The Ledge Bite Is On!

The warm and muggy days are on the way and fish are making their way offshore for the summer months. The last month or so has been all about the fish moving away from spawning areas towards the mouths of the creeks and will eventually end up offshore.

Once the spawn is over and water temperatures start getting to that mid 70s mark, fish will start making their move towards the main river ledges of Kentucky and Barkley Lakes. The last few years have been pretty well absent of those big schools of fish, but this year with the combination of a lot of different things, we are seeing great signs of schools of fish again here for the summer months. Let’s look a little more in depth and what to expect over the next month or so.

Lake Conditions and What’s Happening on the Lake

Water Temps: High 70s, Low 80s

Lake Level: 359 Summer Pool and Stable

Water Color: Lake is overall clean and normal water clarity

The biggest question we get asked if you know the history of Kentucky Lake is “Are there any offshore fish this year?”

We went through several tough years with little to almost nonexistent ledge fish and I am happy to say that the fishing this year has been phenomenal. Throughout the season we have seen great numbers and great overall catches from locals and tournament results. From pre-spawn to spawn to post spawn, it has been a great year.

I will credit several things to this. Great spawns, shad returning, and the folks are doing a great job getting the carp under control on our lakes. We have located several offshore schools recently and are seeing a lot of bait fish both deep and shallow. I think we are in for some great years to come here on Kentucky and Barkley Lakes.

Techniques and Where

Deep Cranking – If you know me, you know I love to cover a lot of water and fish pretty fast. The deep crankbait is a great bait to cover water and get those offshore fish to fire. I will say the more current or wind, the better the cranking bite. Look for those fish on secondary and main river ledges in 14-20’ of water.

Specifics – 6th Sense Fishing Crush 300DD and 500DD depending on the depth, Colors Smashfest, Bluetreuse Shad, Citrus

Swimbaits – A swimbait is always on the deck of my boat, if not 2 or 3 of them. It’s a bait that you can cover water with and search for those bites. You will find fish that are suspended to fall for swimbaits more because you can get it up in the water column. Same depths as the crankbait.

Specifics – Ignite 4” and 5” Frenzy Shad with 3/4oz Ignite Head Colors American Shad, Sexy Shad, Ky Lake Special, GBG 6th Sense Divine 3.8 with 3/8oz Head rigged on Spinning Gear

Damiki Rig or Hover Rig – Same places as Swimbaits but targeting fish with forward facing sonar

Specifics – 6th Sense Juggle Minnow or Flush 5.2 on FFS Head Magnum Spoon- When fish are schooled up and hard to catch, the Magnum Spoon will get you some bites and it will also get you a big bite.

Specifics – Nichols Magnum 8” Spoon or 6” Mini Mag

Big Texas Rig Worm – A staple

Specifics – 6th Sense Fishing Boosa Ribbon Tail Colors Blue Fleck or Plum

Football Jigs or Casting Jigs – A jig is a great bait for offshore fish. When fish are ticked along the bottom and even when they are up, there’s a way to catch them on a jig.

Specifics – Dirty Jigs Tackle 3/4 oz Football Jig Colors Green Pumpkin, Watermelon, Black Blue

Drop Shot or Neko Rig – A drop shot or neko rig is the bait you put in your hand when you can’t seem to get them going. These baits fished around breaks or drops where you have located schools will get you some bites.

Specifics – 6th Sense Fishing Glitch Colors Morning Dawn or Plum Dawn, 6” Roboworm Colors Morning Dawn or Hologram Dawn 6th Sense Fishing Bamboosa Worm Colors Plum Fleck and Whiskey Dust

For those of you who are not familiar with my service, I competed for eight years on the FLW Tour. I am a full time, licensed and insured Captain, with first aid and CPR certification. I offer one-on-one training, technique-specific trips, fun bass fishing trips, and electronics training in your boat.

I would love the opportunity to share a day with you in my Vexus VXS20 or in your own boat to get your electronics dialed in. I am here to help you and to help you become a better angler and to give you confidence in your equipment. If you’re in the area on the north end of Kentucky Lake, make sure to visit us at Hitec Outdoors. We are a full line electronics dealer/install center and also have a great selection of bait and tackle for your trip to the lake.

Come see us! Follow me on Facebook and Instagram @brandonhunterfishing and @bhunterfishing for anything fishing.

Make sure you are following along and subscribe to my YouTube Channel BrandonHunterFishing. Please visit brandonhunterfishing.com and shoot me an email to book your next trip. See you on the water!

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