Kentucky Lake – Kentucky Lake ranks near the top of the all-time list for producing the heaviest stringer of bass - hear more with the FLW Outdoors Fishing Report.
Scott Ellison here, with the FLW Outdoors Fishing Report.
We don't have to look any farther than last weekend's Walmart FLW Bass Fishing League Super Tournament on Kentucky Lake to see how the fishing is. Phillip Bates of Bon Aqua, Tennessee won the pro division of the two-day event out of Kentucky Dam village with a stringer of 10 bass that totaled 30 pounds, 12 ounces. On the co-angler side, Scott Wasson of Evansville won with 18 pounds, 14 ounces.
The different approaches the two anglers took sort of sums up what's going on at Kentucky Lake now. Bates was fishing with topwater lures and rat-l-traps in shallow water on the southern end of the lake and Wasson caught his fish on the drops using jigs. In other words, fish are biting everywhere, deep and shallow. However, as the 3-pound average that Bates had suggests, the bigger fish are still not showing up very regularly.
Daniel Fennel, who ran the tournament for FLW Outdoors, said half the fishermen were fishing the ledges and the rest were fishing the shallows with spinnerbaits, topwater lures and shallow-running crankbaits. By the way, Murray's own Chad Branham was runner-up on the pro side with 22 pounds, 15 ounces. Billy Shroeder of Paducah wound up in third place and Dan Morehead of Paducah was fourth.
It bears repeating that Kentucky Lake is in a state of flux between summer's ledge patterns and fall's shoreline patterns. As long as the Indian summer weather ranges up and down, fish aren't going to get set on any one thing or in any particular area. By the time October gets here, though, look out. The bass will be shallow and hungry. If you need proof, consider that Kentucky Lake ranks third on the all-time list for producing the heaviest stringer of bass in a BFL regional. It weighed 50 pounds, 9 ounces and was caught in October 2009. Lake Seminole in South Georgia ranks first and second in those all-time standings, by the way.
Getting back to Kentucky Lake fishing, the high water that we saw after tropical storm Lee dumped all that rain on north Alabama and east Tennessee a couple of weeks ago is slowly beginning to fall. But that fresh water should help all types of fishing. As it is, catfishing in 20 to 40 feet of water has held up for several weeks now. Natural bait such as cut shad and chicken livers are producing the best catches. Start checking the 8-14-foot depths along shorelines for crappies, too, because they're moving shallower as young-of-the-year shad are migrating into the creeks and tributaries for fall. Through the slabs are still pretty scattered, crappies are being caught in 8 to 14 feet of water on a variety of jigs, small crankbaits and, best of all, live minnows.
That's it for now. The fishing isn't great, but it will get better soon. Even if you don't catch any fish, you're bound to enjoy the weather.
This is Scott Ellison for FLW Outdoors, signing off til next week.
Scott Ellison is a lifelong fisherman and FLW Outdoors College Fishing Promotions Manager.