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Fished lake Barkley, launched out of State Park Marina in Little River about 11:00 am Sun. Apr. 3rd. Post cold front conditions; bluebird skies and windy (out of the south). Water was stained to muddy in Little River @ about 60 °F, water was around 557' (halfway between winter and summer pools).

Went directly to Dyer’s Creek because of previous success there to get an idea of what baits to throw, see if the fish were biting, etc. Caught 2 lb 4 oz. keeper on the east shoreline just inside the bay; boat was in 10 ft. and the fish was tight to the shore around submerged boulders; bait was Red Eye Shad Green Tomato ¾ oz.

Continued working the east shoreline back into the creek. Worked the two small bays throwing the lipless crank, texas rigged lizard and a spinner bait. Went all the way back in each bay fishing the shoreline, docks, wood cover and shallow mustard flowers. Saw some scattered shad, but not a lot and not much activity. Second fish (short) came on texas rigged lizard; purple w/green flake powerbait. Boat was in 8 feet of water and the fish was in about 3-4 ft. next to a dock. Got another bite on the other side of the same dock but missed the fish.

Thought I had a good idea that the fish would hit the stuff I was fishing and went exploring. Went north on the main river to Brewer’s spring and threw the lipless along the south shore on the way in. Threw the lizard at wood cover. Caught the second keeper (3 lb. 6 oz.) just past the second (main) point on the lipless crank. Boat was in 10-12 ft of water along a deeper bluff that dropped off to 15 -17 feet, fish hit in about 5-6 ft. of water halfway back on the retrieve. Fished all the way back in Brewer’s until I found mustard flowers. Had one bite on the lizard on some shoreline brush in 3-4 feet of water, but missed the fish. Lots of casts spinner bait, lizard and lipless but just the one fish.

Moved further north to Rockcastle creek and went back to the shallows. Fished shallow wood, mustard flowers & stake beds without a sniff.

Getting late so went back to Dyers and fished a jig deeper off the primary points on the west shoreline as you go into the creek. Kept throwing the lipless, spinnerbait and lizard until about 6:30 pm. No other bites. Fished alone, so no pictures

General comments on Barkley and Kentucky Lakes this spring: I've fished about every weekend starting in March, and spent 4 days on the water around New Johnsonville, TN (southern KY Lake) Easter weekend. I've been concentrating on bass, but have toyed around with the crappie some on most trips. The water temps have been hovering around 60 degrees for about the last month. The weather has been unstable with a couple of fronts every week. Since the start of April the water has started to rise (typical TVA plan to bring the lakes from winter pool up to summer pool during April, though the level is higher than their schedule), and I was hoping that would activate the fish, but so far I haven't seen that. Since I work full time, I am limited to fishing weekends, which may not give me the best opportunities. I haven't seen any signs on the fish I have caught that they are on beds yet; no red tails, etc. They do look like they are fattening up. Biggest fish I caught (mid March, KY Lake) was 5 lb. 7 oz. I guess what I am getting to is the weather and water temps have been moving up and down and I think the fish activity is just about to break loose as we get to the full moon this month. On the 3rd I did see some crappie being taken by spider rigs in 8-10 ft, but not as much for the guys tossing crappie jigs at the shoreline. I don't think they have made the final move up to the shallows yet, and it has got to happen soon.

Tight lines!

JR. (no longer) in Plainfield
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