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Paddling the Elkhorn

A friend and I put in his new Mad River canoe just below Great Crossings dam one warm afternoon last week. We had parked a vehicle at Robinson dam, a short paddle downstream, and planned to fish along the way.  The canoe tracked well, but was a little tippy with two big guys on board.  We managed to stay upright, however, and fished the slightly flooded stretch.

Along the way, we passed a fellow on a float tube, who told us that he had caught and released 12 keeper-sized smallmouth at the mouth of Cane Run, halfway downstream.  We got to the mouth, and sure enough, minnows were jumping like crazy–a sign of predators chasing bait under the surface.  We threw a shad-pattern crankbait and a rooster tail for 15 minutes, no luck.  We paddled down to Robinson, where we met the guy again.  He told us there that his  method  was to paddle up Cane Run around the first bend, then he would drift down quietly, throwing a soft craw on a 1/8th jig. At the mouth, he could hang the boat up on a downed tree, then quietly throw the lure into the baitfish madness.  We had come in from the creekside, noisy, throwing topwater lures.

I’ll have to head back and try it again on my kayak, using his method. I was just glad to spend a nice afternoon fishing.  My friend did manage to land a decent 13-inch smallie at Robinson after we got out–so we didn’t get skunked.

2011 Urban Fishing Tour

I have to get away from the usual haunts this year–my goal is to get to new locations around the state.  The first stop on this tour was Louisville’s Cherokee Park and Fisherman’s Park–read about it in the Louisville Metro page.  The plan is to continue visiting a variety of urban fishing spots in Kentucky, and report back to you how to get there, what to expect, and any details that might be helpful.

If you know of any great urban (in or near a city) spots in Kentucky, let us know in the comment section.

2011: On the water again

Fish and Wildlife has begun spring stocking of FINS lakes and seasonal trout streams. I had the chance to fish at Scott County Park last week after work one day, and landed three nice little rainbow trout. My friend, recently returned from Afghanistan, brought his two sons out as well.

There are trout-stocked waters all over the state. You can read about some of them on this site, but you can definitely get detailed information on the FINS (Fishing in Neighborhoods) program on the KDFWR site.

More fishing and more stories to come this year. Glad to see winter start to give up the ghost…finally.

Landowner Fishing Access Program Announced

UPDATE: 7/28/2011 KDFWR has a new page listing recently acquired access sites on the Elkhorn and other waters. Click here to see the page.

Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife recently announced the Landowner Fishing Access Program, which provides financial incentives to landowners with farm ponds, stream & lake access, or private boat ramps to open for public use. If you are a landowner interested in participating, make contact with the department at

I will definitely be watching updates and announcements about this program–additional access is what Smallwater Fishing is all about.  Incidentally, KDFWR is also offering a similar program for private land opened to the public for hunting.

If you hear anything, see articles, or other information, please share it with us in the comment section below.


Winter again…

December 6th

2010 was a year of extremes in Kentucky–a 500 year flood in the spring, and two months of drought in the summer. I didn’t make it out as much as I wanted to, but there were a few highlights (See Elkhorn and Cedar Creek Lake pages for those…)

With winter here again, I’m trying to push my fishing into a new season. The FINs program stocked many local lakes with trout recently, and once this cold snap lifts, I plan to see what the rainbows are hitting in this weather. This time of year, my outdoor time is mostly devoted to hunting and woodcutting, but I’d love to add fishing to the mix.

Share your ideas on how to be a four season angler in Kentucky–I’d love to hear about it, and so would others!


What a hot, dry summer it has been. Water levels are down in lakes, streams and ponds. This isn’t necessarily good in standing water, but it sure does make creek fishing more interesting. I’ve been hitting the Elkhorn regularly for a few weeks now, and there is some really nice action with the smallmouth going on there.

In an update to the Elkhorn page, I mentioned hooking and fighting something HUGE in the creek a couple of weeks ago. No replay of that yet, but there has been a little bit of action out there. Also, a reader added a really nice update to the Stoner Creek page–that is one creek I plan to get into soon to learn more about.

With September should come more variation in temperature. Hopefully this wakes up the daylight-hours action on the small lakes of the region.

Please feel free to add your two cents on any of the pages–actual user’s experience is most valuable on this site.

Heat of Summer

Things have been heating up recently–summer is here with a vengeance.  I’ve finally made time to hit the water in the last few weeks, with a nice trip to Cedar Creek Lake, more Elkhorn action, and some trips to smaller lakes like Scott County Park. 

More comments have come in with reports on lakes and streams in the area–thanks for your additions, we all appreciate it!  Please share your experiences in the comment boxes; sorry things don’t show up instantly–I’ve been battling Russian Spambots online.


The Bass Are Back

Bass action is heating up–reports are floating about heavy smallmouth activity on the main stem of the Elkhorn, and action on lakes has increased as well. I fished the Elkhorn last weekend, and landed a decent little smallmouth. The guy next to me, though, hauled in what appeared to be at least a 20 inch bronzeback. Water temperatures are up, and the fish are moving.
I reeled in a nice 14 inch largemouth on Lake Reba two weekends ago; a lot of fun watching him dart back and forth at the weed line.
Stay tuned for more details and updated reports–as I hear from others (send me your reports!) and hit the water myself, I’ll try to add as much as I can so you can have the scoop on what’s happening where.

Game ON!

The winter was too long this year, for sure.  I’ve managed to make it out twice in the last few weeks, as the weather is finally improving.  A recent trip to Red River Gorge turned up no fish, but a nice day, and a visit to Scott County Park yielded a decent stringer of rainbow trout.  It is a bit early to hit the Elkhorn or cast for largemouth in the local lakes, but trout are full-on ready to go.  If you get the chance, work out those casting muscles in some of the local waters–the FINS program with KDFWR is actively stocking trout these days in numerous lakes around the state.  Their website has the details.

As I get the chance, I’m also adding pages pertaining to kayak fishing, with a focus on freshwater (there is a pretty good bit of info out there for saltwater yak fishing).  I can use your help–feel free to comment, query,  or otherwise submit articles, tips, questions and ideas to help fill this out.

Winter and the Waiting Game

Activity has dropped off drastically since the fall.  I got out to the Elkhorn last weekend for a couple of hours, only to hook a very small sucker of some sort.  Water levels have been reasonable, but apparently the colder weather has dramatically slowed feeding patterns.

Winter is the time of dreaming about finding fish, for me.  I find myself walking the aisles of sporting goods departments scheming and planning the 2010 season.  Hopefully, I will find a weekend or two over the next few months to get out and stretch a line.  Drop a note in the comments if you know of any good bets for winter fishing in Kentucky!