Rich Bay's Fishing Report
Fishing a Bit Slow With Rapid Rise in Water Temperatures
Published on June 17, 2020
From the Deck of the Kick'n Bass Pontoon
Fishing has been a little slow with the sudden heat change and water temp rising rapidly. Typical for this time of year is the fact that the crappies are spread out and searching for food. They aren't as schooled up like early and late in the year.
White bass/yellow bass are a little behind schedule at schooling up on the main lake ledges but every white bass we have caught in the bays has been spawned out. All species of fish in the lake are still transitioning slowly to their summer haunts.
Keeping your boat moving has been the key to success.
The TVA has the water level staying at about 358.8' elevation for the time being. Even at summer depth I still follow my Lowrance maps and if you are not sure where you are then stop and figure it out.
Always proceed with caution. The water level is the around the norm or a bit higher for this time of year. You can follow the water levels at the link below or on the TVA app.
We have been pulling Jenko brand crank baits almost exclusively. Best speed has been 1.8 mph and staying in the deeper bays has been key. Some fish on the main lake flats also. Big fish has been the norm this year but we have picked up a bunch of short crappies also. That is great news for the future.
KDFWR biologists have told us the 2018 and 2019 spawns were very good for crappies. As always we have had some pink lures on to start the day and then change some colors of crankbaits if the bite slows or the weather or crappies change on us.
Last few weeks pink/black, straight pink, blue/chartreuse and some dark orange crankbaits have been great. If the bite slows experiment with colors and amount of line out to check different depths.
Get out and try catching after being cooped up most of the spring.
Whitebass and Yellowbass
White bass haven't been schooled up yet at this writing but any day they will be on the main lake. These are my favorite fish to catch because of their fight. Their little cousins the yellow bass are right in there for fight and taste. Use your graph to scan for the schools and then toss a SteelShad bladebait or a Ken's TBC spinner and let both sink to the bottom.
Yo-yo both baits back to the boat but hang on because they will either hit on the pull up or hit it on the way back down. Both baits have a flutter action on the fall which imitates a dying shad.
We have caught catfish from 3 feet to 20 feet deep. They will bite anything that gets near them!! The biggest cat so far has been a 15-pound bluecat that completely inhaled a crank bait so deep I could hardly see it.
We cut the line to get it after filleting the catfish and tossed the fish in the lake forgetting my crank was still in there…oh well.
Largemouth and smallmouth
We have caught mostly smaller largemouth lately. None over 14-½ inches long.
Bluegill and Red Ear
Haven't been fishing for bluegills lately because it was sporadic up here on the north end. A cold front moved thru and then the TVA raised the water level and the fish we were catching vanished. I'm sure with some effort and moving around a lot one could put a mess together. Crickets were working best for us under an ESB bobber.
If you haven't tried an ESB bobber get you some. hloutdoors.com
Now in ten years I have never included a sauger section in my report. This year we have only caught a few keeper sized fish but a whole lot of 7 to 12-inch fish!! Here's to hoping these fish make a BIG comeback!! In the past we have caught one here and one there but this year it has been 3 to 6 short fish nearly every trip.
Tastiest fish in the lake….and that's coming from a crappie guy.
"Went fishing today with my dad and son and Cap'n Rich. We We had a blast and want to go again. Definitely recommend Kick'n Bass". -- Taylor Crawford
Rich Bay's Bio
Rich Bay is the owner and operator of Kick'n Bass Guide Service. Rich uses a specially-equipped pontoon for fishing and specializes not only in bass, but also crappie, yellow bass, catfish and most other species of gamefish and panfish.
Rich's fishing report covers both Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley from the dams to the new bridges across the lakes.Rich Bay
Kick'n Bass Guide Service
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