As a fishing guide on Kentucky Lake, I get a lot of anglers who travel here specifically to fish the area around Paris, Tennessee where its known to be a fantastic ledge fishing factory.
Of course it's known that anglers coming to Kentucky Lake around that area of Tennessee need to have crankbaits, hair jigs and swimbaits if they plan to catch fish. It's what the fish see every day on Kentucky lake or any lake that has ledges. These are the lures fishermen know to use and, a lot of these lures are also king in June because the current in the lake is flowing from the spring rains.
But when the dog days of summer are here in July and August, it's a far different situation for any angler looking to land a big one. There's just not much current here during those dry months and the fish are not active. Not to worry, I've got a few tricks up my shirt sleeve and few different but effective baits you can use while on the water.
A Different Ledge Fishing Tactic
During those dog day months, I will do something a little different and slow down my presentation. One of my first two lure choices is the ZOOM Mag Ole Monster Worm and the ZOOM Ol' Monster Worm. I will fish them real slow crawling the worm across the bottom feeling for the mussel beds that attract the fish to these ledges.
Use These Worm Color Choices: Color is always important and I always recommend fishermen have the ZOOM worm in Plum, Red Bug and June Bug on the boat. I will fish the big worm early on top of the ledges and as the sun starts to rise, that’s when I will pull out my Lews Speed Stick drop shot rod. I will use the drop shot as the fish begin to move deeper off the ledges. This finesse technique will get the inactive bass to feed, even when they aren't in a feeding mode. I will catch bass anywhere from 15 to 35 feet deep. Keep in mind, the higher the sun gets in the sky, the deeper those bass will go this time of year.
Adjust for Deep Water or Cloudy Days: I will catch a big part of my summertime bass on the drop shot. I love to use the ZOOM Z3 Swamp Crawler and the ZOOM Z Drop worm. My color choice is the Morning Dawn. Now both of these baits have the color Morning Dawn but the Z3 Swamp Crawler is a slightly different color. It is a brighter worm and it seems to really stand out in deeper water or cloudy days for me.
On Sunny Days: On bright sunny days, the ZOOM Z Drop worm in the Morning Dawn color seems to do better for me on Kentucky Lake. I will use the Bass Pro Shops XPS 8 Advanced Braid Fishing Line with a 8 pound Seaguar Red Label Fluorocarbon leader and depending upon the wind either a 3/8 or 1/2 ounce Tungsten drop shot weight.
|Bass on a Lucky Craft Sammy Topwater Lure|
Now there is something else you should prepare for on Kentucky Lake.
In the morning, you'll see the bass push the schools of gizzard shad up to the surface. I've seen schools of five and six pounders explode off the gizzard shad right in front of me! So take my advice, you better make sure you keep a Lucky Craft Sammy Topwater lure in some type of shad patterns offered all rigged up and ready, because when it happens, you can catch those bass fast. I would recommend you use 20 pound monofilament line when fishing the Sammy
Be Safe wear a life jacket and kill switch!
Be respectful on the water to other Anglers!
Scott Patton is a Bassmaster pro and Kentucky Lake & Lake Okeechobee fishing guide