Transitioning from Ledge Fishing to Shallow Fishing
Written by Scott McGlinchey - Published on August 10, 2022
As the summer ledge fishing slows down, the shallow water fall fishing begins. The shallow fall fishing starts about the beginning of August and is triggered by seasonal and evening movements of shad.
The evening movements occur mostly out on main lake areas where schools of shad come to the surface a few hundred yards off the bank. Then in about 30 minutes, they hit the bank and usually bass will start feeding on them.
The seasonal movements of shad are defined by baitfish moving into the creek arms and bays and stay there. Bass follow them into these shallow flats and feed when the opportunity is right.
Basically the shad are roaming around feeding and the bass are doing the same thing - roaming around eating shad.
Every day is different. Some days you can catch them really well and other days are tougher.
Although typical ledge fishing is fizzling, there are still days when you can catch a heavy limit offshore. Look for the shallower type of ledges and you may find some really nice bass holding there as they transition from deep to shallow water.
On any given day at Kentucky or Barkley Lake you can catch a big bag of fish from the right ledge.
My favorite baits and techniques for this time of year while fishing the shallow flats are fishing topwater or scaling down with small spinnerbaits to include inline spinners, smaller jerkbaits, buzzbaits, or shallow running crankbaits.
I stick with topwater baits the most and right now my two favorites are the small whopper plopper and the Strike King sexy dawg in the small size about 4 or 5 inches.
Typically cloudy and rainy days are best. However, one of the best days I ever had was hot and sunny weather all day around the end of August of 2020 and we lost count of the number of bass we caught.
I put the shallow water topwater fishing to test during the last week of July and caught bass from the mouths of creek arms and bays all the way to the back ends.
I have had some tough trips and have had some that were unbelievable since then. Kentucky and Barkley Lakes are fishing really well this year, the shad population is outstanding, and the bass are fat. It’s a great time to be fishing!