Barren River Lake is a great place for fishing!  Located in South-Central Kentucky, Barren River Lake is home to many fishing tournaments each year because of the abundance of largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, blue catfish, black crappie, white crappie, walleye, bluegill, redear sunfish, white bass, yellow bass and hybrid striped bass.  According to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife annual Bass Fishing Quality Assessment, “The largemouth bass population at Barren River Lake has historically been consistently good and ranked as one of the top bass fisheries in the state.”

Kentucky Fishing License

Yes, you need a fishing license to fish in Kentucky. Kentucky’s license year begins March 1 and continues through the last day of February.  Kentucky requires an annual license renewal. Resident and nonresident youth ages 15 and younger are not required to purchase licenses or permits to fish.  So let those kids enjoy some great fishing while you are visiting Barren River Lake, however, the adults in your party will all need valid Kentucky fishing licenses.

If you’re fishing for fun and need help identifying the various species in Barren, here is a great resource:

Best Places to Fish at Barren River Lake

There are close to a dozen launch boat ramps on Barren, plus additional carry-down areas for kayaks, canoes and other small watercraft. Barren River Lake allows both motorized and non-motorized watercraft on the lake.  Barren is full of so many great nooks and crannies for fishing.  Our personal favorite is right under Cooper’s Cottage on the rock wall just left of Bailey’s Point.  From this vantage point, we can see the house while reeling in the fish.

Port Oliver Boat Ramp and the Narrows Campground, both have paved paths that many use for fishing from the banks.  Catch a few fish at the Tailwaters Campground by simply setting out camp chairs and relaxing right next to the water.  All in all fishermen of all types have easy access to Barren.

Keep in mind that being a man-made lake, the Core of Engineers regularly controls the water levels at Barren River Lake.  Fishing is affected by this.  Check lake levels before going out on the water, so that you have all the information you need for a great, relaxing day of fishing.  Check the times of release for the dam, if you are planning on fishing from the Tailwaters campground.

Stay at Cooper’s Cottage while fishing at Barren

And, of course, if you are looking for a great place to stay while fishing at Barren River Lake, book Cooper’s Cottage.  Our 3 bedroom, 2 bath lake house is perfect for a couple of guys on a fishing trip.  We are also set up for a small family looking to spend time on the water or 2-3 couples looking for a relaxing weekend with friends.  Cooper’s Cottage is located 1.5 miles from Bailey’s Point Dock and Campground, so you have easy access to the water.  The view from the rock cliff that we are situated on is great, but unfortunately, is too steep to allow fishing from the house.

Great Barren River Lake Fishing Resources: