Scott McGlinchey's Fishing Report
For August 1, 2019Report for Kentucky Lake & Lake Barkley
August is here and things are changing. This is the time of year when shad start to migrate to shallow water. This year seems to be a little different as many shad stayed in shallow water all summer while others schooled up in deep water.
Typically the shad - especially the small fry sized - will start moving to shallow water and end up in the back ends of bays and creek arms. You will also have an evening migration that occurs each day as you will see the deep shad move up to the surface a few hundred yards off the bank.
Then in about 30 minutes they will be right along a deep main lake bank or point. Sometimes there will be some hungry bass that will move in to feed on them. This summer there was a big hatch of shad and many of them stayed shallow thru the summer.
The word is out and many fisherman have had success catching numbers of bass in shallow water. Boat docks, shallow rocky banks, stake beds, shallow bars and points, and any other shallow cover is where you may find them. You will have to go through a lot of small bass to catch the bigger ones but catching smaller bass can sure be fun.
As for myself, I'm still catching big bass in deep water on certain drop offs and ledges that always seem to have a few big ones around each day. You really have to work the water methodically and diligently to catch them and most anglers don’t have the patience for that.
In my experience I have had a few home lakes where to catch five big bass you had to work three to five holes very thoroughly just to maybe get five bites. So slow fishing doesn’t bother me especially when I am after big fish. I am still primarily using a 10-inch worm in plum color. A little over a week ago a client and I caught five big ones all between 12:30PM and 2:30PM. We released them and all survived.
There are actually some drop offs here at Kentucky and Barkley Lake that can be very good in August and September because they are located in transitional areas and they hold transitional fish. No doubt the lakes are fishing harder this year so you have to be patient and be there at the right time.
A few mornings ago I was out with a friend looking for topwater bass and we fished shallow bars at creek mouths all the way to the back ends of those creeks. We had some big bites and caught a handful of smaller ones. We were just sampling the water to see where the bass were and making visual observations as to where the shad were. Some of the bass we caught were relating to the mayfly hatch. There are many good top water poppers and stick baits I like chrome and bone colored bellies.
I would say at the present there is one shallow water pattern that an angler could catch some bigger fish by running and fishing nothing but that specific cover while the water is still up a bit.
This fall will be different as there are less bass in the lake and more shad than we have had since 2016. As the water falls the topwater fishing will get better and you will have to fish a little harder and don’t expect to see large groups of bass feeding as in previous falls but there will be some bass in those same locations so have confidence and patience and just enjoy the day!
I have some private lakes and other semi-secret public waterways that I like to fish that have some monster bass in them and some of my clients like that kind of fishing. A few days ago I went and waded a trout stream not far from Kentucky and Barkley Lakes. I smoked those trout for lunch the next day and they were delicious! I love to wade a stream and catch trout.
During the last few weeks I have taken clients out bluegill fishing and have been successful every time. You have to go through some small ones to get the big ones. The white and yellow bass are schooled up in deepwater and my favorite way to catch them is with a heavy blade bait like a silver buddy or steel shad. Heavy inline spinners work well to.
If you're in town fishing for fun or here preparing for a tournament I am sure I can help you in either department.
I have 29 years of ledge fishing experience and would like nothing more than to take all of my readers out fishing! If you want to book a trip with me please try to call me as the communication over the phone is much more effective and consumes less time than emails. I do respond to all forms of communication as quick as I can.
Please check out and like my Shelldivers Guide Service Facebook page. I will have additional pictures posted there some are underwater photos of fish and shellbeds.
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