Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Buggs Island Lake Report – July 2014 by Jason Houchins



July Kerr Fishing Report By Jason Houchins

Well summer is definitely here at Kerr Lake. With temps in the 90s the water has heated up the mid-80s in a hurry. Schooling should really start to pick up on the lake early this month with the smaller schools holding the larger fish. You don’t find the large schools of 3-4 lbers here like you used to, but the small wolf pack schools can really have some good ones. Early in the morning and late in the evening is when schooling can be at its peak, but it happens all day in every area of the lake. So always be on the lookout for shad flipping on the surface of the water while being chased by a school of bass. When you find them you can have a blast until the action stops.
Top water is of course the ultimate bait of choice early and late, but if I were you I would keep it on the deck all day long regardless of conditions. If the schooling activity is slow, break out your deep diving crank baits to wake them up down deep. Fish seem to like the 8-15 foot range on this lake for some reason, so that’s where I concentrate this time of year if I’m fishing this way. My favorite deep crank by far is a Fat Free Shad #7 in citrus shad. I’m not a great deep crankbait fisherman by any stretch of the imagination, but this bait always has caught fish on this lake during the summer for me. If that is slow, drag a big ole football head jig or Carolina rig brushhog through the area, these are both summertime staples at Kerr as well. Don’t be afraid to try a drop shot, shaky head, or spoon on these same areas to help catch a few and or get a school of fish excited.
If deep fish are not your cup of tea, never fear there are always fish shallow at Kerr. Head up lake to various places from Grassy to the rivers to find shallow fish. Look for the numerous laydowns or logjams on this stretch of the lake, also fish several areas of steep rock bank. These areas hold fish in July and a good portion of the summer months in general. Again a simple jig and craw combo works well and follow that up with a shaky head or square bill crankbait. Be careful while heading up into the river portion of the lake, navigation can be hairy especially if the water is below the 300 mark. It can also be very rewarding if you’re willing to take the risk.
July is a tough month for me at Kerr, but I’ve caught some of my biggest stringers of fish during this time frame. It can definitely be feast of famine this time of year and leave anyone scratching their head. Be open minded and willing to change during the month of July. These fish will school up and move all the time, so remember where you were yesterday, may not be where you need to be today. The forage has changed over the years and now the bass change to keep up with the food. You can be in 20 foot today and 2 foot tomorrow, but are you willing to do that? Come to Kerr this July and test your skills, it may just make you a better angler.

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