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Brandon Hunter Fishing Report

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Brandon Hunter

Brandon Hunter
(270) 703-7777
Website - Email

Spring Time, Yellow Flowers, Spawn

For April 21, 2017

Report for Kentucky Lake from Ky Dam to Paris Landing and Barkley north of US 68

The month of April on the TN river usually means that Spring is here in full swing with pollen falling so thick it’s almost as if your punching matted grass in Florida. Spring time means one thing…Spawn!! It is that time of year that love is in the air!! The dogwoods are blooming, water temps are heating up , and the fish are spawning or thinking of spawning.

Lake Conditions and What’s Happening on the Lake

Water Temps: 65-72 Morning to Late Afternoon

Lake Level: 358.6

Water temperatures have been coming up quick this year with the warm days and warm nights we have been having. Most years the fish on the TN River will start thinking of spawing when the water temps hit the low 60s. This year the water started warming up quick and the first wave of early spawners moved in. I think a lot of people think that the fish don’t even think of spawning until the water levels come up to summer pool. When a bass gets ready to spawn she doesn’t care if water is in the bushes or not. The only one who cares about the water being in the bushes are those with a flipping stick in their hand.

One of my favorite ways to catch a bass is flipping a Yamamoto Creature Bait in a bush with 20# FLurocarbon! Now that’s some fun stuff! The main thing to look for when looking for spawing activity is the water temperatures. Low 60s and you can start looking in the shallows for those early spawners. Now, what’s going to happen is you will start catching a few fish, then TVA brings water up to close to summer pool and your bite goes away. What next? Just because the water shoots up in the bushes doesn’t mean the fish will make a mad dash for the bank.

The fish that are already settled in to spawn will stay put and not go anywhere. Now is the time to fish in front of any kind of cover in the water and wait for new fish to move in to the new water that is now on the bank. Kinda frustrating isn’t it? Your bite goes away and you’re wondering why your fish left. Your fish didn’t leave…They are now locked on the bed and you can’t see them. Slow down, back off the bank, and fish where the fish would have been before the water came up in that awesome looking cover on the bank.

We have one of the biggest crops of yellow mustard flowers I have seen in several years on Ky Lake. These flowers are no secret on Ky Lake and provide bass with just enough cover to feel comfortable spawning. You can run to the backs of the creeks and spawning pockets finding yellow flowers and not run out of areas to fish, I promise! I still believe that the majority of the bass on Ky Lake have not spawned yet and the best fishing days are yet to come.

There is a little bit of a shad spawn going on right now. I have seen very little activity but I have seen a little. Look for those shad popping right on the bank for the first hour or so of daylight around rip rap, docks, or pea gravel. The shad spawn usually doesn’t really get going full swing until the bass are almost done spawing which is a ways to go I believe, but I have seen some activity early in the mornings with the warm temperatures we have had. Stay after them, your best spring days are yet to come!!

Techniques that are working

Jerk Baits - I have still be catching several good fish on a jerkbait. Not every fish will leave the main lake and the points at once. I can still pick up a few fish on the jerkbait when most people lay it down. I have caught a few fish around docks where the shad are spawning.

Specifics - Lucky Craft Pointer 100 and Pointer 78

Colors - Ayu, Sexy Chart Shad, American Shad

Shallow Cranks - There is always a shallow crank bite when the fish are prespawn and making their ways back in the creeks. I have caught several good fish on a squarebill the last week or so. These fish are still on the chunk rock banks and transition banks back in the creeks. Those windy days are great for covering water with a squarebill.

Specifics - Lucky Craft LC1.5

Colors - Pearl TF Shad, Chart Black

Swim Jigs and Spinnerbaits - The swim jig and spinnerbait bite has probably been the most consistent for me the last week or so now that the fish have moved up into the shallow flats and around those yellow flowers. I have probably caught more fish the last few days on a Nichols Swim Jig than anything in my boat. The swim jig works great around docks and rip rap as well for those early morning shad spawns.

Specifics - Nichols Sledehammer 3/8oz SwimJig, Nichols Pulsator Spinnerbait 3/8oz, Yamamoto Zako for trailer

Colors -Black and Blue, Shad Spawn, Bream, Chart Shad, White/Colored Blades DW

Soft Plastics - You can always put a Yamamoto Senko on and catch fish this time of year in front of yellow flowers or shallow cover. Wacky Rig or Shakey Heads both will catch fish. If you find areas where the water is up around bushes or shallow cover you can pitch around your favorite craw texas rigged and catch them.

Specifics - Yamamoto 5” Senko, Yamamoto Flappin Hog

Colors - Black Blue Flake, Green Pumpkin, Green Pumpkin Red, Watermelon Red

For those of you who are not familiar with my service, I have competed for the past 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 Z520C 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 be sure to stop by Kentucky Lake Outdoors in Calvert City.  Be sure to stop in and see Jack or Kevin and tell them I sent you. They are fully stocked with anything you read in my reports and if they don’t have it, they will get it for you. Also the guys at Jet-A-Marina in Calvert City is our number one Ranger Boats dealer and these guys do a great job keeping us running throughout the year. Be sure to stop by and see the brand new service department. See Kerry or Clint and I promise you these guys will take care of you.

Be sure to keep an eye out for upcoming fishing reports by video. I plan to write and do a video to follow each report throughout the year. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram @brandonhunterfishing and @bhunterfishing for product tips and giveaways this year. Please visit brandonhunterfishing.com, shoot me an email to book your next trip.  I’m looking forward to the 2017 season and sharing what I learn each day on the water with you! 

Brandon Hunter
FLW Tour Pro and Kentucky Lake Fishing Guide

Winter Wonderland
Photo by Jennifer Dunnaway

If the road conditions permit, a drive through a snow-covered Land Between The Lakes is a must! This winter wonderland is every photographers dream come true.