When you think of Kentucky Lake, especially in late July you tend to think about ledge fishing. The last couple of years, for me at least, the ledge bite has been incredibly scattered. This weekend I went for a more consistent bite up shallow with a hot topwater bite in the back of a major creek, hot being the key word with water temperatures around 87. The bite was so good that at times I was catching them 2 at a time!
There are more shad shallow than I have seen in a very long time, its very promising for those younger 12-15” fish. The bite I was on required weeding through many of those 12-15” fish in search of a random 18”er. A whopper plopper in practice was the best, but come tournament morning they didn’t want it. I switched up to a Lobina Lures Rio Rico and I guess that got their attention. Action was steady until the sun got high over the trees. That bite was happening in about 1’ of water on a creek flat. Once it died around 10:00 am I eased out to 3-5’ following the creek channel, fan casting a squarebill around brush. I got a couple nice upgrades from that pattern and had a decent limit but 2 small fish needed to be culled if I was going to have a shot at cashing a check.
There was one other spot about 45 minutes away where I had success in practice. I loaded up, leaving myself an hour and a half to fish. I made it to a small grassy island in the back of a creek and my first flip with a Missile Baits D-bomb I break off a good fish. Not taking the time to re-tie I grabbed a G-Loomis NRX rigged with a senko and tossed it back in the same spot, I never felt a bite but saw a stalk of grass shake and just set the hook, lucky for me there was one on and it went 19”, I followed that up with an 18, 17 and 16” out of the same little hole in this grass island. In the end 93.75” wasn’t enough for the win for the KBF Trail Event, but I’ve had a tough season and was happy to go home with 2nd. It was truly surprising to catch so many fish in 1-2’ of water with the water temps in the high 80’s and bright sun paired up with a 100+ degree heat index. Just goes to show that Kentucky Lake ledge pattern has changed a bit and to stay competitive you just have to change with what the lake gives you. A positive note is that I have seen a huge decline in carp populations, I still saw some, but nothing like years past. Thanks for reading the blog, leave me a comment and let me know what you think.