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Thread: KY Lake

  1. #1
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    Default KY Lake

    I am headed down Friday for a weekend trip. What should I expect? Usually I am either much earlier and catch crappie staging or I am much later targeting gills. I am hoping for a mixed bag of crappie, gills, and bass. I am sure I will find a few crappie that haven't spawned out. Hoping I catch some redears and some early gills. Im already catching nice size gills at Trailwood Lake. Anyone have any thoughts?

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    Mid lake surface temps are still in mid 60s.


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  3. #3
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    Sunday on north Barkley I was seeing 65 in the middle of the bay I was in, 63 at the mouth, and 69 in the back. Tons of baitfish in the shallows but I couldn't connect with anything chasing them other than bass. With the 80 degree weather this week temps should warm up pretty quick. The 2 to 3 inches of rain on Wednesday and Thursday will be the wild card on how it changes things for this weekend.

    I think you might be a hair early for the redear and gills, but should be good on crappie and bass at a minimum. I have been seeing people sharing pictures of nice readear, there are apparently big ones slowly moving in but I have yet to hear of anyone reporting good numbers of redear caught just yet.

    What part of the lake are you planning to hit? I know the south end around the TN line can be around 4 degrees warmer than what can be found on the north end. 74 degrees and up is when I experience good redear fishing, if readear is what you're deadset on then I would be down around the TN line.

  4. #4
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    I will be in the Malcolm Creek area. I am actually staying there in one of their cabins. I know that area and Blood River area both pretty well. I saw rain is coming but didn't realize it was so much coming. Hopefully it will still be a good weekend.

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    I went out in my boat yesterday and caught a fair number of bluegill staging. Today, I went to one of my redear bank spots and caught three decent redear one after another. I was thinking it was about to get serious but then the bite died. That being said, I've been at this shellcracker game long enough to know it probably means they're coming in to spawn very soon. I'll go back to that spot tomorrow morning if it's not pouring down.
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  6. #6
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    I appreciate the input.

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    Rough is all I can say. I've talked to many people down here. Some guys fishing channels in 18 to 20 foot and seeing spawned out crappie. Very few keepers. I fished shallower and caught mainly males and hardly any keepers. Thought that was odd with all males. Friday about an hour before dark caught around 20 huge gills. Biggest in 10 years coming here for gills. Today we fished all day up till dark. A few crappie. Less than 10 gills. I know it is a little early for gills but not taking another chance after a pathetic weekend, canceling trip here in 2 weeks.

    Gonna head to Dale Hollow maybe. A lot closer and have big gills also.

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    Jigboy, I feel your pain. By no means am I trying to be a ""Debbie Downer", I have fished and lived on Lake Barkley since 1994. I love this lake and area, but I can tell you without a doubt, there is something going on and what ever it is, not good. The Lake Barkley Fishing has become worse and worse every year, (2016 forward). I live on these waters and observe everything (daily), not just in the water but land as well. At one time I could easily count 40 to 50 Geese in the backyard consistently this time of year. As of today and in 2021, I seen one pair of Geese in the backyard, no new born Geese what so ever. There is no Blue Gill activity around the dock what so ever. No bait fish, There are very few Egrets and other birds normally seen on the lake. You may not notice this if you come down on a weekend and fish once in a while. I look at this lake 24 hours a day, seven days a week and what I'm observing is not normal. I know people have a vested interest economical to pretend everything is normal in and around the lakes but it is far from normal. Either something has been introduced man made into the lake or the Asian Carp has significantly impacted the lake more then we are led to believe, or a combination of both. You can pretend all you want and act like it is just a normal cycle, but you will never convince me this is the case, there is no way to justify what has or is going on.
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    Iím on the lakes at least 4-5 days a week. Iíve only been on Barkley twice this season and both those days were rainy and windy so I wonít count them.
    We have averaged fewer keepers per trip than in years past but much better average quality. My clients have caught over 10 crappie over 2 pounds with one just short of three pounds. We have caught more short crappie than in several years and those are very healthy.
    Iíve been fishing mostly 12-25 feet of water pulling cranks for several weeks.
    Yes, I have Livescope but until I find a viable way to include more than myself and one other fisherman, it will stay turned off with clients. I donít fish during my trips and my clients donít pay to watch me catch their fish. Period!
    These lakes have been in a down turn for several years but seem to be turning the corner. If potential clients call me and start talking about filling their chest freezer, I send them elsewhere. If that is the only criteria they use to base what is a good trip, I will very rarely make them happy.
    I donít have the answer to all that is happening here. We seem to have experienced the ďperfect stormĒ of Asian carp, cormorants, TVA ruining several spawns by dropping the lake as soon as the crappie spawn, 2-3 years of almost zero Shad. I am disappointed with the numbers of baitfish but the crappie Iím cleaning are packed full. Iím sure all fish had to seek out the small bluegills, bass, crappie, even white and yellow bass during the lean Shad years. Iím hoping stable water levels will help create perfect spawning conditions and we can see the return of our lakes. We will never again see the catches of our grandfathersí but I tend to think many of those were figments of memories.


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  10. #10
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    I drive 3 1/2 hours to fish i want quality and quantity, but I understand what you are saying. I fish Weiss Lake a lot more than Kentucky Lake and they too have the cormorants problem. In fact I can't remember cleaning a live well fell and not seeing a scar or two on a back of a crappie from one if them. I know the President of their lake association and they have been working with their wildlife department on solutions to no avail so far.

    We no for 3 hours first thing this morning and put another 10 gills in the boat that again were huge. Then it just stopped.

    I agree completely that in Kentucky if you want a trophy, Kentucky Lake is it for me for bass, crappie, gills, and red ear. Personally, I'm looking for numbers more than size, but I am hoping for a 3 pounder before I die. I like the captain mentioned, caught one that was 1 ounce short of 3 pounds years back on Weiss. Some would claim it was 3 pounds but I know it was not and thats what matters.

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