Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | 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.

Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013

In Other News...

Teams Race to Benefit Hopkins County Schools PBIS

MADISONVILLE, Ky. ― Sixteen teams took part in the second annual Madisonville is an Adventure Race this morning, Sept.… Read More

One Hospitalized, Another Jailed After Four-Car Collision

HENDERSON, Ky. (9/21/14) ― A multiple-vehicle accident occurred at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20 on the southbound bridge… Read More
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

September 19, 2014 4205

Madisonville Man Among Three Arrested for…

in Top Stories by Muhlenberg Sheriff Curtis McGehee
September 17, 2014 3655

Two Arrested for Meth After Traffic Stop

in Top Stories by Alex Piper
September 17, 2014 3319

Wanted Man Leads Troopers on Chase…

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke
September 20, 2014 2800

Large Cache of Drugs, Cash, Gun Seized;…

in Top Stories by MCSO PIO Alex Piper
September 18, 2014 2720

Hopkins County Grand Jury Indictments

in News by Karen McKnight

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

September 17, 2014 3319

Wanted Man Leads Troopers on Chase…

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke
September 19, 2014 2627

Five Injured in Two-Vehicle Collision at…

in Top Stories by MPD Officer Russell Nichols
September 17, 2014 2041

Three Injured in Two-Vehicle Accident

in Top Stories by Kyle Pharris
September 18, 2014 1823

Manitou Man Charged with DUI

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
September 18, 2014 1722

Vehicle Strikes CSX Train Cars at Crossing

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

September 20, 2014 811

Man Charged with Theft After KSP…

in Top Stories by Alexis McGee
September 19, 2014 763

STREET CLOSINGS FOR MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 22

in Top Stories by Abby Shelton
September 19, 2014 747

Police Searching for Hit-And-Run Driver

in Top Stories by Jennifer Smith, DCSO
September 18, 2014 609

Owensboro's Nathan Morris Has Worldwide…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
September 18, 2014 443

9-1-1 Phone Lines

in Top Stories by Michael Hathaway

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

September 17, 2014 3655

Two Arrested for Meth After Traffic Stop

in Top Stories by Alex Piper
September 20, 2014 2800

Large Cache of Drugs, Cash, Gun Seized;…

in Top Stories by MCSO PIO Alex Piper
September 17, 2014 1714

Muhlenberg Job Corps Support is 'Written…

in Top Stories by Karen Robinson
September 20, 2014 1188

Paradise NRA Banquet Promises Food, Fun,…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News

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)


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