FISHING ON LAKE BARKLEY is an angler's dream. A thriving population of crappie, largemouth bass, white bass, catfish, sauger and bluegill offer a challenge for fishermen.

Early Crappie fishing is a sure cure for cabin fever and the warmer days of winter often find anglers sitting peacefully along shorelines and in sunny bays and coves. Crappie can be caught by casting a curly tail jig or by dropping a minnow in a favorite brush pile. In early spring thecrappie begin to move into the bays to spawn. An old wives tale which seems to hold true says "Crappie fishing is best when the dogwoods are in bloom." During the spring spawn, crappie will move from deep to shallow water, and may be found in water depths anywhere from 6 inches to 4-6 feet deep.

May and June are typically the best fishing months on the lake. Crappie can still be caught post spawn and bass will be found on gravel points and around stumps. Catfish can be found on gravel points that taper off to a mud layer. Bluegill, which often spawn later, can be taken with grubs, worms, and crickets.

catfish1a1During July and August, the White Bass can provide fun and excitement for any angler. Look for them to jump along the river drops and flats, and use a rooster tail, lead spoon, or top water lure to bring these aggressive fish in the boat. Don't be surprised if you hook a largemouth bass while fishing the jumps. They are known to often travel in the same schools to feed.

The peaceful shoreline and colorful fall foliage lend itself to some of the year's most scenic fishing. You can catch fish using spring fishing techniques. Catch Largemouth Bass in the brush, tree tops, and on riprap. Crappie will normally make one more run to shallow water. Look for them in 5-12 feet of water near brush piles and brushy drop-offs. To make your fishing experience more successful, consider renting a boat or booking a local fishing guide.

Statewide Size & Creel Limits

Measure with the fish laid flat from the tip of lower jaw to the tip of the tail. Under-sized fish must be returned immediately to the water in best possible condition. Creel and size limits may differ at certain lakes. Those listed above are for Kentucky and Barkley Lakes. Fees and limits in effect at time of publication. For updated information, contact: Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife; #1 Game Farm Road, Frankfort, KY 40601; 502-564-4336 or 800-858-1549; Online: KY Fish & Wildlife.