Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Fayette | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Warren | Webster
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

WK Outdoors – Fish Offshore for Post-spawn Largemouth Bass

wk outdoors bassFRANKFORT, Ky. (7/5/13) – The wet and unseasonably cool weather pattern lately seems more consistent with Derby week than with the upcoming Fourth of July holiday.
 
Chris Hickey, black bass research biologist for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, said the cool weather delayed the largemouth bass spawn a couple of weeks, but now everything is on schedule as we head into the heat of summer.
 
He said anglers report largemouth bass gathering on the channel ledges on Kentucky and Barkley lakes.
 
Summer fishing for largemouth bass frustrates many anglers, although anglers themselves are usually the source of the problem. The anglers often don't change the presentation or places they fish from the spring season, although their summer catch often consists of a few small male "buck" bass.
 
Forget fishing the visible cover along the bank and instead concentrate on off-shore structures such as channel ledges, submerged islands, humps and long points to catch bass during the day in July and August. Studying a map of the underwater features reveals these fish-holding structures. Anglers should plan on probing several during a day of fishing.
 
"I look for three things for deep ledge fishing," said Ryan Oster, federal aid coordinator for the fisheries division of Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. "The first is the presence of bait, second is stumps and third is current. Mussel beds on the ledge are also a big help."
 
Oster, formerly western fisheries district biologist who helped manage Kentucky and Barkley lakes, prefers deep running crankbaits, 7- to 10-inch straight-tailed worms rigged on Shakey heads and heavy football jig and trailer combinations to fish ledges from 12 to 25 feet deep in these lakes.
 
"I like the Sexy Shad color for clear water and the chartreuse Sexy Shad for stained water in my deep crankbaits," Oster said. "Typically, bass want it raking across the bottom. On some days, the fish want a slow and steady retrieve and on others, they want it fast. Mix it up until they hit."
 
Boat positioning is important to keep these lures crawling on the bottom and across those underwater ledges and humps. Some anglers use marker buoys to visualize the ledge or hump.
 
Slowly crawl a Shakey head rig along the bottom, stop it every few feet and shake the rod tip to wiggle the worm and entice bass. Anglers fishing jigs may also work the bottom, but many "stroke" a heavy football jig by ripping it off the bottom with their rod tip and letting the lure fall on a slack line. Trophy largemouths often hit the jig on the fall.
 
Use at least 1/2-ounce of weight to get down on the deep structure. Many opt for 3/4-ounce or 1-ounce jigs. Shakey worms in green pumpkin, black or purple work well in deep water. Black jigs in combination with blue, purple, brown or chartreuse produce deep bass.
 
During the hottest times of the year, largemouth bass suspend over the ledge or hump and ignore lures worked on bottom. A swimbait works well for suspended bass.
 
Pearl-colored swimbaits with shades of gray, blue and light purple work well. Fish the swimbait just above bottom rigged on a 1/4-ounce or 3/8-ounce head as heavier heads deadens the lure's action. Oster prefers 5-inch swimbaits.
 
Points that extend well out into the lake are high percentage spots for summer largemouth bass. Jigs slowly crawled across the point in water 15 to 25 feet deep draws strikes. Points with stumps or chunk rock on them hold the most fish.
 
The best ledge fishing is on Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley and Barren River Lake. Most lakes across Kentucky have long extended points and many have underwater humps.
 
Get off the bank and catch huge bass on the hottest days.
 
Author Lee McClellan is an award-winning associate editor for Kentucky Afield magazine, the official publication of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. He is a life-long hunter and angler, with a passion for smallmouth bass fishing.
 
WK Outdoors
Information provided by Lee McClellan (Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife)

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

In Other News...

MCBE Announces Eric Bletzinger as New Finance Officer

MUHLENBERG COUNTY, Ky. (8/25/14) — Muhlenberg County Board of Education would like to announce the hiring of Eric… Read More

Camper Stolen in Utica Recovered in Greenville

GREENVILLE, Ky. (8/25/14) ― A Greenville man is in custody after Kentucky State Police investigated the theft of a… Read More

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

August 22, 2014 5420

Two Busted for Meth in Central City

in Top Stories by Martha Clark
August 22, 2014 4083

Business Spotlight - Gypsy Lady Offers…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
August 25, 2014 3796

14-Year-Old Suffers Gunshot Wound; Air…

in Top Stories by Ami Clayton, SurfKY News
August 22, 2014 2891

Edge Ice Center Offering weSKATE…

in News by Brittni Bunn
August 25, 2014 2691

Flooded Central City Church's Seven Day…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

August 25, 2014 3796

14-Year-Old Suffers Gunshot Wound; Air…

in Top Stories by Ami Clayton, SurfKY News
August 22, 2014 2164

Family: 'We're So Far Away; Need to Say…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
August 24, 2014 2153

Two Injured in Two-Vehicle Collision…

in Top Stories by Officer Jeff Miller
August 25, 2014 2024

Two Injured in Two-Vehicle Collision Near…

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke
August 22, 2014 1975

SurfKY Spotlight: Blackwell’s Diner and…

in Top Stories by Gary Gates, SurfKY News

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

August 22, 2014 2891

Edge Ice Center Offering weSKATE…

in News by Brittni Bunn
August 25, 2014 1927

Daviess County Health Department…

in News by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News
August 25, 2014 1763

44th Mount Saint Joseph Picnic is Sunday,…

in News by Jennifer Kaminski
August 25, 2014 1754

GRADD Seeking Ombudsman Program Volunteers

in News by Woody Maglinger
August 22, 2014 1449

UPDATE - Multi-Agency Drug Investigation…

in Top Stories by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

August 22, 2014 5420

Two Busted for Meth in Central City

in Top Stories by Martha Clark
August 22, 2014 4083

Business Spotlight - Gypsy Lady Offers…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
August 25, 2014 2691

Flooded Central City Church's Seven Day…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
August 22, 2014 2572

Kentucky 601 in Muhlenberg County…

in Top Stories by Keith Todd
August 25, 2014 2359

Camper Stolen in Utica Recovered in…

in Top Stories by Martha Clark

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)

SurfKY Owensboro News Bureau
920 Frederica St. / Suite 210  •  Owensboro, KY 42301  •  270.683-8060 (phone)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social 03social 04social 22social 21social 06