Fourth of July and Fishing is Hot
For July 4, 2019Report for Kentucky Lake from Ky Dam to Paris Landing and Barkley north of US 68
It’s the week of the fourth and everyone is getting ready for some relaxing! I know I am. The hot summer temperatures are here and surprisingly the fishing has been great! Here’s a rundown.
Lake Conditions and What’s Happening on the Lake
Water Temps: High 80s
Lake Level: 361 and Falling back to pool
Water Color: Normal to Clear
This has been a very strange year to say the least. Mother Nature has been getting us good with strong storms and heavy rains over the past few weeks. Hopefully most of you have dodged the storms and didn’t have too much damage to deal with.
The heavy rains have brought devastating flooding along the lower river systems. TVA has held the water back the past week or so simply because the lower end can’t afford any more high water. Normal pool is 359’ and we seen upper 362' water levels this week.
The levels are starting to fall and predicted to be back to 360' by the weekend. Remember to keep an eye out on the TVA Lake Info app to see current lake levels and conditions.
If you know anything at all about fishing, you know that bass love flooded cover. With lake levels up this week, we have had an absolute blast catching good numbers of fish around flooded cover. It was some much needed fun after an overall tough summer on the lake.
This year the offshore ledge fishing that Kentucky and Barkley are known for has been a little off. What I mean by that is a few things. We haven’t seen the big schools that we are used to seeing in years past. The reason for this I believe is 1, the number of 2-3 lb class of fish is way down due to bad spawns a couple years ago.
Number 2, with the lack of baitfish in the lake the fish have no reason to school up so therefore there are no big schools of fish. Here’s the good news. We have had what looks to be a great shad spawn as well as bass spawn this year. There are a good number of small bass up shallow and plenty of shad and fry up close to the bank right now.
The bass from all sizes are up there having a field day chasing that bait around in the backs of the creeks. Don’t let the Asian Carp fool you, there are plenty of bass still in this lake. Are the fish moving around more than years past? Absolutely! Is fishing tougher than we are used to? Sure it is. Has Kentucky and Barkley Lakes spoiled us over the years being one of the best lakes in the country? You bet! Get out there and figure it out!
Don’t blame the carp just because you’re not catching! Like I say if your still looking for that deep bite, remember deep fish don’t like when that water comes up. It scatters them out, typically making them go shallow or suspend. Fishing a big worm or jig is probably the best presentation for those tough to catch bass in the hot summer months. I love to catch them deep, but for me I have had some fun with water levels being higher than normal.
Techniques and Where
Flipping - The flipping bite has probably been the most consistent with the high water. Put a big stick in your hand and go have some fun. If you don’t see the bait, go to the next pocket or creek. Backs of the creeks have been best. With water falling the fish will pull out to the deeper bushes.
SwimJig and Topwater - Those shallow fish are chasing shad like crazy around shallow wood cover and bushes. Try thowing topwater over the ends of laydowns. If they don’t come up on it, throw a white swim jig. Shallow brush or laydowns along the main lake or sides of creeks. Make sure there is plenty of water on them and baitfish around the area.
Specifics - 6th Sense Divine Swim Jig
1/4 oz White or Bluegill Magic, 6th Sense Splashback 70
Popper Bluegill Spawn, Walking type baits like the Spook or
6th Sense Dogma 115 Shad Colors
Deep Cranking - The fish aren’t aggressive on a crankbait this year, but the deep crankbait is always a good choice to trigger those bigger bites. Try fishing shallow flats in 10-20 feet.
Specifics - 6th Sense Cloud 9 C20 and C25 Wild Shad, Blue-Treuse, Platinum Citrus
Shakey Heads or Tx Rig Worm - Always a must have is some sort of 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
Specifics - 3/8 oz Shakey Heads with Zoom Mag Trick Worm Red Bug, Berkley Power Worm 10” Blue Fleck or Plum
DropShot - Probably the most productive bait I have fished this year is the dropshot. When those fish won’t bite anything else, you can usually drum up a few bites. This bait will be used on those hard to catch fish out on the river in that deeper water 25-30 feet
Specifics - 1/4 oz tear drop weight, Gamakatsu DropShot Hook, 6” Roboworm Morning Dawn
Swimbaits - This time of year, especially you tournament guys, your looking for 5 bites. If you get 5 bites on a swimbait, they will weigh big.
Specifics- 3/4 or 1 oz Hog Farmer Hog Wobbler with Jenko Tremor Shad, Magnum Fluke, or Castaic Jerky J
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. Also if you’re in the area, be sure to check out Fast Eddies. They have an awesome restaurant, fuel, and a great tackle selection.
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!
FLW Tour Pro and Kentucky Lake Fishing Guide