Kentucky Lake Midday Update Day 1 - Major League Fishing

Kentucky Lake Midday Update Day 1

The postspawn transition is moving faster than expected
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Michael Wooley hauls in a bass from a shallow school he pinpointed on day one. Photo by Curtis Niedermier. Angler: Michael Wooley.
April 28, 2016 • Curtis Niedermier • Archives

Don’t let any bass pros fool you. Kentucky Lake’s bass are farther along in their transition from spawn to postspawn than a lot of pros fishing this week’s Costa FLW Series event presented by Lowrance let on in yesterday’s practice interviews.

There aren’t any mega-schools (that we know of) out on the Tennessee River just yet. But there are schools of bass feeding on spawning shad on main-lake gravel bars and gravel points, and up in shallow grass and against hard banks. There are also postspawn fish starting to school on points and drops in the mouths of the creeks. One pro said he even saw bass schooling on the surface, and early this morning the jumbo shad were being chased to the surface on channel-swing banks.

Michael Wooley, last season’s Walmart FLW Tour champ at Lake Chickamauga, another Tennessee River reservoir, is dying to move out to the ledges to start graphing for schools, and he thinks that pattern might be just days away. Possibly this weekend the legit ledges will start to turn on. Wooley worked a school of postspawn fish shortly before we pulled up on him mid-morning. Then he moved to another spot and wore out a school of prespawners. So there are still a lot of options out there.

Right now, most of the postspawn schools are on shallower structure where anglers have had to find them by casting, not by idling and graphing. A lot of anglers are working not too fast, but not too slow on lead-in banks and pockets in the creeks. Those anglers don’t seem very dialed in. They’re mostly looking for a fish here or there in hopes of figuring out which way the bass are headed.

This morning, more boats went south than north, but there were a handful of boats all the way north of the 68/80 bridge in Kentucky, which unofficially divides the lower two-thirds of the lake. In that area, not many anglers were working main-lake spots today. South of the bridge, there was a bit more main-lake activity. The Blood River saw a crew of boats arrive early on, and just about every creek and bay on the east side of Kentucky Lake has anywhere from two boats to a big crowd.

Former Forrest Wood Cup champ Scott Suggs had a limit of bass with one fat kicker by about 8:45. He was working a shallow main-lake spot that he found about 25 years ago. He says that spot has produced for him for years. His biggest issue was that he’d lost several bass that bit but simply didn’t hook up.

Elsewhere, a few anglers were sight-fishing around lunchtime, and others were worm-fishing shallow cover. Most of their bass have been small so far, but at the time of this writing, the sun was high and bright, with a light breeze blowing. That pattern could only get stronger.

Weigh-in will tell a lot. Will it be heavy postspawn bass that take the lead? Can targeting spawners and bank dwellers produce the right quality of fish for a top 10? Or will the earliest schools of postspawn ledge livers steal the show again?

Check out FLW Live at 2:30 p.m. CT to find out.