Walleye Fishing on Lake Cumberland: A Friendly Guide

LAKE Cumberland PIC

Lake Cumberland, located in south-central Kentucky, is a well-known destination for fishing enthusiasts looking for a variety of species, including the elusive walleye. With over 65,000 acres of water, this lake provides perfect opportunities for anglers to practice their skills and master new techniques. The diverse underwater landscape, coupled with an abundance of fish, creates an unparalleled fishing experience.

Walleye fishing on Lake Cumberland requires a combination of choosing the right bait, locating the perfect spot, and employing your favorite techniques and tactics. As the seasons change, so do the locations of walleye and the best strategies for catching them. From targeting the tailwater by Wolf Creek Dam during the colder months to exploring all parts of the lake in warmer weather, there’s always something new to discover when fishing for walleye on this stunning lake.

Key Takeaways

  • Lake Cumberland offers an exceptional walleye fishing experience due to its diverse underwater landscape.
  • Success in catching walleye depends on using proper bait, locating ideal spots, and mastering techniques.
  • Adapting to seasonal changes is crucial for maximizing your walleye fishing adventure on Lake Cumberland.

Walleye Fishing on Lake Cumberland


Why Lake Cumberland?

Lake Cumberland, located in Kentucky, offers a fantastic opportunity for walleye fishing enthusiasts. This beautiful and expansive lake is well-known for its diverse fish population, including crappie, bream, trout, catfish, and five species of bass. The walleye, specifically, are abundant throughout the lake and provide a thrilling angling experience. As you navigate the waters of Lake Cumberland, you’ll likely find yourself surrounded by picturesque views and a relaxing atmosphere.

Best Seasons for Walleye Fishing

To make the most of your walleye fishing trip to Lake Cumberland, it’s important to plan your visit during the prime fishing seasons. According to the Lake Cumberland Fishing Calendar, the best times to catch walleye are:

  • March through June: In these early months, walleye are most responsive to lures laid carefully on the bottom. As the water temperatures rise, the walleye will disperse throughout the lake and can be tempted by deep-running lures or minnows.
  • October: During the fall season, the walleye begin to congregate once again, making them easier to target. You’ll want to use smaller jigs or live minnows as bait during this period.

As you explore the depths of Lake Cumberland, keep in mind that the ideal fishing spots can vary depending on the time of year and the behavior of the fish. Be prepared to adapt your technique and location as necessary to enjoy a fruitful fishing experience.

Remember to follow local guidelines and regulations to ensure a safe and enjoyable walleye fishing adventure on Lake Cumberland. Happy fishing!

Choosing The Right Bait

When walleye fishing on Lake Cumberland, selecting the right bait can significantly improve your chances of success. We’ll be discussing both live bait and artificial lures, so you can make an informed decision and catch more fish.

Live Bait

Utilizing live bait is a popular and effective choice for walleye fishing. One of the top live baits for walleye in Lake Cumberland is live minnows. Walleye tend to be attracted to the natural movements and scent of minnows, making them a great option for attracting bites. When using live minnows, remember to:

  • Use a slip bobber or split shot rig to present the minnow at the right depth
  • Keep the minnows as lively as possible by using a well-oxygenated bait container
  • Hook the minnow just behind the dorsal fin to allow for a more natural swimming action

Artificial Lures

If you prefer using artificial lures, there are many options available that have proven effective for walleye fishing in Lake Cumberland. Some popular choices include:

  • Crankbaits: These lures imitate the swimming action of small, injured fish and can provoke aggressive strikes from walleye. Use deep-diving crankbaits to target walleye in deeper waters.
  • Jigs: Jigs are versatile lures that allow you to fish at various depths and speeds. For walleye, small jig heads tipped with soft plastic tails or minnows are a popular choice. Experiment with different colors and sizes to find what works best.
  • Spoons: When walleye are foraging on baitfish, they may be attracted to the fluttering action of a spoon. Retrieve the spoon at various speeds and depths to entice bites.

In summary, choosing the right bait or lure is crucial when walleye fishing on Lake Cumberland. Both live bait and artificial lures have their advantages, and using a combination of the two can increase your chances of success. Remember to be patient and experiment with different presentations to find what works best for the conditions on any given day.

Finding the Perfect Spot

When you’re searching for the ideal location to catch walleye on Lake Cumberland, focus on main lake points, rocky points, and depth. Begin by examining the main lake points, as they can be a gathering place for walleye. These areas are where the shoreline extends out into the open water, providing a natural habitat for fish to congregate.

Next, consider exploring rocky points, which are perfect for attracting walleye. These areas can be found around the lake, both on the main lake shores and in smaller bays and inlets. Walleye like to hide in the crevices of the rocks, waiting for their prey to swim by, making rocky points an excellent spot to cast your line.

Lastly, pay attention to the depth when looking for your walleye fishing spot. On Lake Cumberland, walleye tend to respond well to bottom lures. Later in the season, they may be found in various parts of the lake where they can be tempted by deep-running lures or minnows. Walleye are known to school up, especially when the weather gets hotter, so keep an eye on general depths when searching for your perfect spot.

Try utilizing a combination of these factors when searching for the perfect walleye fishing spot on Lake Cumberland. As you gain experience, you’ll become more familiar with the lake’s various areas, allowing you to find your ideal location and increase your chances of catching a trophy-sized walleye. Good luck and happy fishing!

Favorite Techniques and Tactics

Casting Techniques

One effective technique for walleye fishing on Lake Cumberland is casting. To improve your casting skills, practice targeting different depths, as walleye tend to move throughout the water column during the day. In the early morning and late evening, try casting shallow-running lures or minnows near main lake points or creek-mouth points. As the day progresses, walleye tend to move deeper, so switch to deeper lures or jigs to target fish at varying depths. Remember, using a friendly tone and staying focused on the task at hand will help you enjoy your time on the water.

Trolling Tactics

Trolling is another effective method for catching walleye in Lake Cumberland. When trolling, cover a large area by using multiple rods and varying the depths of your lures. You can use planer boards or downriggers to help achieve this. Pay attention to your speed, as walleye are sensitive to the pace of your boat. Slower speeds can trigger bites, especially when walleye are in a less aggressive mood. Be sure to monitor your sonar for schools of shad, as walleye often congregate around their prey. Adjust your speed and depth based on the location and behavior of the fish you’re targeting.

Jigging for Walleye

Jigging can also be highly effective for Lake Cumberland walleye fishing. To catch walleye using this technique, you’ll want to focus on bouncing your lure off the bottom. Select a jig that is appropriate for the area you’re fishing, and experiment with different colors and sizes to find what’s working best on any given day. Vertical jigging is great for targeting walleye that are hugging the bottom, while pitching jigs works well when fish are suspended in the water column. As you jig, be attentive to the subtle bites of walleye, and set your hook gently to avoid tearing the fish’s mouth.

Safety Tips for Walleye Fishing

When heading out for walleye fishing on Lake Cumberland, it’s important to prioritize safety to ensure an enjoyable and successful experience. Keep in mind these friendly tips while you plan your trip and hit the water.

1. Wear a life jacket: As a boater, always remember to wear a personal flotation device (PFD) while on the water. Accidents can happen unexpectedly, and having a life jacket on can be a lifesaver in case of an emergency.

2. Check the weather: Before heading out, check the local weather forecast and keep an eye on any potential storms or extreme temperature changes. If you encounter bad weather while fishing, it’s best to head back to shore until the conditions improve.

3. Carry a communication device: Always have a reliable means of communication, like a cell phone or VHF radio, in case you need to call for help or receive important weather updates.

4. Keep an eye on your surroundings: While fishing, be aware of your environment, especially shallow areas and submerged structures where walleye may be hiding. Keep a safe distance from other boats and watch out for any obstacles in the water.

5. Know your limits: Understand your own skill level and physical ability when it comes to fishing and boating. Avoid taking risks that could put you, your passengers, or other boaters in danger.

6. Obey boating and fishing regulations: Familiarize yourself with the local boating and fishing regulations in Lake Cumberland. These rules are in place for everyone’s safety and to protect the environment.

7. Carry a first-aid kit: Accidents can happen even when you’re cautious. Having a well-equipped first-aid kit on board can help you attend to minor injuries quickly.

By following these safety tips, you can focus on catching those elusive walleye and have an enjoyable time out on the lake.

Additional Lake Activities

While you’re enjoying walleye fishing on Lake Cumberland, there are plenty of other great activities to fill your time. The lake offers various amenities for a fun-filled and memorable experience in a friendly atmosphere.

When you’re ready for a change of pace, try your hand at trout fishing. Lake Cumberland is home to brown trout, lake trout, and rainbow trout, providing a thrilling challenge for anglers of all skill levels. The clear waters offer prime conditions for targeting these elusive fish.

If bass fishing is more your style, you won’t be disappointed. Lake Cumberland boasts impressive populations of largemouth bass and smallmouth bass, making it an angler’s paradise. Try using different lures and techniques to make your trip even more rewarding.

For an even greater variety, consider fishing for other species like sauger, crappie, and white bass. Crappie fishing is especially popular in the lake, and using small jigs or live minnows can yield impressive catches during the prime seasons of March to June and October.

Lake Cumberland is also known for its remarkable striper fishing opportunities. The lake is home to rockfish, which are known for their tremendous fighting power and can grow to impressive sizes. Patience and the right fishing gear will be your best friends in reeling in these hard-fighting fish.

No matter which type of fishing experience you’re after, Lake Cumberland offers it all in a beautiful and welcoming environment. As you explore the many activities on the lake, you’ll create memories that will last a lifetime. So, enjoy your time fishing and make the most of your Lake Cumberland adventure.


Fishing for walleye on Lake Cumberland can be a rewarding and exciting experience. With its trophy-sized walleye fishery, you have the chance to potentially catch a once-in-a-lifetime walleye. To increase your chances of success, let’s recap some of the key points discussed in this article.

Firstly, timing is crucial. Walleye tend to be more active during the cooler months, and you might have better success focusing on fishing early morning or late evening. Remember that the hotter it gets, the more the walleye will school up, providing a chance to catch multiple fish from a single spot.

Next, focus your efforts on areas with large schools of shad off of main lake points or creek-mouth points. These are some of the prime spots for catching walleye, as they tend to congregate in these environments. Consider trying deep-running lures or minnows for your bait to attract the attention of the elusive walleye.

Furthermore, it’s essential to be patient and persistent. Like any fishing venture, having a positive attitude and a strong determination to succeed can play a significant role in your overall Lake Cumberland walleye fishing experience.

Finally, don’t hesitate to ask for advice or consider hiring a fishing guide. Local anglers and professionals that frequently fish on Lake Cumberland may be able to provide unique insights, tips, and methods that will help you find the ideal fishing locations and increase your chances of catching walleye.

With these points in mind, you’re now ready to embark on your walleye fishing adventure at Lake Cumberland. Remember to follow local guidelines and practice responsible fishing. Good luck, and enjoy your time on the water!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some top spots for walleye fishing on Lake Cumberland?

While there isn’t a specific top spot mentioned for walleye fishing on Lake Cumberland, focusing on deeper areas of the lake and covering more water can increase your chances. To find these deeper spots, you may want to consider trolling to ensure that your bait gets in front of more walleye. More information can be found on the Lake Cumberland Fishing website.

When is the prime season for catching walleye in Lake Cumberland?

The prime season for catching walleye on Lake Cumberland is during the late winter and early spring. During this time, walleye can be found looking for swift water, as it is their natural spawning ground. They can be found in the Cumberland River and smaller tributaries of Lake Cumberland. You can read more about this on the Official Visitor Information website.

What are the fishing regulations for walleye on Lake Cumberland?

Unfortunately, I could not find information on specific fishing regulations for walleye on Lake Cumberland. To get accurate information on fishing rules and regulations, it is best to consult the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.

Which rigs work best for walleye fishing in the lake?

Though specific rigs for walleye fishing on Lake Cumberland were not mentioned in the search results, using lures and laying them down carefully on the bottom can lead to better results. Walleye in the lake respond to these lures. You can learn more about catching walleye on lakecumberlandvacation.com.

What’s the record for the largest walleye caught in Lake Cumberland?

Unfortunately, I could not find information on the largest walleye caught in Lake Cumberland. However, it is worth noting that Lake Cumberland is known for producing a variety of record fish. You can read more on the National Park Reservations website.

Are there any recommended fishing charters for walleye on Lake Cumberland?

I could not find any specific fishing charters for walleye on Lake Cumberland. However, given the lake’s popularity for fishing, it is likely that local guides and charters will have knowledge and experience of catching walleye. Look up the available options and contact them to discuss your desired fishing experience.


Hi, I’m Kurt and I’m the author of walleyemania. I’ve been fishing for Walleye since I was a kid and I love sharing my tips, tricks, and stories with other anglers. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, you’ll find something useful and entertaining on my site. I cover everything from the best gear, baits, and techniques to the best spots, seasons, and recipes for Walleye fishing. Join me on my journey to catch more and bigger Walleye!

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