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Lake Information for Kentucky Lake


Kentucky Lake is a major navigable artificial lake along the Tennessee River in Kentucky and Tennessee. Created in 1944 by the Tennessee Valley Authority's impounding of the Tennessee River by Kentucky Dam, the 160,200-acre lake is the largest artificial lake in the United States east of the Mississippi River.

It provides a source for hydro-electric power and, as one of the lakes alluded to by the name of Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area, is a recreational magnet in western Kentucky and Tennessee.

Facilities and Parks: 

There are many boat ramps located in Kentucky.
Click here to go to the Kentucky DNR's list of locations

Fishing Description: 

The crappie population has good numbers of 11-13 inch fish and moderate numbers of sub-legal size crappie. Fish are shallow in spring around buttonball bushes, brush piles and stake beds. In fall and winter, crappie move to secondary channels and flats near creek channels. Black crappie prefer clear water and gravel, while white crappie prefer muddy conditions. Cast toward gravel shoreline for black crappie and fish deeper for white crappie. Long trolling has been effective for catching more black crappie.

The largemouth bass population has a high density of fish over 15 inches and increasing numbers of bass over 18 inches. Aquatic vegetation found in most embayments will provide exciting topwater fishing during the summer and fall. Shallow cover such as buttonball bushes and fallen trees along the shoreline is best in the spring. Deeper ledges and channels are better in the summer, but bass can also be found chasing shad in the shallow flats late in the afternoon.

The best smallmouth bass fishing is along rocky shorelines and bluffs, creek channels at mouths of embayments, the canal and main lake points and stumps in fall. Population looks good. Night fishing during the summer months along bars and rocky shoreline is good with dark color spinnerbaits.

There is a moderate sauger population of harvestable-size (14-inch) fish with the best fishing in fall and winter along secondary channels. Try trolling crankbaits. Higher abundance of harvestable-size sauger in the Kentucky Dam tailwater; good winter fishery. Expect construction in tailwater area, with limited bank fishing.

The blue catfish fishing should be excellent, with the best fishing on main lake during summer along deep channels. Drift using live shiners or cut shad/skipjack in areas where creek channels meet the main river channel. Year-round fishing in the tailwater. Expect construction in tailwater area, with limited bank fishing.

The channel catfish fishing should also be excellent with the best fishing during late spring along chunky rock shoreline of the lake and also rip-rap shoreline around dam and marinas. Good fishing along river channel during summer and on flats along the channel.

For white bass, fish on main lake in the summer when they are found along secondary creek channels near main river channel. Look for main channel points and bends; also near the canal. Good numbers in the Kentucky Dam tailwater along with its cousin the yellow bass.

Striped bass and their hybrids are being caught from the lake while fishing for white bass. Trolling with 6-inch deep diver baits which imitate minnows is effective and the best fishing is below Kentucky Dam. Fish congregate below the dam during periods of discharge through the generators. Expect construction in tailwater area, with limited bank fishing.

Blue Catfish
Channel Catfish
Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Spotted Bass
Striped Bass
White Bass
Optional Information
Surface area: 
Kentucky Lake
Lake type: 

Businesses Located Nearby

Bait & Tackle

    Fast Eddie's Bait & Tackle
  • 4362 Aurora Hwy - Hardin, KY
  • (270) 354-9197
    Murray Bait Company
  • 3415 Ky-94 E - Murray, KY
  • (270) 753-5693

Boat Rental

Vacation Rental

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