Barren River Lake Pays Off Again

It was overcast and rain was in the forecast.  I met Brian Dillon (pictured above) at Barren Outdoors to try and get on some fish.  We loaded Brian’s equipment in the boat and  headed out.  About 10 miles from the ramp is started pouring.  We waited the main storm out then launched.

I had an idea of where I wanted to go so after a short run we marked some fish and started after them.  The fish were suspended as I had figured they may be.  The trick was getting them to bite.   It didn’t take very long thanks to good weather conditions to get things going. These fish had been eating shad and were all fat,  the bait of choice was a lipless crank bait. The fish were about 20 feet deep.  So we just counted the bait down and pulled through the fish.

After we got this part figured out I wanted to check another theory.  We moved to a different area.  This theory also produced, just not as well.  I am in preparation of a couple of tournaments in September.  I am on a pattern that I feel will be key at that time.  To be ready then you have to fish where they are going to be not where they are.


What does that even mean?  Well it is simple.  As the length of daylight hours shorten and the water temperature starts to fall bass will begin the migration back up creeks.  A lot like the spring when they transition for spawn.  These fish use routes,  the routes need to have a few key things to them.  Food, shelter, and deep water close by is a plus.  The bass will have a huge appetite and will feed up for winter.  So if you can locate the fish in deep water and think where will they go when they move, you develop a game plan.  To fish where they are going to be one would test out by seeing if any fish are present. If they are that means there is food and shelter there.  While right now they may not be the “right fish” those fish will eventually be there on their way to the fall feeding grounds.  I just hope at the time of the tournaments that is where they will be!  Now I have the knowledge of where these fish are now.  I can follow them if I stay persistent.


Bass are 20 feet deep on the main lake.  These guys can be difficult to get fired up.  Crank baits and Carolina rigged Z Man 4 inch TRD worms (these guys are very buoyant) worked well.  Finesse is also a great option now.  Drop shot and shaky head.  Slow it down and don’t over work the baits.


Hybrids have slowed down a bit still trolling between the islands.


Crappie are in 15 to 18 feet of water near brush.  Live minnows is best.


Thank all of you for reading!


Good luck and God Bless!

photo by: Leslie Kidd Photography0051

Slow Down and Listen

Hello my friends.  I hope all is well with each of you.  It has been another hard week of fishing in southern Kentucky.  Hopefully these cooler nights will make some changes take place on the water.  The only thing we can tell our selves is the fall feed is coming.

When the fishing gets like this, a dead zone if you will persistence along with faith that it will get better are our best tools.  I look at the dog days of summer as a puzzle that can be unlocked.  Someone can catch these “uncatchable” fish, why should it not be me or you?  One big reason is the velvet lined groove we get into.  My ol monster ten inch worm killed them in August last year so it should this year too right?  Not necessarily.  Fishing pressure is a killer.  The fish see so much of the same thing they learn not to eat it.  When was the last time any of you caught a fish that didn’t have some hook holes already?

With those things in mind, I have really been working on my finesse game.  Drop shot I am comfortable with, NED rigs I am comfortable with, and of course the shaky head I love.  Here is where I fall a bit short.  Being still.  It is so hard me to let a bait soak.  Our natural tendency when we feel the urgency of getting a bite I think is to speed up.  I have to constantly tell my self SLOW DOWN.  Letting these baits set and letting the current move them slightly is where they will shine.  I think we can overwork a bait if we aren’t careful.  remember natural is always a good thing and a reaction bite is not always going to be the case.  So the fish this time of year are screaming fir us to be still.


God also asks us to be still.  I personally have been in situations where I wanted to hear from Him, and He was silent.  I had prayed, read, fasted done all the things a person does when you seek God and his will.  With a few major exceptions.  I was not still.  I was not patient.  I wanted an answer right now, so much in fact that I could not slow down and listen.  No reply is an answer, and Gods answer was to slow down.  Be still and know that He is Lord.  God will teach us, and convict us.  We have to be able to slow down and let it soak in.


Photos by the very talented Leslie Kidd

Fishing report for Barren River Lake


Bass are scattered at best.  No good fish to speak of are being caught.  The night bite is not on either.  The fish are suspending and seem to be most active between first light and 9 am.  Without a doubt finesse is the ticket.  Be prepared I have talked to a lot of good fishermen this week all have said the same thing,  its dead.  One or two bites is what they are getting.


Crappie are starting to do better.  They are 15 to 18 ft deep on brush.  Live bait is the ticket.


Blue Gill are good on bluffs if all else fails go get you some crickets folks!


Catfish are on flats and long points, cut bait is preferred.


Hybrids can still be found around the islands.


Good Luck and God Bless!

Fishing for God’s Will

Hello folks I hope all is well with you, and the dog days of summer have not gotten you frustrated. I spent today with Leslie, which is always a pleasure, in the Word, and on and off in Prayer. After dinner I went to the pond to work on my finesse game. I absolutely do not like finesse fishing. I love pitching a jig and breaking jaws. My will always tends to gravitate to power fishing. However our will isn’t always what is best for us. On or off the lake. Sometimes to produce the fruit that is best in our lives we have to get out of our comfort zone. This is particularly hard for me. To admit a change is necessary, a weakness or a fault is hard. However loosing a tournament or not producing for Gods will is way more detramental to us. I caught fish tonight in a way that is not parrticurly fun for me, now catching fish is always fun. The old fairy wand simply bores me, but I caught fish. God is this way with us. He has worked on me spiritually and professionally today. Through seeking him he shown me his will and has gotten me past a huge road block that I had no idea was even a road block. I talk all the time about fishing to your confidence and I still believe you should. However don’t let that stop you from trying a new technique and don’t let it keep you from trusting it will produce as well or better. We must always be adaptive. Willing to learn, and willing to fail while learning. It starts for me by looking in the mirror. Examine truly where are my weak points as a fisherman and a Christian. Then working to make them better. It is a struggle I admit. But if we are struggling that means we are reaching for something better, that we have not given up. If at first you don’t succeed you got to try and try again. Failure is not defeat, it’s a stepping stone towards growth.

Now let’s talk about the fish.

Bass are still hard to pattern. Finesse is the most effective style right now. Drop shots and the bigger NED rigs are producing. You can stop in at Barren Outdoors and Todd can put you on the right one. Also don’t forget the Skeleton Cup no entry fee tournament is September 30 this year. You can get with me or Todd Logsdon for details.

Hybrids are still being caught around the islands. Live bait is best.

Crappie are in brush about 12 feet deep. Bobby Garland jigs and live minnows are good. Also under the lights at night is producing.

Catfish are good at night cut bait works well. Or Liver.

I hope all of you are well. I hope all of you catch some fish this weekend.
God Bless!

Kentucky Fishing and Moon Phases

We have all experienced it.  That unbelievable magical seemingly achievable day on the water.  That  day when every cast you make is perfect and you can’t seem to do anything wrong.  The moon and stars line up and you catch fish after fish.  This is that outdoor high we all reach for.  It is the experience if we are lucky enough to experience that keeps us coming back for more and more.  It is why we spend so much time and money on the sort we all love.


I want to tell you all about my magical day.  It was about 17 years ago on the Green River in Mammoth Cave National Park.  I went with my Step Father in his boat.  We put in at Houchens Ferry in Brownsville KY and went up stream.  We had made this trip numerous times and always had a good day.

It was a fall morning the leaves were beginning to fall into the river.  It was overcast and very pleasant temperature wise.  There are a lot of down trees and current so I rtied on a single blade spinner bait in a chartreuse color.  We ran a few miles up and began our drift back.  I cast to the trees and began working the bait back to the boat.  Within a few casts I found a lay down that was a little different angle than all the others.  I cast to it and when I pulled the bait over it I stopped it and let it helicopter down so to speak.  Bam a solid three pound fish inhaled the bait.  I got her in and made another cast and bam a book end same deal almost the same fish.  I looked at my Step Dad and  said I think I found a pattern lets see what happens.  Over the next hour we caught fish after fish after fish.  It was the most amazing day I have experienced in my life.  We caught over one hundred two to three pound fish in just over an hour.  Then something changed the wind picked up.  The temperature dropped fast.  A fall cold front pushed in and the fish stopped eating.  God had flipped the switch off.  I did not get another bite the rest of the day as the temperature dropped and a drizzle moved in we left the water.

I can only hope that God will bless me again with a day like this one.  What I learned from this day is probably one of the best lessons I have learned as a fisherman.  prefrontal conditions good post frontal bad.  Now could I have caught more fish now that I understand what to do?  I think would like to think so but it is tough to get them to eat post front.  I sure would like to try it again!


The reason I am writing this article is one of you all ask me to. Mr. Nick Carey  I would like to thank you for asking about moon phases, and for the request of an article on them.  These are strictly my opinions.  I did some research that back up my thoughts, information Mr Joe Bucher provided on the fish he has recorded since the late seventies back up my opinion.  He has a great piece written about moon phases as well.

So many fishing publications have a moon phase calendar in them.  I am very guilty of looking at therm and thinking is there any thing to this, as I am sure many of you do. The answer is yes and no.  I know way to choose a side Josh, but it is the truth.  I will say the minor feed major feed times are a bunch of mularky.  I would never look at a solar lunar chart to plan a fishing trip. The best time to go is when you can go!  As I said above the weather, pre-frontal, post frontal is what I would worry more about.

So where does moon phases come in?  It comes in when the sun rises,  and when it sets.  When the Moon Rises and sets.  We have about a ninety minute window on each of these risings and settings where fish will be more active, .  Also on the full moon, the first day it is full then the next three to five days fish tend to be more active.  The same goes for the new moon.   These moons also effect spawns which could explain the increase in predator activity.

In closing I hope this will help you to trudge through the rats nest of moon phases.  I like to use the term K.I.S.S. in many scenarios and I think it fits here.  Keep It Simple Stupid.  I have to say that to myself a lot of times in fishing and in life.  Fish when you can.  Take a loved one with you.  Watch the weather, but don’t let it stop you.  It all goes back to confidence.  If you believe the moon phases will make you catch more fish, you will catch more fish. You will not be as foccused and you will be easily discouraged when you lack confidence.  Have confidence in your abilities, your timing, and God you will be Blessed I promise.

God Bless you all!












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