We all are guilty of overlooking a cove or inlet when we are blasting down the river or lake trying to get to what we think will be a honey hole with tons of bass. I have been guilty of this more times than once, although today’s electronics can help you locate the cover where those tons of bass are hiding.
But it’s the things that are above the water that electronics can’t see that can aid you in finding those large bass. Living in Tennessee and fishing on the Kentucky Lake, there are locations that are right in front of your nose, and most people drive right by them and never give them a second thought.
One of the best locations on the lower Kentucky Lake for large, aggressive bass can be found at the TVA New Johnsonville Fossil power plant water outlet. If you’ve ever fished a power-generation lake, then you know what I am talking about. This is
where warm, highly oxygenated water is flowing into the main river channel. This makes for the perfect feeding location for these large fish.
During the winter months is the best time to find large bass and other species of fish hanging out right near the water discharge. (Winter is the best time, although the reason that I call this article “Unexpected Places to Catch Fish” is because during the summer, the grass is fully covering this location. Most fisherman won’t venture into the grass because they don’t know which to take to get near the water discharge.)
Here’s a few tips for fishing the New Johnsonville location:
- The water depth changes quickly within two boat lengths off the main channel. Slow down, raise your main motor and idle straight toward the water discharge.
- If you have electronics, this makes it much easier to locate a small ditch that has been created from the water discharge.
- Once you get near the rocks where the water is being discharged, it helps if you have an anchor.
- I use my Power-Pole to keep me located off of the water discharge. Because you are on the main channel -- and if the wind is blowing and there is current -- it can be hard to keep the boat in the same position.
- I like to use swim baits that look like real bait fish, and cast them into the rocks and swim them out of the water discharge. Try different sizes and plan on making a lot of casts.
- I have caught everything from large bass to large catfish to drums -- and even strippers -- this time of year.
- You’ll notice that everyone is looking at you as they ride by, but very rarely will someone come and try to fish near you. I have spent up to four hours at this location and had a limit within an hour and was culling fish. during that time.
Remember: Always try the unexpected locations, and you’ll be surprised at what you get.
By Darren Chaney