Kentucky Lake, Ky




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One of my favorite destinations is Kentucky Lake in Western Kentucky. It is beautiful reservoir, which was created by the damming of the Tennessee River. With a length that stretches from the northern Kentucky border to the middle of western Tennessee, it is indeed large by comparison to most.


The lake has long been noted for its great crappie and bass fishing. Kentucky Lake really became a Mecca for bass fishermen several years ago when the lake began to support a healthy grass cover. Since then the TVA has killed the grass and changed the lake a lot. With out the grass the fish have reverted to deep-water structure along the old river channel. It is not uncommon to catch fish in the summer time as deep as 30 feet.


There is a really fine population of smallmouth with a lot of trophy size fish being caught in the spring and fall. Summertime finds a good crop of spotted bass and largemouth ready to bite. There is still good crappie fishing to be had around the stake beds and brush piles, of which there are many, in the lake.


In the early if the water is normal level and clear, you can catch the big smallmouth quite easily using a jerk bait such as the Husky Jerk or suspending Rouge off the gravel bars along the eastern side of the lake. This area is commonly called the LBL side, after the Federal land preserve between Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley. There is a lot of local frustration with federal government as they are now, after taking over the LBL from local landowners, are suggesting that it be turned over to private enterprise for development. This would be a shame to see such a beautiful area turned into a tourist resort.


Local favorite patterns for the late spring and summer are decided by the water level. If the water gets above normal and in the many buck bushes along the shore, then flipping a jig or lizard in the in 4 to 6 feet of water is preferred. When the water is normal then crank baits used along the bars and drops in 8 to 14 feet of water becomes the way to catch fish. There are a lot of good drops and ledges that lend to some great Carolina Rig fishing as well. Another good bait is the Terminator Spinner bait fished around the bushes in the spring and fall.


In the mid-summer there is a good top water bite early and late, that continues through the fall seasons cooler weather. A Zara Spook pr Chug Bug will work well along with a buzz bait.


Kentucky Lake is about 20 miles East of Paduhca, Ky. On I-24. You may access the numerous small motels and resort by exiting on 62 highway and taking 641 south towards Gilbertsville and Murray. A note of wisdom, call ahead for accommodations as the small motels fill up fast in season. A lot of these mom and pop motels don't have telephones in rooms nor do some of them take credit cards. One of my personal favorites is The Cloverleaf Inn on 62 highway near the dam. They seem to really cater to the bass fishermen and tournament fishermen. There are several really nice State Parks around the lake also.


For more information contact the Marshall County Tourist Commission at 1-800-467-7145.


Walt Reynolds, Touring Pro



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Last modified: October 03, 2006