Late Summer: Fair Temps, Good Fishing
Written by Brandon Hunter - Published on July 26, 2019
We are going into the end of July and boy has it been a weird month weather wise. We have had more rain and pleasant air temperatures than I can ever remember. I have enjoyed the fair temperatures making it surprisingly pleasant to be on the water. The lake is still fishing pretty good for late summer months. Here is a rundown of what’s going on.
Lake Conditions and What’s Happening on the Lake
Water Temps: High 80s
Lake Level: 358.5 and stable
Water Color: Normal to Clear, Some creeks muddy from heavy rains
If you read my last report, I mentioned that it has been a strange year mostly due to crazy weather. We are still experiencing those heavy rains from time to time and in the last couple weeks we had a couple heavy rains that made a lot of the major creeks pretty muddy.
The last week I sure hope you got out and enjoyed the unusual air temperatures with most days in the 80’s and low humidity. I have had trips about every day and it is so nice to go out fishing and enjoy the day with the low humidity.
The last few weeks the ledge bite has still been slow for the most part. This is the time of year when those fish start moving up shallow again and relating to wood structure. This can be a brush pile, tree top, or stumps. If you can find fresh trees or new brush that have been put out recently, you will find bait, and you will find fish.
Most of the fish I have seen offshore are still in that 8-10’ range. I know a lot of people think late summer, they think deep and to be honest those fish come up late summer due to oxygen. Sure you may still see boats fishing offshore, but that doesn’t mean that boat is fishing 20’ deep.
Look for those high spots on your map system and fish those areas with a worm for your bites. I haven’t been catching a lot of numbers, but once you find a few there seem to be a few in the same area. Personally I have chosen to fish shallow for the last few weeks. If you have been out on the lake at all and close to a dock or the bank, you can see why. Bait everywhere!!
There is a good number of shad, threadfin and gizzard, as well has small skipjack up feeding on little fry. If you can find the bait, you can find the fish. The lake has so many 12-14” fish in it right now, it has me excited for what’s to come the next few years. Young of the year shad and bass means we have had some good spawns and I believe in the next few years we will see our lakes thriving again.
The topwater bite is starting to happen a little bit. This time of year there are always a few to be caught on top, especially with all the shad in the water. Gravel points or gravel bars , rock transition main lake banks are always good areas to get a few on top.
There is also still a decent bite with moving baits. When fish are chasing shad like they have been, a chatterbait, swimjig, squarebill are all great choices around the bank. Laydowns or water willow (the green grass that you seen on every bank) If you can find water around it, fish it.
Docks can be good in the summer as well, especially if they have bait on them. Id be willing to bet you can’t find a dock that doesn’t have bait around it right now. Moving baits as well and if there’s no wind, slow down and finesse them.
It’s getting late summer and fishing will slow down. The hotter it gets the tougher it gets. Make sure your taking advantage of those early mornings before the sun gets up. You will see a lot more activity up around the bank early and it will be harder to find the more that sun gets up. Go get 'em!
Techniques and Where
Topwater - It’s simple. Find the bait and you can find some fish. Gravel banks or points with bait on them. Look for cover under the water. If you get wind the Plopper style baits will get you a big bite.
Specifics - Wopper Plopper Bone or Black, 6th Sense Splashback 70 Popper Bluegill Spawn, Walking type baits like the Spook or 6th Sense Dogma 115 Shad Colors
Shakey Heads or Tx Rig Worm - Magnum shakey head with a Mag Trick Worm or a Texas Rig Big Worm. Shallow main lake flats with wood usually hold fish during the hot summer months 8-12 feet. We have caught a number of fish in 6-10’ of water with a texas rig worm around brushpiles or stumps.
Specifics - 3/8 oz Shakey Heads with Zoom Mag Trick Worm Red Bug, Berkley Power Worm 10” Blue Fleck or Plum
Swimjig, Chatterbait - A good number of fish have been caught fishing shallow cover. Shallow brush, stumps, and laydowns have been most productive. These baits can also be fished around docks. There is no specific depth range on the docks because I think they are relating to the bait and the bait is on every dock.
Specifics- 6th Sense Divine Swimjig 3/8 oz Shad Colors (White) paired with a Divine Swimbait 3.2 or Keitech. ChatterBait 3/8 oz White also with a paddle trailer, if you get wind the chatterbait is the better bait.
Squarebill - The squarebill is a great bait for covering water when fish are relating to shad. Fish it around shallow wood cover especially on those windy days.
Specifics - 6th Sense Crush 50 in 4K Shad, Gizzard Spawn, or Shad Scales
For those of you who are not familiar with my service, I competed for 8 years on the FLW Tour. I am a full time Licensed and Insured Captain with First Aid and CPR certification. I offer one-on-one training for all times of the year, fun bass fishing trips, and electronics lessons on the ins and outs of the new technology.
I would love the opportunity to share a day with you in my Ranger Z520L or in your own boat to get your electronics dialed in. I am here to help you and to help you become a better angler and to give you confidence in your equipment.
If you are in the area on the north end of Kentucky Lake, there are a couple businesses that I highly recommend you check out. Kentucky Lake Outdoors is fully stocked with anything you read in my reports and if they don’t have it, they will get it for you. Hi-Tec Outdoors is one of the premier shops for anything electronics.
They are very knowledgeable on the latest technology, can do the install, and have a great tackle selection as well. The guys at Jet-A-Marina in Calvert City are our local Ranger Boats dealer. These guys do a great job keeping us running throughout the year.
Follow me on Facebook and Instagram @brandonhunterfishing and @bhunterfishing for anything fishing. I’ll also be more involved on YouTube this year with tips and techniques. Make sure your following along and subscribe to my channel BrandonHunterFishing. Please visit brandonhunterfishing.com and shoot me an email to book your next trip. See you on the water!