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Brandon Hunter Fishing Report

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Brandon Hunter

Brandon Hunter
(270) 703-7777
Website - Email

Cold Temperatures, Shad Kill, Big Bass

For March 17, 2017

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

While a lot of anglers choose to stay home on those cloudy, overcast, freezing cold days, you may be making a big mistake. When the fish are up on the banks and moving to shallow water like they have with the warm air temps the last few weeks and we have a huge change in air temps, the fishing will slow down some may say? Not the case the last few days. With the sudden change in air temps reaching down into the 20s and feel like temps in the teens, one thing comes to mind…Shad Kill!! And boy do those bass go crazy when this happens.

Lake Conditions

Water Temps 49-52
Lake Level 355.6

Water temperatures have fell some few degrees after the cold front that has swept the region over the last few days reaching as low as 48 degrees and reaching low 50s by the end of the day. Huge change in the close to 60 degree water we were seeing only a week or so ago. The west side of the lake has some stained water, while the majority of the main lake and east side has pretty clean water.  

One thing I have learned over the past few days is there are still a lot more bass staging on the main lake. When temps reach the mid 50s we start slinging the lipless and shallow cranks around looking for those bass that start making their way back in the creeks. When you get a cold front like we have seen, it will make a guy sit back and think I should probably slow down. After seeing lots of shad on the water after the cold nights and birds diving I had a pretty good idea what I needed to be looking for.

Cold, cold nights mean dead shad and dead shad means big bass! Start looking for those pre spawn fish in typical staging areas with rock and deep water close by. The first couple points in the bays are holding a few fish as well. Remember you have to slow Way Down!! Painfully slow on those cold days.

Techniques that are working

Jerk Baits- One of my favorite ways to catch them and one of the most productive baits the last few days has been the jerkbaits. You have to fish it painfully slow and every bite came while sitting dead still.

Specifics- Lucky Craft Pointer 100 and Slender Pointer 112

Colors-Pearl Threadfin Shad, Chart Shad, Pearl Ayu

Lipless- Great search bait for those fish that start moving in the bays. This bite has slowed way down with the water temps falling.

Specifics-Lucky Craft LV500, RTO 150

Colors- Craw Colors

Shallow Cranks- Those warm sunny days when that water temp hits 52 degrees, put a crankbait on and cover water. Channel swing banks and lead in banks in the creeks. This bite has also slowed down a bit with cold temps but picks up a bit in the afternoons.

Specifics- Lucky Craft 1.5 and 1.5DD, Rapala Shad Raps, Rapala DT6

Colors- Craw Colors and Yellows, Chart Rootbeer, TO Craw, Hot Mustard, Demon

Alabama Rigs- Proven to catch some of the biggest stringers on Ky Lake in years past and this year is no different. You can idle around with your Lowrance Structure Scan and locate them at the mouths of the creeks on humps in 15-20’ of water. Rig is a great bait to throw at these schools of fish.

Specifics- Your favorite Alabama Rig rigged with 1/8 to 1/4oz round jigheads, Keitech Swimbaits in shad colors or 5” Basstrix or Zoom Swimmers

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

Photo by Melodie Cunningham

These geese float gracefully on a warm autumn day. Honker Lake was actually named for the number of Giant and Interior Canadian geese it attracts.