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The South's Great Lake for Fishing
fish, and they spend most of their time
roaming open waters to encounter and
run down swarms of shad baitfish upon
which they dine. Kentucky Lake anglers
tend to confront schools of stripes where
currents wash shad over submerged
humps (underwater hilltops), on the ends
of long extended points running into deep
water, and along submerged ridges flank-
ing deeper channel areas.
White bass lend themselves to trolling,
but probably more anglers enjoy casting
in-spinners, fluttering spoons or other
compact, long-casting lures. Catches may
come near the bottom or in the middle of
the water column, but some of the fa-
vorite action is on the surface when and
where stripes herd shad to the top and
slash into them. Anglers cast into these
frothy "jumps" and catch stripes they can
see feeding.
Trollers fishing for white bass as well as
those casting and working lures on or
near the bottom on offshore structures
sometimes hook bonus fish sauger, the
Tennessee River cousin of the walleye.
Sauger are often overlooked, but these
glassy-eyed, toothy torpedoes are a great
game fish and arguably the best table fare
of all the lake's offerings.
The smallest of the game fish species
produce some of the biggest smiles on an-
glers' faces nowadays on Kentucky Lake.
Bluegill and redear sunfish, once largely
relegated to kids' fishing, literally have
grown into a major attraction for anglers
of all ages and experience levels.
Changes in the lake that went along
with phasing into clearer water raised the
growth bar for bluegill. These little guys
over time began growing into hand-sized
battlers and larger. Meanwhile, a token
population of redear sunfish shellcrack-
ers to many increased their numbers.
The shellcrackers, a sort of sunfish on
steroids in terms of growth, routinely
reach weights near one pound and often
beyond.
In short, the bluegill and redears nowa-
days produce catches of quality fish in
sumptuous quantities. Especially during
spring and early summer spawning times,
these Kentucky Lake sunfishes can be
caught in droves with simple methods
that come easy for even first-time fisher-
men, yet they are rewarding for the most
sophisticated anglers.
Guides on the lake have shifted many
more trips to focus on bluegill and shell-
crackers because of the wealth of action
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