Posted by Aaron White on 25th Apr 2017
I had the opportunity to fish Kentucky Lake for the kayak national championship. Leading up to the event I looked at maps and navionics. That’s how I picked out most of my spots before the tournament. So on March, 26 I started my fourteen hour drive to Murray, Kentucky where a group of us got a cabin to stay for the week. I arrived there to see tackle everywhere. Some people got to get out on the water and I got to meet faces that I chatted with over Facebook. After talking and bringing my things inside we talked strategy and what we were looking for and where some of us were going, hoping one of us can stumble on an area that some could duplicate for tournament day. During pre fishing the first day, we had storms rolling in mid afternoon that gave me the morning to look to try some off shore shallow areas and main points. I’m from Delaware so all of this was new to me. One of the best things to do is just attack the lake. Use what you know and comfortable with, and never try to use a different lure that you normally would not use. Keep it SIMPLE. But needless to say, I didn’t get my first bite till I went to a cover and fished a channel swing with a ten foot diver. That would clue me in on the next couple days of fishing. Day two comes around and I drive an hour and a half south near New Johnsvillie, Tennessee to fish an area where it had the right stuff. The water was ten degrees warmer than the northern part of Kentucky Lake and dirty. But I did get some bites off a secondary point so I caught a couple and left. That was pretty much my whole plan. Find areas gets, some bites and move on and save them for tournament day. I tried one more area, took a little drive and fish a channel swing again and caught it on a ten foot diver. It was a Kentucky stud! Pushing 6 – 6 ½ pounds! After that I caught a couple on a lockjaw jigs, football jig and left the area as well saving it for tournament day.
Day three comes, we team up and try a southern area and we get skunked. This was pretty much the tale of the tape. A lot of anglers couldn’t figure out the big bite. It was either one big bite or the rest small or big bite and that was it. Needless to say, we ended early and went back to look at maps for some more areas and figure out a plan. Day four comes and we try this brand new area on Lake Barkley which is a long stretch of rip rap with dirty water. Keep the fish shallow and that was the pattern I was going to run day one and keep my day two spot for the southern area.
Tournament day comes and I start on the riprap. Fifteen minutes in I caught one bass and lost four. My confindence is still high knowing i'm on a good bite but the misses keep adding up. I miss 4 more now and its 10 o clock and I only have 1 bass. So i'm heading to where the creek is. I notice the water temp drop a couple degrees and the creek is getting dirty from the amount of rain but it wasn't milk chocolate dirty just a little stain. The wind is creating a little current and there was bridge that was out the mouth of the creek that funneled the water in, so I casted toward the corners and caught one that boosted my morale and help me focus. I went in to the creek and threw a crankbait. I knew the creek had a drop off that went from 2 – 2 ½ feet of water to 5 and caught one that was nineteen inches long and then had one come off. That was my day. I lost couple more after that ending my day with three fish for 49". I was disapointed but there is nothing you can do. I didn’t want to lose it on day 1 but I did. Day two of the tournament I didn’t go to my southern spot. I felt there was no need to go that far knowing I had no chance in the money, so I followed a friend to his spot. It was pretty the same set up from day one. But there was not a bridge. It was a long riprap that extended to a channel for boats that were coming and going from a marina with a large flat on the back end. Same deal, using a squarebill and cranking a long riprap, I caught three quick fish that put me at 50 inches. The one thing you should never do, never leave fish to find fish and that was I did. I left and to never find another bite for the rest of the day. It was a humbling experience. I don’t regret my decision on where I chose to fish, but just the execution part of it. I can’t wait to go back there and tackle that lake and try some new things that the top five didn’t do to get the big bites. Kentucky Lake gives you so many options to catch fish that you can fish your style, but the name of the game is to find the big one and that is what I failed to do, but that is fishing and it still beats a day in the office.
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