Davis Motor Sales banner ad

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 2015 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 on social media.

Posted on 2/2/14
3/13 - 16
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week

February 21, 2015 7925

Traffic Advisory for Western Kentucky

in Top News For All Sites by KTC
February 25, 2015 7084

Multi-Agency Investigation Nets Large-Scale Meth…

in Top News For All Sites by Trooper Stu Recke
February 24, 2015 6934

Two Charged in Central City Meth Bust

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Trooper Stu Recke
February 22, 2015 6804

Easter Cuties Pageant in Memory of Shanice Bean

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
February 21, 2015 6498

Local Administrators Warn Employees to Watch for…

in Top News For All Sites by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
February 25, 2015 6054

New Asian Restaurant Coming to Madisonville

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Gary Gates, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

February 12, 2015

UPDATE: Name of Pennyrile Fatality Officially…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
February 09, 2015

Police Pursue Man after Fight at Taco Bell

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center

Stories Trending Today

February 28, 2015 3310

City's Parking Ordinances to be Strictly Enforced…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
February 27, 2015 2579

AIRPLAY: Travis Dukes Makes Stop for Jam Session

in Top News For All Sites by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
February 27, 2015 2340

Local Church Hosting Spring Campmeeting

in Video by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
February 28, 2015 1901

Market Commentary - Feb. 28, 2015

in Top News For All Sites by Randall L. Franklin
February 28, 2015 1608

Keeping the Faith - 'The Fewer the Words the…

in General News For All Sites by Ronnie McBrayer
February 28, 2015 1605

UK Athletics to Deepen Investment in Center for…

in General Sports For All Sites by UK Athletics
February 28, 2015 1583

Hooked on Science - 'Scribblebot'

in General News For All Sites by Jason Lindsey
February 28, 2015 1541

Whitfield Meets with American Physical Therapy…

in General News For All Sites by Robert Hankins
February 28, 2015 1499

Happenings, Meetings Listed for Hopkins County

in Hopkins News by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
March 01, 2015 1301

HCCHS Student Has Unique Eye for Art

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News