Brandon Hunter's Fishing Report
Slow Start for the Offshore Bite; Still Ways to Catch Bass
Report for June 12, 2020
Things are starting to get back to somewhat "normal" after a crazy start to the year due to Covid. I'm pretty sure it's here to stay, but we have to also move along with our lives and just be extra cautious. In recent days, I've had some good days on the water and I've had some very tough days on the water.
I want everyone who reads my reports to know that Kentucky Lake is seeing some very tough fishing and below average days for the most part, if your comparing to years past. Some of you who haven't visited the lakes before don't know any different, but for those of you who have experienced the awesome days we have had in years past, just know that it's far from what it used to be.
I don't write this to discourage anyone, I just want to be upfront and honest about our lakes. Fish populations being down and lack of bait are two reasons we are seeing a decline. The good news is there is still a good number of small fish to be caught and some days will surprise you with a "great day". I truly believe we live on one of the best lakes in the country and in a few years we will be back to those great days again. Lakes go through cycles. Keep fishing hard!
Lake Conditions and What's Happening on the Lake
Water Temps: 78-82
Lake Level: 358.9 and staying steady
Water Color: Normal with pretty clear water here on the north end main lake
Lake conditions are back to normal for the most part after the TVA had the levels up to 361 for at least a week in recent weeks. This had fish scattered and didn't know which way to go. It had a lot of fishermen scattered as well, including myself. For the most part the bass spawn is over with and fish are moving offshore to their summer patterns.
That being said there are still a good number of fish up shallow. I have actually spent a good bit of my time lately up shallow chasing those active fish that are chasing bait. The east side of the lake with wind blown gravel points have been pretty consistent for me. Laydowns and trees in the water hold oxygen and that bait fish will find them, and behind them will obviously be bass.
We have had a shad spawn like craxy here in the last couple weeks and I believe it's a type of emerald shiner that we are seeing so many of on the mainlake banks and even in the creeks. I have also seen some bass fry up shallow so that's always a positive.
There are a good number of fish that are held up in the mouths of the creeks on drop-offs and haven't made that push out to the river like years past. As a matter of fact, last year the offshore bite was almost non existent and fish remained shallow all summer.
I believe from what I'm seeing, we may see more of the same this year. It's the second week of June, if they are coming to the mainlake, they better get to moving. Overall fish populations being down is the reason you're not seeing a lot of big schools on the graph anymore.
Sure a guy can put a Carolina rig in his hand or drag a jig around some offshore structure and at the end of the day he will have caught a few fish. I think as far as catching quality, the guy that slows down and fishes slow, will get some quality bites. It all depends on if you looking for quality or quantity.
For the most part the ledge bite is just not happening, with a few being taken at the mouths of the creeks. The main river stuff has been pretty quiet. I'm sure there a few schools out there if a guy takes the time to look for them in those sneaky places.
There are a good number of fish being taken on the bank around rock and points. Everything for the most part has been main lake related. Topwater has even picked up in recent days with a few nice fish being caught first thing in the morning. The early morning bite has definitely been the most consistent.
There are still a few fish being taken up shallow around docks and water willow grass that grows up on the bank. The key is finding the grass that's got enough water on it to hold the bait and the fish. You really have to drive around to find it, but if you find the right patch of it, it can be good first thing early in the morning.
I have seen mayfly hatches over the last couple days as well. This is always a good sign of being time to throw the topwater which I have touched on just a bit already.
Techniques and Where
Topwater - Topwater is a technique that everyone loves to throw. When the fish are chasing bait close to the bank or there is a mayfly hatch, topwater is always a good choice.
Specifics - Super Spook, 6th Sense Dogma, 6th Sense Splashback 70
Finesse Swimbait - A finesse swimbait is a bait I'll throw when the bite gets tough, but they are still feeding on small shad.
Specifics - 6th Sense Fishing Divine Swimbait in Pro Shad or Ghost Ice Minnow on a jighead
Ned Rig - Enough said, it simply gets you bites when nothing else will
Specifics- Ned Rig Head of your choice, 6th Sense Fishing Ned Fry
Wobble Head - If you like to slow down but want to fish a moving bait try the wobble head with a mag trick worm or ribbon tail worm.
Specifics- 6th Sense Fishing Core X Wobble Head with a 6th Sense Divine Shakey Worm 7" Plum or a Zoom Mag Trick Worm
Swim Jig - A swimjig in bluegill or white this time of year will imitate bluegill and shad up shallow. If you get some wind you can catch them on the swimjig around laydowns or shallow water willow grass.
Specifics - 6th Sense Fishing Divine Swimjig Shad or Bluegill Spawn
For those of you who are not familiar with my service, I competed for eight 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. Make sure your following along and subscribe to my YouTube Channel BrandonHunterFishing. Please visit brandonhunterfishing.com and shoot me an email to book your next trip. See you on the water!
Photos courtesy Brandon Hunter.
Photos courtesy Brandon Hunter.
Photos courtesy Brandon Hunter.
Report Information & Archives
Brandon's reports cover Kentucky Lake from Kentucky Dam to Paris Landing and Lake Barkley north of US 68.
You can access Brandon's previous fishing reports in our Fishing Report Archives.
About Brandon Hunter
Brandon Hunter is a professional tournament angler and guide for Kentucky Lake. He specializes in largemouth bass fishing.