkley. With all the water levels up and down almost weekly and high current in bad weather, there are still some brave souls out there. Last Sunday was notable since we had our first 70 degree day of the year. The ramps from Ken Lake to Sledd Creek were active with crappie chasers with itchy rod trigger fingers.

The preferred methods are vertical jigging in brush and stake beds or slow trolling, better known in these parts as spider rigging. Plastics tipped with minnows or plain but using a scent lure like Slab Sauce have been working best, as have plain double minnow rigs. A few reports of folks longlining jigs at 0.5-0.8 mph have seen some really good quality fish.

Let me say this here and now, Adam Martin and his crew at the KY Fish and Wildlife Fisheries Division do wonderful work.  But what I was seeing last year in early spring was crappie that were VERY skinny with almost none of them having any baitfish in their stomachs when I cleaned them.

In my opinion, the fish were in really poor condition but the biology sampling didn't necessarily always show the same things. About late May we started seeing schools of shad and other baitfish unlike we had seen in a couple of years. That scenario was the same as summer gave way to fall and my boat was garaged in mid-October.

The pictures I'm seeing of recently caught crappie show fat, healthy fish like those of a few years back. That gives me optimism going forward. I won't get into the Asian carp but our lakes are not dead! Long ways from it!

Winter brings cold water temperatures and that brings hypothermia if you should be so unlucky as to take a dunking. Having a partner in the boat, dry clothes, and a warm truck at the ramp might be all that stand between you and peril. It goes without saying but I will anyway, a PFD will save your butt only if it is on you and fastened properly.

With water levels going up and down, the threat of floating gremlins is ever present. Low water levels bring them out too.

Be careful out there!

I talked to some folks about selling my Bay Pro since a new one is being built right now. I had a couple of gentlemen tell me to contact them when I am going to be ready to sell. In the mass confusion of breaking down the show and the days after trying to get back in routine, I have separated myself from that contact info. Please get with me either by e-mail or phone at the number on my web page.

Welcome to our soggy slice of Heaven. 

Capt. Doug Wynn
Crappie Gills n' More
5 Rivers Taxidermy
157 Chase Loop
Benton, KY 42025
(270) 703-7600
Excel Boats Pro Staff


Photo by John Mahler

If you've never visited The Land Between The Lakes in the fall, you are missing a real treat. Whether you are hiking, fishing, boating or just sight-seeing, fall is one of the most beautiful times to visit the lakes.