Just got back from a one day trip to Lake Barkley in Kentucky (5/10/2011). Despite record high water levels, the fishing was great. Both Kentucky and Barkley lakes are dropping pretty fast, so things should improve even more once levels begin to stabilize. And water clarity in the bays are currently very good, which always helps.
My son Tyler and I spent the day with Jim Doom from "Between The Rivers Guide Service". Jim is a very good guide and an all-around great guy. I would highly recommend him! If you want to get in on some great Shellcracker and Bluegill action contact jim at the following: e-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: 270-703-7337 or 270-508-1251.
Below are some Shellcracker pics from the trip. Tyler caught his personal best with a large 13 inch male. We did not weigh it, but as you will see in the pics it was a FATTY. We also caught a bunch of nice Bluegills on the trip.
1/32nd oz. Horizontal Minnow Jigs worked well with Dolphy or Puba Plastics, tipped with a redworm or waxworm. Wade's Blades also caught fish.
Since Shellcrackers/Redear fight so well, I used a medium-light rod. just cast the 1/32nd oz. jigs out by themselves and let them sink. Reel in slowly across the bottom and this is a great way to find bedding fish. Tyler used a lift-drop retrieve method which obviously worked well!
If there are too many weeds or other debris in the water where you fish, try using a slip-float. They will keep your baits suspended off the bottom.