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Fishing Lake Barkley

AKA: Barkley Lake

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By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Fish species to fish for...

Guide to fishing for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, channel catfish, flathead catfish, blue catfish, black crappie, white crappie, walleye, bluegill, redear sunfish, warmouth, white bass, yellow bass, striped bass, hybrid striped bass, paddlefish and sauger at Lake Barkley in Kentucky.

Lake Barkley, KY

With over 1,000 miles of shoreline and 58,000 surface acres, Lake Barkley is considered one of the best fishing lakes in Kentucky. This reservoir, along with Kentucky Lake which is considered a sister lake, is located in the southwest corner of KY, split by the northern border of TN and the southern border of KY.

Lake Video

Lake Barkley, located in western Kentucky, is a popular destination for fishing enthusiasts, boaters, and campers alike. The lake offers a wide range of recreational activities and boasts a diverse fishery that attracts anglers from all over the region.

Lake Barkley is home to several popular fish species, including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, catfish, and bluegill. Anglers can target largemouth bass along the lake's shorelines, submerged structures, and weed beds, while smallmouth bass can be found near rocky areas and drop-offs. Crappie fishing is excellent in Lake Barkley, with anglers often targeting them around submerged trees, brush piles, and bridge pilings. The lake also provides opportunities for catfish enthusiasts, as channel catfish and blue catfish can be found in its depths. Additionally, bluegill can be plentiful in the shallower areas, making it an excellent choice for young or novice anglers.

Lake Barkley State Resort Park is situated on the lake's eastern shore and offers a full-service lodge, cottages, and a campground, providing visitors with a convenient and comfortable base for their fishing and outdoor adventures. The park also offers additional recreational activities such as hiking, swimming, and golfing, ensuring there's something for everyone to enjoy.

Whether you're an avid angler, a boating enthusiast, or a nature lover, Lake Barkley in Kentucky has much to offer. Its abundant fish populations, scenic beauty, and recreational amenities make it an ideal destination for fishing, boating, and camping adventures. So pack your fishing gear, bring your boat or camping equipment, and immerse yourself in the recreational opportunities that Lake Barkley has to offer.

Ninety percent of the lake is in the state of Kentucky. There are several marinas within KY and numerous places offering boat rentals on the lake. Angler-friendly lodging, campgrounds and RV parks are located strategically around the lake. Restaurants, bait and tackle, and convenience stores are all available at the lake or nearby. Barkley Lake has a long-standing reputation as an excellent fishery, especially bass fishing. Along with its sister lake, Kentucky Lake, it is included on everyone's top-ten, best bass lakes in the southeast. This is also an excellent crappie lake, maybe even one of the best in the country. Catfish, white bass, stripers, sunfish, paddlefish, walleye and sauger also roam these waters in bragging size schools. Pontoon boats, houseboats, power boats, family boats, fishing boats, kayaks and canoes can be rented at the lake.

Fishing Boats For Rent In Kentucky

Primary fish species residing in Lake Barkley

Click images for fishing tips and details about each species.

Largemouth bass Smallmouth bass Spotted bass Channel catfish Flathead catfish Blue catfish Black crappie White crappie Walleye Bluegill Redear Sunfish Warmouth Sunfish White Bass Yellow Bass Striped bass Hybrid Striped Bass Paddlefish Sauger

Lake Barkley Amenities

Marina: YES
Boat Rental: YES
Boat Launch Ramp: YES
Campgrounds: YES
RV Hookups: YES
Lodging: YES
Convenience Store: YES
Bait & Tackle: YES
Restaurant: YES

Today's Weather & Forecast

Boating is a popular activity on Lake Barkley, as the expansive waters allow ample room for recreational boaters, water skiers, and anglers. The lake provides boat ramps and marinas for easy access, and the calm waters are ideal for boating activities. Whether you're cruising the lake, water skiing, or towing a tube, Lake Barkley offers plenty of space to enjoy the water.

Fishing Boat Rentals

Buzzard Rock Marina
Rentals: Pontoon boats
270 388 - 7925

Eddy Creek Marina Resort
Rentals: Jon boats, bass boats, kayaks and pontoon boats
270 388-2271

Green Turtle Bay Boat Rentals
Rentals: Pontoon boats
270 362-9555

Lake Barkley Marina
Rentals: Bass boats and pontoon boats
270 924-6081

Public Boat Launch Ramps & Landings

Barkley Dam Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the northwest section of the lake, off Barkley Dam Spur, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.

Barkley Lake Boat Ramp at Energy Dam
Located mid lake, west side, off County Road 134, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and gravel parking.

Craven's Bay Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, west side, off County Road 118, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with gravel parking.

Craven's Bay Campground Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, west side, off County Road 118, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.

Demumbers Point Boat Ramp
Located in the northwest section of the lake, off Forest Service Road 108, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with gravel parking.

Devils Elbow Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the southwest section of the lake, off US Route 68, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with paved parking.

Nickell Branch Backcountry Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the northwest section of the lake, off Forest Service Road 102-A, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.

Taylor Bay Backcountry Area Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, west side, off County Road 136, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.


Buzzard Rock Marina
985 Buzzard Rock Rd
Kuttawa, KY 42055
270 388 - 7925

Eddy Creek Marina Resort
7612 State Route 93 South
Eddyville, Kentucky 42038
270 388-2271

Lake Barkley Marina
4200 State Park Road
Cadiz, KY 42211
270 924-6081

Click here for a Kentucky Fishing License.

Camping is also a favorite pastime at Lake Barkley, with several campgrounds and RV parks located along its shores. Visitors can choose from a variety of camping options, including tent camping, RV camping, and cabin rentals. The campgrounds often provide amenities such as picnic areas, playgrounds, and nature trails, allowing campers to enjoy the serene beauty of the lake while immersing themselves in the outdoors.

Campgrounds & RV Parks Nearby

Energy Lake Campground - 270 924-2270

Kamptown RV Resort - 270 522-7976

Kentucky Lakes-Prizer Point KOA Campground - 270 522-3762

Dryden Bay Campground & Cabin - 270 388-0289

Cravens Bay Campground - 270 924-2000

Indian Point RV Park - 270 388-2730

Eureka Recreation Area Campground - 270 388-9459

Murphy's RV Park - 270 388-4752

Lake Barkley KY Map - Fishing & Camping Areas

Contact Information

Barkley Lake
Lake Barkley Marina
4200 State Park Rd
Cadiz, KY 42211
270 924-6081


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