Summer Ledge Fishing on Kentucky Lake

News & Tips: Summer Ledge Fishing on Kentucky Lake

It’s been a really good year so far on Kentucky Lake and a good time for some August bass fishing tips!

It's August and the bass fishing is still fair. The fish have spread out on the ledges with a few tight schools still hanging together. I see a lot of fish in the 20 to 30 foot depths, but they are stubborn to eat anything. I have had some really good days with a drop shot in these depths, and of course, the morning is the best bite.

The Fishing Gear I'm Using

I am using a 7 ft 2 in. Cashion Drop shot rod with a Lews spinning reel and 8 lbs. test Seaguar® fluorocarbon. The lures I am using are the ZOOM Shakey Head Worm and Swamp Crawler in Junebug and Morning Dawn colors. I am fishing the bait really slowly with very little shakes to keep the bait in front of the fish as long as I can. This has been the key to catching some really big fish. Some have been over 8 pounds. Some days, I can catch them all day on the drop shot because it’s a lure they don’t see that often on this lake.

Why the drop shot over finesse on a jig head? Because I’m fishing depths that are too deep to fish a finesse worm on. You would have to use too heavy of a weight to get the bait down there and feel it. With a drop shot, I can use a 3/8 or 1/2 ounce Pro Tungsten weight, and still my bait itself is weightless. I won’t lose my finesse action as I need to get these inactive bass to feed.

scott-patton-kentucky-riverMy other pattern that’s working is still my 3/4 custom football jigs with a ZOOM Super Speed Craw trailer. This trailer is just what is getting more bites for me. It has a lot of action while I swim it over the shallower mussel beds.I’m using some custom colors that are green pumpkin shades/ I’ve done a lot of trial and error trying to put color combinations together that will catch me more bass during the different seasons, and I have some that me and my customers know will catch the bass when other standard colors won’t get their attention. Our fish here on Kentucky Lake get more and more pressure every year, and an angler has to keep presenting the fish something that they don’t see every day.

How I'm Fishing My Jigs

I am fishing my jigs on a 7 ft 3 in. Cashion Medium Heavy jig rod. This rod has the perfect tip and back bone for deep water ledge fishing. You have to have the proper rod to get these fish in the boat. The hook set and then the backbone and tip action has to be in tune with each other in order to keep you from losing these bigger fish. I always use 15 lbs. test seaguar with my jigs and a Lews reel.

I am continuously trying to drag my jig thru the mussel beds very slowly in order to get the fish’s attention. I just use a slow dragging action and then pause the bait. That’s what works best for me on these ledge fish. Sometimes, I will go to reel in the jig and then the bass will strike the jig. If this happens, the fish are telling me that I should go to more of a hopping retrieve than dragging. Pay attention to this and listen to the fish.

How I Find These Summer Bass

How do you find these bass on the ledges? One thing that is a must is my Lowrance HDS units along with my Navionics Map chip. I use the platinum series because you just have to have all the detail that’s possible. I will look for ledges in the 10 to 14 foot depths that fall off in 14 to 35 feet of water. I will idle over the ledges with my structure scan set down. Why down? Because I feel I can see the fish better when they are hugging the top of a ledge. What I do is idle my Nitro over from deep to shallow (top of the ledge) then back out to deep water, looking for bass and bait on the structure scan. Once I see schools of fish, I will hit a way point. I want to keep this weaving from deep to shallow pretty tight – no further than ten feet from the last pass. If I swing too wide, I may miss that giant school of fish.

Just as a note: I use my structure scan in side mode more when the water is cold because I’m looking for suspended fish.

If you’re new to Kentucky Lake or just haven’t been able to figure out how to fish the hundreds of miles of ledges that it has to offer, then check out the Ledge and Electronics class I teach on the water. You'll learn and get confidence by catching fish on the lake ledges!

Just give me a call or email me at