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Fishing Lake Barkley

AKA: Barkley Lake, Barkley Reservoir

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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 Tennessee.

Lake Barkley, TN

With only a third of the lake in the state of Tennessee, Lake Barkley provides excellent fishing for residents and visitors in the northwest sector of TN. This 58,000-acre lake in Kentucky and Tennessee is split by the northern border of TN, just north of Dover. Barkley Lake has a long-standing reputation as an excellent fishery, especially for bass. Along with its sister lake, Kentucky Lake, it is annually included on everyone's top-ten, best bass lakes in the southeast US. In addition, this is an excellent crappie lake, considered by many as one of the best in the country. Catfish, white bass, stripers, sunfish, paddlefish, walleye and sauger also roam these waters in bragging size schools.

Lake Video

Lake Barkley in Tennessee is a popular destination for anglers seeking a diverse range of fish species and a wealth of fishing opportunities. This 58,000-acre reservoir, located on the Cumberland River, offers fantastic fishing experiences and a beautiful natural setting for boating and camping.

Lake Barkley is known for its abundant populations of various fish species. Anglers can target a variety of game fish, including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, catfish, and white bass. Largemouth bass are particularly popular, with the lake providing ample cover and structure for these fish to thrive. Smallmouth bass can also be found in the rocky areas and deeper waters of the lake, providing an exciting challenge for anglers. Crappie fishing is excellent in Lake Barkley, with both black and white crappie offering great opportunities for anglers to fill their creels. Catfish anglers can target channel catfish and blue catfish, while white bass provide fast-paced action during their seasonal runs.

There are marinas and boat rentals on the lake, plenty of angler-friendly lodging choices, and lots of campgrounds and RV parks. Restaurants, bait and tackle, and convenience stores are all close by.

Lake Barkley's combination of exceptional fishing, boating, and camping opportunities make it a popular destination for anglers and outdoor enthusiasts in Tennessee. Whether you're casting a line for bass, crappie, or catfish, or simply enjoying the tranquility of the lake on a boat or from a campsite, Lake Barkley provides a picturesque and enjoyable environment for all who visit.

Fishing Boats For Rent In TN

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, with its expansive waters offering ample space for boaters to explore. Anglers can launch their boats from various ramps around the lake and navigate its vast stretches to find their preferred fishing spots. The lake is well-suited for both recreational boating and serious fishing pursuits, making it a versatile destination for boaters of all types.


Bumpus Marina
197 Marina Rd
Bumpus Mills, TN 37028
931 232-5238

Public Boat Launch Ramps & Landings

Hickman Shores Road Boat Ramp
Located in the southwest corner of the lake, west side, just north of Donelson Parkway, this is a single-lane, concrete ramp with gravel parking.

Neville Bay Lake Access
Located in the southeast section of the lake, off Neville Bay Road, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with gravel parking.

Click here for a Tennessee Fishing License.

Camping options around Lake Barkley are plentiful, with several campgrounds and recreational areas located along its shores. These campgrounds provide opportunities for anglers to extend their fishing trips and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. Many campgrounds offer amenities such as picnic areas, playgrounds, and access to hiking trails, ensuring a well-rounded outdoor experience for visitors.

Campgrounds & RV Parks Nearby

Bumpus Mills Campground - 931 232-8831

Gatlin Point Self Service Campground - 270 924-2000

LBL Whispering Pines Campground & Cabins - 931 232-4570

Lake Barkley, TN Map - Fishing & Camping Areas

Contact Information

Lake Barkley
Bumpus Mills Campground
764 Forest Trail
Bumpus Mills, TN 37028
931 232-8831


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Lake Barkley in Tennessee.

Bass, catfish and striper fishing in northern TN.

Fishing at Lake Barkley, in Tennessee.