Barren River Lake Poker Run is Aug. 1

The annual Poker Run on the Barren and Raffle is scheduled for this Saturday, Aug. 1.
The Poker Run is a fundraiser for Friends of Barren River Lake and Park. Revenue is used to fund the July 4 fireworks show at Barren River Lake State Park and the annual Trashmasters Lakeshore Cleanup.
Registration for the Poker Run is Saturday from 10 a.m.- noon at the Sunset Cove, formally the Barren River Lake State Park Beach.
Registration is $25 per hand. There is no limit to the number of hands that can be played.
All card stations (Barren River Lake State Park Dock, the Narrows Marina, Walnut Creek Marina, Peninsula Marina, and Sunset Cove) are accessible by boat and car.
This is not a timed event.
All envelopes must be returned to Sunset Cove by 4 p.m. Poker Run, as well as Raffle, prizes will be awarded after all envelopes/cards are tallied.
First place is $500; second place is $250 and third place is $100.
Raffle tickets for $5 will also be available at Sunset Cove for a 50″ TV and a kayak.
A Pirate’s Pot of Gold Cash Raffle will also be available for $10. Participants can purchase tickets at Treasure Island (near Baileys Point) from boats flying the pirate flags. The winner of the Pirate’s Pot of Gold will receive 40 percent of the total pot. The drawing will be drawn at the end of the day at Sunset Cove.
Corporate sponsors are Bridge Hollow Boat and RV Storage, Sawyers Marine, Van Meter Insurance, and WBKO.
What is a Poker Run?
Registrants are given a map of participating locations (see list above) around Barren River Lake (all accessible by boat and car). At each location, registrants will receive a sealed envelope that contains one playing card. Registrants can not open the sealed envelope. Once registrants have collected an envelope from each location, they will return it to the Sunset Cove at the Barren River Lake State Park, where Poker Run officials will open the envelopes and reveal what kind of Poker hand that they have collected. Winners for first, second and third place will receive money.

Barren River Lake Fishing Report July 24

By Josh Morris
The dog days of summer are here! The water temperature on Barren River Lake is near 90 degrees, and combined with the high water has made fishing tough.
Bass have been slow. Fish have been caught on jigs and soft plastics but are scattered. The most success this week has came late in the afternoons fishing under schools of shad with a chrome and black lipless crank bait. That is a bite that is hard to depend on though. Night fishing is another good option and rip raff has been producing some at night.
Catfish are still being caught on limb lines in decent numbers, with live bait.
Crappie are being caught at night under lights with minnows.
Blue Gill are feeding a lot on top in pockets and coves. Look for coves that are not jammed with drift wood for easier access. A cricket without a sinker is a good option.
Hybrids are being caught trolling but have been difficult to find.
Also remember the water is very high and can be dangerous in places.
If you do not know the lake, be very careful. As always wear your life jackets.
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 spotted@gmail.comHe is sponsored on the tournament circuit by Barren Outdoors, Psycho Fishing Lures, and Freddie’s Dugout.

Stay cool during Dog Days of Summer

With the Dog Days of Summer upon us, it is time (if you haven’t already) to think about the heat and how to avoid heat-related illness during the hottest temperatures of the year, so far.
Cooling off in Barren River Lake is not the best and only way to beat the heat.
Here are some tips from the Center for Disease Control:
If you must be outside:
* Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) and sunglasses and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels).
* Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
* Cut down on exercise. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat.
* Drink more fluids (nonalcoholic), regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
* Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar–these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
* Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
* Try to rest often in shady areas.
If the heat is too much for you:
* Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place.
* Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath, or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off.
* NEVER leave anyone or pet in a closed, parked vehicle.

Fishing Tournaments July 21-28

There are no fishing tournaments scheduled for Barren River Lake July 21- 28, other than the regular weekday tournaments.

Weekday Tournaments out of Port Oliver Recreation Area:
Mondays 6- 9:30 p.m. – 2 Fish 1 slot included
Tuesdays 6- 9:30 p.m. – One fish (big fish)
Thursdays 6- 9:30 p.m. – 3 fish one slot included
All times are Central Time.

Barren River Lake Fishing Report July 17

By Josh Morris
Despite high water fishing has been good on Barren River Lake.
Bass are in pockets in 2- 4 ft. of water.  Jigs in green pumpkin and blue gill patterns have been good.  As the water starts to drop, look for bass to move back out on points with the current.
Crappie are being caught trolling under bait fish on the 200 and 300 series bandits.
Hybrids are being caught trolling with a tail spinner rig about a foot below the bait.
Catfish are really hot on limb lines right now.  Small bluegills or large shiners work good.  Don’t use sun grannies, also known as pumpkinseed.
Blue gills are around brush and willows in the shallows. Crickets and wax worms are good.  Another bit of fun is small poppers on fly rods.
The water is still very high so be careful.
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 spotted@gmail.comHe is sponsored on the tournament circuit by Barren Outdoors, Psycho Fishing Lures, and Freddie’s Dugout.

Catch more fish above the thermocline

By Lee McClellan
Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources
Fishing instruction for decades preached anglers should fish deep, cool water during the hottest days of the summer.
This makes sense as fish are cold-blooded animals and their bodies are the same temperature of the water that surrounds them.
However, fishing deep water in summer on a lake such as Taylorsville Lake may mean your offerings are in a dead zone. Warming air temperatures change the nature of the water in a lake. Anglers need to consider these changes while summer fishing.
The water column in lakes begins to stratify in late spring, like a layer cake with a warm top layer, a mixing layer in the middle and a cold layer on the bottom. Warm water is less dense and sits on top of the cooler and denser water below.
“The mixing layer in the middle is the thermocline,” said Dave Dreves, assistant director of fisheries for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “The thermocline is a band of water with rapidly changing temperatures.”
As summer progresses, the water below the thermocline grows increasing hostile to fish. “As organic material from plants or animals sinks to the bottom, decomposition ties up all of the available dissolved oxygen,” Dreves said.
Fish need dissolved oxygen to survive, so the layer of the water below the thermocline becomes a dead zone as the air temperatures rise. Lures or bait presented there is the same as casting into a desert.
“The further you go into summer, the more the thermocline matters,” Dreves said. “It varies from year to year how long it takes for it to set up.”
Anglers want to target the area just above the thermocline for the best summer fishing.  “You have that happy medium of the coolest water with good dissolved oxygen,” Dreves said. “You might find baitfish at that level as well. That zone will be the active part of the food chain.”
The fertility of the lake determines the location of the thermocline. Water clarity is a good indicator of fertility; murky lakes contain more nutrients in the water than lakes where you can see the bottom in 12 feet of water.
On a highly fertile lake such as Taylorsville, the thermocline starts at about 8 feet deep in mid-summer and ends at roughly 12 feet. Bass anglers fishing a heavy jig 18 feet deep on a channel drop are wasting their time, the same as anglers dunking cut bait for channel cats at that depth. There is no dissolved oxygen that deep.
Anglers need to pound that water from 6 to 10 feet deep or so in the summer heat on Taylorsville for bass, crappie, catfish and even bluegill.
“On a clear, low fertility lake like Laurel River Lake or Lake Cumberland, the thermocline may start at 30 feet deep,” Dreves said. “On these lakes, there can be good dissolved oxygen below the thermocline. They have a two story fishery where cool water fish such as walleye or striped bass locate below the thermocline in summer.”
On mid-depth, moderately fertile lakes such as Nolin River Lake, Barren River Lake, Green River Lake or Rough River Lake, the thermocline usually starts around 11 to 12 feet deep in summer with little dissolved oxygen below 16 feet.
“Find banks, channel drops or humps at that depth and fish them,” Dreves said. “I always remind myself to fish the right depth in summer.”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Louisville District webpage has charts showing the water temperature and depths of the dissolved oxygen at Click on the “Water Information” tab, then the “Lake Temperatures and Dissolved Oxygen Levels” tab.
The depth where the oxygen line takes a left toward the zero side of the graph is the top of the thermocline. “You can also go out in the middle of the lake and turn up the sensitivity on your sonar unit until you see a band in the depths,” Dreves said. “That band is the thermocline. It seems the older units might pick this band up better than the newer ones.”
Lakes with high flow through rates such as Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley usually do not form thermoclines in summer in the main lake, but thermoclines may appear in their major creek arms or embayments. The current in rivers prevents thermoclines from forming.
Remember the role of the thermocline while fishing this summer. It will put more fish in hand.

Fishing Tournaments July 14-21

There are two fishing tournament scheduled for Barren River Lake July 14- 21, other than the regular weekday tournaments.

Saturday, July 18
The July F.T.F. Open Bass Tournament will begin at 6 p.m. CT at the Port Oliver Recreation Area on Saturday, July 18. Weigh-in is set for Sunday, July 19, at 1 a.m. at Port Oliver.
It is an OPEN tournament.
For more information, contact Morris Hogue by calling 270-331-4117.

Sunday, July 19
The Port Oliver Bass Club will sponsor a tournament begin at 5 a.m., CT at the Port Oliver Recreation Area on Sunday, July 19. Weigh-in is set for Sunday, July 19, at 11 a.m. at Port Oliver.
It is an OPEN tournament.
For more information, contact Chuck Bennington at or by calling 270-622-5137.

Weekday Tournaments out of Port Oliver Recreation Area:
Mondays 6- 9:30 p.m. – 2 Fish 1 slot included
Tuesdays 6- 9:30 p.m. – One fish (big fish)
Thursdays 6- 9:30 p.m. – 3 fish one slot included
All times are Central Time.

Karl Millen Regatta takes sail July 11

The annual Karl Millen Regatta will take sail July 11 on Barren River Lake.
The Port Oliver Yacht Club will host the regatta Saturday afternoon, beginning at 3 p.m. CT with the skippers’ meeting. There will be a club meeting (and meal) at 2:30 p.m.

Night fishing can beat the heat

By Josh Morris
The dog days of summer, soaring temperatures and increased boat traffic can have a negative effect on fishing during the day. Fish can definitely still be caught during the day, but can be very frustrating, fighting heat and choppy water. One of my favorite cures for the summer time blues is fishing at night.

Night fishing is definitely not a cure all if the day fishing gets tough the night bite can be just as tough. You still have to take into consideration the barometric pressure, water quality, clarity, and adjust your techniques as needed. Another good tool to increase your chances is the lunar feeding table. I make sure, if possible, that I am at my best producing spots when the major feed times are happening. A lot of people also swear by using the almanac.

There are many ways to fish at night for a lot of different species. A person could write an entire book about any one technique or species. I will do my best to hit the high notes of a few of my favorite ways to be successful at night.

The first species we will discuss and my personal favorite is bass. You can be successful from the boat or the bank. I think we should talk equipment first. My favorite set up is in a boat, with black lights to illuminate the bank, and to make the blue florescent line glow as to watch for strikes. The strike can be very subtle and you will miss fish without it. For my rod set up, I like a medium heavy rod with a moderate to fast tip. I like to pair the rod with a bait caster with a 7:1 gear ratio. The fast reel is to take up slack quick, as a lot of times a fish will bring the lure to you. A spinning combo will work too, if a bait caster is not an option for you. My favorite type of bait to throw is a plastic worm, Texas rigged. I use the smallest bullet sinker I can get by with depending on depth, and a 4/0 or a 5/0 wide gap hook. Some people don’t like a wide gap hook but I feel I get a better hook set, and it holds the fish better. Just cast out your bait let it sink and slowly drag or hop the bait back to the boat leaving a bit of slack in the line. Wait for a tick or a bump reel down and set the hook in a hard sweeping motion. Also watch your line for movement. Remember hook sets are free if it feels funny set the hook!   Fishing a jig works well to. I fish it in the same manner as the worm, except I don’t leave as much slack in the line. Spinner baits, and crank baits work well too. You really don’t need the florescent line for those types of baits. Just cast those and reel them in vary depths, and retrieves until you find what works. Fish on points, brush piles, bluffs, stump beds, and ledges all produce well. These techniques work from the bank as well. I would not recommend a deep diving crank bait from the bank. If possible walk out on points and work all around it from the bank. I like dark colored baits at night.

Our next species and my wife’s favorite is catfish. I look for catfish at night up on flats or on points in about 10 feet of water. For equipment I still like using a medium heavy to a heavy rod and a bait cast reel. If from a boat I will drop anchor and use rod holders once bait is set. Blue LED lights help you see, and does not attract as many bugs as green. As for from the bank, a good old lantern does a great job. You can also hold the rod and not use a light if you prefer. I use 15 to 20 pound test in a clear monofilament a 3/0 to a 5/0 catfish hook. Some people seem to prefer the big catfish spinning rigs and those work good too. For bait it’s hard to beat good old fashioned chicken liver. Chicken breast and cut bait works well too. Set back and hold on because when they hit it you will think you hooked a truck.

The last species I will discuss is crappie. For equipment, I like to use an ultra light spinning combo with 4 to 8 pound test monofilament. A split shot sinker, and a #6 to a #2 gold hook. The best technique for this is to put out floating lights over or near bush piles. Wait for the bait to come in I drop a live minnow straight down under the lights and be patient. You may have to adjust you depth to find them. I will drop the bottom and slowly reel up until I get a strike. And repeat until I find where the fish are staging. Fish can be caught in good numbers like this and I have caught everything from walleyes to catfish doing this.   A lively minnow is very important. If it isn’t swimming get a fresh one.

These techniques will produce fish. Be sure to think safety first. Let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return. As always wear a life jacket and a kill switch if in the boat. I hope this helps you out. Fishing at night is a lot of fun I think once you try it you will be, hooked.

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 spotted@gmail.comHe is sponsored on the tournament circuit by Barren Outdoors, Psycho Fishing Lures, and Freddie’s Dugout.

Flooding causes closings around lake

As the rain continues to fall, the Barren River Lake level continues to rise.
At 9:15 a.m. CT today, July 8, Barren River Lake measured 563.15 ft., which is 11 ft. above summer pool.
Barren River Lake Water Level
Use caution in navigating the lake, as there is a lot of drift and covered hazards.
The rising water is causing closings and flooding around the lake.
– The Quarry Road Recreation Area, including the beach, are closed.
– The beach at Beaver Creek is closed.
– The ramps at The Narrows, Peninsula Marina and Baileys Point are back down only.
– The boardwalk around Port Oliver Recreation Area is flooded.
– Hole 4 at the Barren Rive Lake State Park Golf Course is playable with water across the fairway.
For more information, contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Barren River Lake by calling 270-646-2055 or the Barren River Lake State Park Golf Course at 270-646-4653.