Despite the lack of mega-schools setting up on the ledges, the Walmart FLW Tour event on Kentucky Lake presented by Mercury and hosted by the Kentucky Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau was still an offshore shootout. Warm nights and even hotter days triggered a lot of the fish that were lingering shallow to make their trek out deep. The ledge fishing on this pond should only continue to improve for the next few weeks, so go ahead and take some vacation time and schedule a visit. And if you’re looking to trigger some big bites out deep, you should give some of these baits a try.
1. Jason Lambert set the weight record for Kentucky Lake in an FLW event this week by throwing a combination of three baits. First was a Castaic Heavy Metal Spoon thrown on a 7-foot, 8-inch Duckett White Ice Series rod. Second was a V&M J-Mag Worm, which he threw on a 7-foot, 6-inch, heavy-action Duckett Micro Magic Pro rod. Lambert’s third and primary bait that he used to catch the 29-pound-plus biggest bag of the event was a 1-ounce Luck-E-Strike Scrounger Head matched with a 7-inch Castaic Jerky J and fished with a 7-foot, 10-inch Duckett Micro Magic Pro rod. He fished every bait with Duckett 360 reels and 17-pound-test Vicious Pro Elite fluorocarbon.
2. Brandon Hunter kept things pretty simple with Lucky Craft LC RTO 3.5 XD and LC 6.5 XD crankbaits – both in aurora shad – and a Nichols Ben Parker Magnum Flutter Spoon for his first top-10 Tour finish. His crankbait setup consisted of a 7-foot, 11-inch 13 Fishing Envy Black Crankenstein rod with a 13 Fishing Concept C reel (5.3:1 ratio) spooled with 10-pound-test Sunline Super FC Sniper. He ran a prototype 13 Fishing Muse rod that will debut at ICAST for the spoon and paired it with a 13 Fishing Inception reel (8.1:1) and 20-pound-test Sunline.
3. Walmart pro Mark Rose added another Tennessee River top 10 to his resume with the help of Strike King Pro Model 6XD and 10XD crankbaits in both sexy shad and rootbeer colors, noting that he swapped the trebles to 1/0 Mustad KVD Elite 1X Strong Triple Grip hooks. He also boated some fish on a swimbait rigged on a 1-ounce Strike King Squadron Swimbait Head. He matched all of these on Kistler rods, Lew’s Team Pro Magnesium reels, and 12-, 15- and 17-pound-test Seaguar InvisX fluorocarbon for the 6XD, 10XD and swimbait, respectively.
4. Jayme Rampey rallied on the final day to climb to fourth thanks to a drop-shot rigged with a Zoom Z-3 Swamp Crawler (morning dawn), a 3/16-ounce Buckeye Magnum Spot Remover shaky head with a Zoom Magnum Trick Worm (plum) and a 3/4-ounce Buckeye Football Jig (brown). The majority of his fish came from the drop-shot and shaky head and were caught on 6-pound-test HI-SEAS line on a Sixgill Dreadnought Series 3000 spinning reel.
5. Quaker State pro Scott Canterbury stuck with a 3/4-ounce Dirty Jigs Luke Clausen Casting Jig teamed up with a NetBait Paca Craw, a swimbait thrown on a Dirty Jigs Scott Canterbury Swimbait Head, and a drop-shot and shaky head rigged with a NetBait T-Mac worm. He employed 7-foot, 6-inch, heavy and medium-heavy Halo rods for the jig and swimbait, respectively, and used Ardent Apex Grand reels with 15-pound-test P-Line Ultimate Fluorocarbon.
6. Bryan Thrift made his first Kentucky Lake top 10 with help from the Damiki Mega Miki worm and a Luck-E-Strike Scrounger Head teamed with a Damiki Gizzard Shad. The Mega Miki was thrown on a 7-foot, 3-inch, medium-heavy Fitzgerald Stunner HD rod and 15-pound-test P-Line Ultimate Fluorocarbon, while the Gizzard Shad was put on a 7-foot, 6-inch, heavy Fitzgerald Okeechobee rod with 20-pound-test P-Line fluorocarbon.
7. Jacob Wheeler caught ’em on a variety of baits throughout the tournament: Rapala DT20, 5/8-ounce hair jig, Nichols Ben Parker Magnum Flutter Spoon, drop-shot and Basstrix swimbait. The DT20 produced the bulk of the weight and was matched with a 7-foot, 11-inch, medium-heavy Okuma Scott Martin Signature TCS rod, Okuma Komodo reel and 10-pound-test Sufix Invisiline Castable Fluorocarbon.
8. Brad Knight stuck with a Strike King Pro Model 6XD in citrus shad rigged on a 7-foot, 6-inch Lew’s Custom Speed Stick Crank Rod with a Lew’s BB-1 Speed Spool spooled with 10- or 12-pound-test Gamma Edge Fluorocarbon. He also boated some on a Strike King KVD Perfect Plastic Bull Worm.
9. Terry Bolton had a great showing on his home pond by throwing a 5-inch Zoom Swimmer swimbait on a 1-ounce VMC Flat Shad Jig Head. A Zoom Ol’ Monster worm rigged on a 1-ounce VMC Tungsten Worm Weight and 5/0 VMC Ike Approved Worm Hook also did some work.
10. To make yet another top 10 and overtake the lead in the Angler of the Year race, Andy Morgan threw a 5-inch Zoom Swimmer on a 3/4-ounce head, a Zoom Ol’ Monster worm (he used 16 packs of them) and a War Eagle jig.