Barren River Lake State Park Golf Course has Tuesday, Wednesday Special in May

The Barren River Lake State Park Golf Course is offering a golfing special in May.
On Tuesdays and Wednesdays in May, golfers can play 18 holes with cart rental for $22.95 (regular weekday cost is $34.75).
Call 1-800-295-1876 to book a tee time.
Promotion only available Tuesdays or Wednesdays in May 2017.

Port Oliver Yacht Club will celebrate Blessing of the Fleet Saturday, April 29

The Port Oliver Yacht Club on Barren River Lake will celebrate its annual Blessing of the Fleet Saturday, April 29. The Blessing will take place at noon at the club dock.
The Blessing of the Fleet is the official start to the club’s sailing season.
Following the Blessing of the Fleet, club members will honor the memory of departed friends and toast its 51st year.
For information on upcoming events, click POYC Calendar of Events.

Barren River Lake Fishing Tournaments

Two bass tournaments are scheduled for Barren River Lake this weekend, April 29.

April 29
The F.T.F. April Open, sponsored by F.T.F. Open Bass Tournaments, is scheduled for Saturday, April 29, on Barren River Lake. The open tournament is set for takeoff at 6 a.m. CT from Port Oliver Recreation Area ramp, with weigh-in set for 2 p.m. at the ramp. The tournament will have a $1,000 guarantee first place.
For more information, contact Morris Hogue at or call 270-793-4411.

April 29
The Butler County Bassmasters will host a tournament Saturday, April 29, on Barren River Lake. The open tournament requires membership ($10/person) to the Butler County Bassmasters. The tournament is set for takeoff at 6:30 a.m. ET from Port Oliver Recreation Area ramp, with weigh-in at 2:30 p.m. at the ramp. Entry fee is $40/boat.
For more information, contact Daniel Cardwell at or call 270-999-1994 or call Danny Cardwell at 270-999-0232.

Barren River Fishing League Weeknight Tournaments Rescheduled
The Barren River Fishing League weeknight, Tuesday and Thursday nights, are going to be rescheduled to start at a later date. The lake is still rising and is extremely dangerous to run at night. They will make plans to start depending on water.

If you have a tournament that you want to be featured in our weekly tournament roundup, send information to 

Barren River Lake levels rising with rain

The Barren River Lake is rising toward summer pool as weekend rains helped move the lake level up almost 2 ft. in two days.
Friday, April 21, at 10 p.m., the lake level was 546.16 ft.
By 10 p.m., Sunday, April 23, the lake was expected to reach 547.71 ft.
Barren River Lake Water Level
Summer Pool is 552 ft. Winter Pool is 525 ft.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began holding water in the lake on March 15, to reach summer pool by May 15.
With the rising lake level, boaters are encouraged to use caution while moving around the lake. Large amounts of drift may be found throughout the lake.

Just about any fish will hit a swimbait

By Lee McClellan, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources
Anglers with a bit of salt in their hair remember fondly the venerable Sassy Shad, the paddle-tailed, shad-shaped soft plastic wonder that caught practically anything that swims.
In the fishing lure world, what is old oftentimes becomes new again. Over the last decade or so, the soft-plastic swimbait stormed the fishing world, looking remarkably like a Sassy Shad with refinements.
With softer, lifelike soft plastic formulations and more realistic color schemes that closely resemble shad or other baitfish along with salt and scent fused into the lure, the modern swimbait is one of the most versatile lures you can throw.
“Anything looking to eat a baitfish will hit a swimbait,” said Chad Miles, host of the “Kentucky Afield” television show and swimbait expert. “I’ve caught everything from crappie to striped bass and all three species of black bass, smallmouths, largemouths and spotted bass on a swimbait.”
Swimbait for Deeper Lakes
Spring through early summer is one of Miles’ favorite times to fish a swimbait for black bass. He had a great trip on Lake Cumberland last spring while filming an episode of “Kentucky Afield.” They caught several quality smallmouth bass, largemouth bass in the 5-pound range and Executive Producer Nathan Brooks caught a 37-inch striped bass.
A 4-inch white and silver swimbait rigged on a 3/8-ounce leadhead fooled them all. They caught most of their fish on secondary points in Difficulty and Harmon creeks.
“The fish are up shallow at this time of year,” he explained. “I downsize the weight of the leadhead to a 1/4-ounce and use no heavier than 3/8-ounce. You do not make a big splash on the cast with a lighter leadhead. It also allows you to keep the lure from getting hung on the bottom.”
Employ a steady retrieve and work a swimbait down sloping banks that fall off into deep water or across points in spring through early summer. These areas draw shad and other baitfish, what the swimbait emulates.
“The good thing about a swimbait is you can adjust your depth and speed, which you really can’t do with a crankbait,” Miles explained. “It is all about getting the right speed on the retrieve and adjusting it according to the aggressiveness of the fish.”
On deeper lakes, such as Dale Hollow, Lake Cumberland and Laurel River Lake, Miles used a nose-weighted swimbait hook and a solid body swimbait for bass. He rigs these swimbaits hook exposed, the way most anglers used to rig a Sassy Shad.
Swimbait for Shallow Lakes
“I use the belly-weighted wide gap swimbait hook and a hollow body swimbait for shallow lakes with more cover such as Kentucky Lake or Lake Barkley,” Miles said. “This setup is weedless and works great over weedbeds or through cover for bass.”
In clear water, the natural shad color is hard to beat for swimbaits. White with silver flakes is also a good color. “In stained water, I like swimbaits with some chartreuse or orange in them,” Miles said. “In murky to muddy water, I don’t throw a swimbait. They are other lures much more effective than a swimbait in those conditions.”
Miles said resisting the temptation to set the hook when you first feel a bite is the most important aspect of fishing a swimbait. “Keep reeling through the strike and let the rod load up a bit before setting the hook,” he said. “If you set the hook immediately, you are pulling the swimbait away from the fish.”
A medium to medium-heavy power fast action baitcasting outfit spooled with 10- to 12-pound fluorocarbon line works well for handling swimbaits.
“You are throwing a good amount of weight with a swimbait,” Miles said. “You need a rod that can handle it.”
As the days lengthen and the water warms, Miles works 5- to 6-inch swimbaits over channel breaks, ledges and submerged humps just above the thermocline for big largemouth bass on Kentucky Lake and Nolin River Lake.
Swimbait Works Well in Summer
“The swimbait works well in summer for suspended bass that are hard to catch on anything else,” Miles said. He counts the swimbait down in the water column over likely fish holding structures such as ledges, humps or points that extend out into the lake. He retrieves his swimbait deeper on each cast until he finds fish.
In summer, anglers on lakes with flooded timber such as Lincoln County’s Cedar Creek Lake do well working swimbaits slow and deep for largemouth bass suspended in the flooded timber.
After the weather turns cold in fall, Miles falls back to fishing 3-inch swimbaits in the natural shad color for smallmouth and spotted bass.
Swimbait Techniques Featured on KY Afield
You can watch Miles employ his excellent swimbait techniques on a productive spring day on Lake Cumberland from a segment filmed last April by clicking on the KY Afield tab at the top of the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife homepage . Once on the “KY Afield” page, click on the link “Visit our Youtube channel,” then type “Fishing with Swimbaits on Lake Cumberland” in the search bar.
If you have any questions related to swimbaits or anything else concerning fishing in Kentucky, watch the “Kentucky Afield” television fishing call in show, airing this Saturday, April 22, at 8:30 p.m. ET on KET.

Barren River Lake Fishing Report

By Josh Morris
I hope all of you have had a great Easter!  The Barren River Lake water temperature is heating up and the lake traffic is too.
Hybrids have moved up the creeks and are being caught in good numbers. Curly tail grubs work well.
Crappie are on the beds and scattered. Fish are still being caught but can be sparse. Live minnows and road runner jigs are working.
Bass are moving up to spawn. I had luck on lizards, white spinnerbaits and chatter baits in 2 – 5 feet of water.
The water is between 65 – 70 degrees and should be coming up from the rain.
Next week looks to be pretty.
Get out there and catch something, even if it is a sunburn.
Good luck and God Bless.

Josh Morris is a tournament bass angler and an ambassador for FLW. He is on the water two to three times per week. Some of his information comes from the good folks at Barren Outdoors. You can follow Josh on twitter @joshmorris53. Feel free to email Josh questions at spottedm@gmail.comHe is sponsored on the tournament circuit by Barren Outdoors, G Loomis, ShimanoPsycho Fishing Lures, Blob Fish, Snack Daddy Lures, and Freddie’s Dugout.

Barren River Lake Fishing Tournaments

One bass tournament is scheduled for Barren River Lake this weekend, April 22.
April 22
Barren River Fishing League Co-Ed Tournament is scheduled on Barren River Lake for Saturday, April 22. This open tournament is set for takeoff at 6 a.m., from Port Oliver Recreation Area with weigh-in set for 2 p.m., at Port Oliver. For more information, contact Ronnie Stinson at or by calling 270-618-1436.

Barren River Fishing League Weeknight Tournaments Rescheduled
The Barren River Fishing League weeknight, Tuesday and Thursday nights, are going to be rescheduled to start at a later date. The lake is still rising and is extremely dangerous to run at night. They will make plans to start depending on water. Thanks. Please pass the word.

If you have a tournament that you want to be featured in our weekly tournament roundup, send information to 

Baileys Point Campground open April 20; Walnut Creek, State Park are now open

Click on image to enlarge.

Baileys Point Campground on Barren River Lake will open this Thursday, April 20.
Baileys Point is the largest campground of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers‘ campgrounds on the lake.
There are 215 camp sites arranged in five camping loops.
Baileys Point has a boat ramp.
The campground is also the home to the C.E. Rager Nature Trail and the Robert Foster Hiking Trail.The C.E. Rager Nature trail runs along the shoreline of the lake.The Robert Foster Hiking Trail turns inland among the trees.
The campsites are designed for a variety of RV and tent campers and will be open through October.
Most sites are equipped with electric and water hookups.
There are also two playgrounds, a sand volleyball court, basketball court and amphitheater for weekend movie nights. It has shower houses, picnic tables and a small store for necessities.

Walnut Creek Campground Opened April 15
The Walnut Creek Campground opened Saturday, April 15. It offers campers 33 RV sites (with electric and water) and 33 tent sites. There are no showers. Walnut Creek offers a boat ramp. It is a privately-owned campground.

Barren River Lake State Park Campground Open
The Barren River Lake State Park Campground opened March 31. It offers campers 99 RV sites and two tent sites. It provides utility hookups, and a dump station, showers, restrooms and boat ramp. It is open through October.

Happy Easter!

1 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
11 While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13 telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

– Matthew 28: 1-20 (NIV)

Spring weather challenge to fishermen

By Lee McClellan, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife
The weather forecast calls for a redbud winter to hit this week. This old saying refers to cold snaps that occur in early April when the redbud trees bloom.
The up and down nature of spring weather can cause consternation among anglers when planning fishing trips. Concerns about the weather is one of three things to consider when planning fishing trips this spring.

1. Barometric pressure is key to unlocking fish behavior in spring:
Barometric pressure is the measurement of the weight of an entire column of air pressing down upon the Earth. Approaching storm fronts in spring ease this weight, resulting in low barometric pressure. The low pressure releases humidity trapped in the atmosphere, resulting in rain or snow.
The dark, low clouds, winds and precipitation that accompany low pressure systems limit light penetration into the water column, providing a better environment for predator fish to ambush prey. Fish do bite better before a front.
High pressure systems follow low pressure frontal systems. In North America, high pressure systems flow out in a clockwise pattern, resulting first in winds from the north and eventually from the east.
Barren River Weather
“I don’t believe in too many old wives tales when it comes to fishing, but ‘wind from the east, fish bite least’ is one I do believe in,” said Maj. Shane Carrier, assistant director of Law Enforcement for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “I don’t catch many fish when the wind is from the east.”
A couple of days of stable weather in spring ease the influence of high pressure and get fish biting again. The sunny days typical of high pressure warm the water and stir fish activity.
Plan your trips this spring to fish either right before a low pressure system or on the third or fourth day of stable weather.

2. Making sense of the USGS streamflow charts to plan float trips on Kentucky streams:
The streamflow information on the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) webpage at provides invaluable information for paddlers and anglers. On this page, select Kentucky from the drop down menu on the top right hand corner to view the flow on streams on all of the river drainages in Kentucky.
The rate of flow on this page shows as CFS or cubic feet per second. The cubic feet per second expresses the amount of flow that passes the USGS stream gauges per second. The higher the CFS, the higher and swifter the water.
The chart for an individual stream shows the discharge for each day of the preceding week as well as the current day. A small triangle on the chart shows the median, or midpoint, flow for each day based on years of data. A flow measuring much higher than the median means high, and usually muddy, water, not the best conditions for fishing and floating.
A flow under the median usually means tolerable fishing and paddling conditions. The USGS streamflow page also has a chart showing the gauge height for each stream. This helps flesh out the data provided by the streamflow chart. This chart provides a good mental image of the rise, fall or stability of the stream over the last week.
The new Canoeing and Kayaking page on the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife website is another invaluable repository of information for stream anglers and paddlers. This page leads to information collected by biologists concerning the fish populations in a stream, the recommended levels for floating selected streams, photos of access sites and fishing tips. The page also contains a link to the Blue Water Trails series, an ongoing initiative detailing the paddling and fishing on streams across Kentucky as well as a printable map.

3. What is a daily creel limit and a possession limit for fishing?
Anglers often get confused about these terms, especially when they are fishing three or more to a boat.
“Whenever anyone is fishing in Kentucky, each angler is entitled to the daily creel limit for that species on that lake, river or stream,” Carrier explained. “There is no boat limit in Kentucky.”
For example, if three anglers fish for crappie on Kentucky Lake out of one boat, each is entitled to 20 crappie, the daily creel limit for crappie on Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley. There is also a 10-inch minimum size limit for crappie on these lakes, therefore anglers must immediately release any crappie caught less than 10 inches long.
The possession limit is the amount of unprocessed fish a person may hold after two or more days of fishing. In Kentucky, this amount is two times the daily creel limit for any species that has a daily creel limit.
Keep these things in mind as you plan and execute fishing trips this spring. Remember to buy your 2017-2018 fishing license, as the new license year began March 1.​​