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Fishing Barren River Lake

AKA: Barren River Reservoir

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By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Barren River Lake, KY

Popular Fish Species Barren River Lake, KY

Barren River Reservoir Popular Fish - Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass are a favorite of many locals at Barren River Reservoir, as they are plentiful and easy to catch, once located. Fishing for smallmouth bass is good anytime they are shallow - in spring, during high water, mornings in summer and during warmer fall afternoons. Use shallow crankbaits around rip rap, and around grass use worms, jigs, topwater and spinnerbaits. In winter, spend your time on deeper structure with small worms, jigs and spoons. Other bass to be caught here include largemouth bass and spotted bass.

Barren River Reservoir Popular Fish - Muskie


Fishing for Muskellunge in Barren River Reservoir could provide a trophy fish on any given cast. Giant musky roam these waters and are aggressive eaters. Muskie fishing can bring some exciting moments to your fishing day, as big muskies are spectacular, and strong fighters. Use a strong rod in medium- to medium-heavy action, with heavy line - 20# or heavier. Because of their sharp teeth, steel leaders are highly recommended. Musky have a big mouth so use big baits, same baits you would use for bass but in larger sizes. Topwater, spinnerbaits, crankbaits and jerkbaits all work well for hungry muskie. The best time of year to chase these big fish is Spring, and then again in Fall as the water temperature starts cooling.

Barren River Reservoir Popular Fish - Crappie


Both black crappie and white crappie reside in Barren River Reservoir, and crappie are a very popular species this year. Crappie fishing has improved significantly due to recent changes in minimum size and limit. Crappie always like cover and structure, so locate brush and vegetation. Using a fish finder can help locate schools of crappie, which tend to stack vertically around cover. In spring and fall focus on the 8 to 12 foot range. As the crappie move deep in summer and winter, follow points out deep, as well as find ledges near channels in deeper water. White crappie, in smaller numbers, also make this lake their home.

Fish species to fish for...

Guide to fishing for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, channel catfish, blue catfish, black crappie, white crappie, walleye, bluegill, redear sunfish, white bass, yellow bass,hybrid striped bass and musky at Barren River Lake in Kentucky.

An often used fishery for bass tournaments, Barren River Lake has both largemouth and smallies to attract these events. With 10,000 surface acres and 140 miles of shoreline there is plenty of water to fish.

Barren River Lake, in south-central Kentucky, is a popular destination for fishing, boating, and camping enthusiasts. This beautiful reservoir offers a host of recreational activities and an impressive fishery that attracts anglers from near and far.

Barren River Lake is known for its diverse fish populations, including popular species such as largemouth bass, crappie, catfish, bluegill, and white bass. Anglers can target largemouth bass in the lake's coves, points, and around submerged structures. Crappie fishing is excellent, particularly in the spring when they move into shallow waters to spawn. Catfish enthusiasts can enjoy targeting channel catfish and blue catfish, which can be found in abundance throughout the lake. Bluegill and white bass provide additional angling opportunities, especially for families or young anglers looking for a fun day of fishing.

Barren River Lake State Resort Park is situated on the lake's eastern shore, offering accommodations, a full-service lodge, and a variety of recreational activities. The park provides additional amenities such as swimming, golfing, and nature trails, ensuring visitors have plenty to do both on and off the water.

Whether you're an avid angler, a boating enthusiast, or a nature lover, Barren River Lake in Kentucky offers a wealth of recreational opportunities. Its abundant fish populations, scenic beauty, and camping facilities make it a sought-after destination for fishing, boating, and camping adventures. So pack your fishing gear, launch your boat, or pitch your tent, and experience the outdoor splendor that Barren River Lake has to offer.

The lake is located in the south-central part of the state, 4 miles southwest of Glasgow, KY. There are close to a dozen boat launch ramps for launching pleasure, pontoon and fishing boats, plus additional carry-down areas for launch of small craft including canoes and kayaks. Anglers have plenty of fish species to target including bass, crappie, walleye, hybrid stripers, catfish sunfish and white bass. Numerous fish habitat structures have been submerged into the lake to enhance fish and baitfish population development. Whether for a quick fishing trip, or an extended vacation Barren River Lake is an enjoyable destination. Marinas, campgrounds, RV parks, stores, restaurants, lodging and fishing gear are all available at, or nearby, the lake.

Fishing Boats For Rent In Kentucky

Primary fish species residing in Barren River Lake

Click images for fishing tips and details about each species.

Largemouth bass Smallmouth bass Spotted bass Channel catfish Blue catfish Black crappie White crappie Walleye Bluegill Redear Sunfish White Bass Yellow Bass Hybrid Striped Bass Muskie

Barren River Lake 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 favorite activity on Barren River Lake, with its clear waters and scenic surroundings. The lake offers several boat ramps and marinas for easy access to the water. Boaters can enjoy leisurely cruises, water skiing, or fishing expeditions across the expansive lake. The calm waters and numerous coves make it an ideal destination for recreational boating.

Public Boat Launch Ramps & Landings

Austin Public Use Area Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, east side, off Ramp Road, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with a gravel parking.

Barren River Lake State Park Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, east side, off State Park Road, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with lots of paved parking.

Beaver Creek Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the northeast section of the lake, off Beaver Creek Boat Ramp Road, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp paved parking.

Browns Ford Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the southeast section of the lake, at the east end of the Brownsford Road Bridge, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with paved parking.

Peninsula Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the northwest section of the lake, off Peninsula Road, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with paved parking.

The Narrows Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, east side, off Narrows Road, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.


Barren River State Park Marina
1148 State Park Rd
Lucas, KY 42156
270 646-2357

Peninsula Marina
1261 Peninsula Rd
Glasgow, KY 42141
270 646-2223

Fishing Guides On Barren River Lake

Barren and Beyond Guide Service - crappie, hybrid stripers

If you offer fishing guide services on Barren River Lake, please contact us for a free listing, to be posted here.

Barren River Lake Fishing Video
Fishing License

Click here for a Kentucky Fishing License.

Camping at Barren River Lake is a popular choice for those looking to immerse themselves in nature. The lake features campgrounds and RV parks that offer a range of camping options, including tent camping, RV camping, and cabin rentals. The campgrounds often provide amenities such as picnic areas, playgrounds, and hiking trails, allowing visitors to enjoy the beauty of the lake and its surrounding woodlands.

Campgrounds & RV Parks Nearby

Bailey's Point Campground - 270 622-6959

Tailwater Campground - 270 622-7732

The Narrows Campground - 270 646-3094

Spring Hill RV Park - 270 646-3373

Barren River Lake KY Map - Fishing & Camping Areas

Contact Information

Barren River Lake
Barren River State Park Marina
1148 State Park Rd
Lucas, KY 42156
270 646-2357


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