Category Archives: Fishing

Fall 2013

12/9/2013: I FINALLY finished the next video for the SmallwaterFishing Youtube channel. This one is a short video about FINs lakes of Central KY.

11/11/13: A quick trip to White Hall today yielded nothing for me, but a couple fishing there caught a limit of trout. They said they were using Powerbait.

11/2/13: Trout Time…Trout stocking has begun in FINS and several streams. The FINS lakes in Louisville received trout in late October, and many Central Kentucky lakes will be stocked this week. Cool-weather fishing is pretty active, and I can’t wait!

9/29/2013: Yesterday was a beautiful day in Central KY. I decided to go find a new (for me) spot to fish. I ended up at Forks of the Elkhorn in Frankfort. There is a Voluntary Public Access point at the dam there. There are a few parking places, and about 130 feet of bank access to the Elkhorn, just below the dam. I caught a small smallmouth on the first cast, using a chartreuse roostertail. A few more hits after that, but I think they wised up a bit. I hung out there for about 45 minutes, then headed back toward Georgetown, and put the kayak in above Robinson Dam. I caught several small bluegill, and one decent fight with something that tangled in some brush on the bottom, and got away.

Forks of The Elkhorn
Forks of The Elkhorn

Summer 2013

9/15/13: Lake Reba…it was beautiful day there today with the kayak. Didn’t catch a thing, couple of hits. There was one guy nailing bass left and right in the weed beds in the back. I couldn’t see what he was throwing, but it was definitely working.

9/1/13:I hit Jacobson Park late in the day. One small catfish on the first cast, on a nightcrawler. Otherwise, a couple of bait-sized green sunfish. I let the cat go, since I didn’t have anything close to a meal, or even a snack. Got a nice sunset shot, though:

Jacobson Park
Jacobson Park 9/1/13

8/3/13: I managed to get out for a couple of hours in the late afternoon, and headed to Sportsman’s Lakes. A couple of hits, no fish. I saw one person catch one decent catfish, out of probably 20-30 around the lake. One of these days, my luck will have to change…

7/29/13: FYI: Fish and Wildlife is stocking catfish this week in FINs lakes around the state. They are stocked at an average of one pound, though some as large as 5-6 pounds are released as well, usually. More information at KDFWR.

7/25/13: So, a spambot attacked over the last few days and dumped hundreds of offers for all kinds of garbage…I just spent two hours clearing out fake users/bogus postings. If you are a human, and I accidentally deleted your profile, I apologize.

7/13/13: Finally got out of the house for a few hours. I stopped at Oser on the Elkhorn in Georgetown to see how things are post-flood. I threw a chartreuse roostertail and hooked a little-ish smallmouth; he threw the hook before I could land him. A couple of hits there, but no fish. I moved on to Scott County Park, where the water level was completely full. I saw bass lying in the flooded brush at the edges, but couldn’t get them to hit anything. There were a few others fishing as well, but nobody seemed to be catching.

It was nice to get out–this my first fishing trip since May. No fish, but good to be on the water.

The low-head dam at Oser.
The low-head dam at Oser.

7/9/13: Thanks to Chad Johnston for South Central Kentucky reports. Also a page was created for Shanty Hollow Lake, near Bowling Green.

6/23/13: It’s officially summer on the calendar, and the weather is HOT.

I haven’t been fishing lately, as my wife delivered our new daughter on May 30th. She likes to stay up all night and sleep all day, making it hard to break away from the house.

So, please keep sharing your updates and stories–I enjoy hearing about it, as does everyone else. I’m looking to return to the water in the next few weeks, hopefully. Enjoy the summer!

Spring 2013

Beaver Lake
Beaver Lake


A trip to Beaver Lake with a friend today yielded one half-decent bass and several smaller fish. More on the Beaver Lake page.

3/30/13: A friend invited me to camp/fish on the bank of a private lake in Fayette County (pictured below). It was a bit cold for camping, but we did get in a bit of fishing. I caught one decent white crappie, a small largemouth, a bluegill, and a lake perch. I haven’t seen perch in this area before, but apparently the lake is stocked at the whim of the property manager.

Dawn, fog and 35 degrees

3/17/13:  It is a big week for trout stocking–looks like most FINS lakes will be stocked this week. Check out the FINS page for details…

3/16/13:  I know that it is technically not spring for another week or so, but I’m done with winter. I went out last weekend to a few spots in Scott County–The county park, Lake Lusby, and Royal Springs. Really, I just stopped by Royal Springs to see it–it is a canal with a very small park surrounding it. I know that it is a hotspot when they stock trout there.

Lusby is the pond near the high school. It is shallow, and I’ve never actually caught anything there. I did see one guy catch a trout, so it does have fish.

Scott County Park gave me the most action I’ve seen in months. I threw a blood bait on one pole for catfish, and a roostertail on the other pole. I got a quick fight with a trout on the roostertail, but he let go. The bobber on the catfish line disappeared, and I fought with something for several seconds, but it threw the hook. I switched out the roostertail for a red garden worm on a small hook and slip bobber. With that rig I caught one smallish trout, and fought, nearly landing the first bass of the season. Not a big bass, maybe 10 inches, but good to see them active again.

Well, time’s a wastin’…64° and sunny today. Time to fish…



Winter 2013

2/24/2013: I fished for a while at Upper and Lower Sportsman’s Lakes in the late afternoon. No action for me, but I did see a guy catch a trout. There were a handful of people around the area, and I got the sense that a few people had caught a fish or two. I’m ready for winter to be over…

2/18/2013: Trout…it was cold yesterday afternoon, hovering around freezing, but I decided to take advantage of the sun. I headed to Scott County Park, which, luckily, was not frozen over. I was there by myself, with the mallards and fly-over geese. After throwing a spinner for a while, I tossed a fat red worm from my garden. The trout were jumping a bit, but slow to take what I offered. Finally, a decent little rainbow took the bait. I couldn’t convince any of his friends to join us, and it was getting dark. Looks like trout for lunch today…

1/5/2013: Happy New Year! I thought I’d take advantage of 40° and sunny to go out a bit today. I tried to catch sauger at Lock 7 on the Kentucky…no luck. So I packed up and drove to Mingo in Nicholasville; literally covered in waterfowl of every description. Several hundred Canadian geese, gray geese, mallards, and a few types of duck I don’t know the name for. No way I could cast for trout with that many birds on such a small pond. So, I headed to Jacobson, which was mostly frozen over. I did find a corner of the lake not frozen, and threw a roostertail for a while…no trout, didn’t see any jumping, nothing. Just an off day, but nice to get outside, anyway.

Summer 2012

  • 7/28/12: Nice trip to Robinson Dam on the Elkhorn–more water, lower temperatures=three smallmouths and about a dozen bluegill…great for two hours of standing in the clear, flowing water on a 85° day.
  • 7/21/12: Veterans Memorial WMA in Scott County is now open, and features an old farm pond. I visited this afternoon, and added a new page. Fair fishing, lots of blackberries…
  • This is totally off subject, but something I want to share: Bluegrass Crime Stoppers is holding their annual Shootout shooting contest/fundraiser on Saturday, August 25 at the Police Range on Parkers Mill Rd., from 8-12:30. I’ve been involved with Crime Stoppers for several years, and this is a great event for shooters and novices alike (must be 21 to shoot). More information available here. Thanks, now back to fishing…
  • 7/5/12: I went to Scott County Park, sinking one line with catfish bait and throwing various spinners and minnows at the edges with another, where I could see bass skirting along. Something nibbled the catfish bait (hot dog and powerbait), but only one hit on a chartreuse roostertail. I packed up and headed over to Robinson on the Elkhorn, and caught a couple of small bluegill on a small soft crawdad. The water in the Elkhorn is the lowest I’ve ever seen–and the dam was releasing only a trickle. Big smallies were visible in pool, but they were too smart for what I was throwing. It did rain for about two minutes…but of course I was completely dry two minutes after that. We SERIOUSLY need a weather break and a good day or two of rain…
  • 6/30/12: It’s HOT. Haven’t been out for a while–I may try a bit this weekend, but expectations are low, at 105°…
  • New page: Sportsman’s Lakes, Frankfort added 6/16
  • New page: Owsley Fork Lake, near Berea, KY has been added. Thanks to John Abrams for the submission!
  • 6/12/12: My dad and nephew came with me to Robinson on the Elkhorn late yesterday afternoon.  We caught dozens of small to less small bluegill and sunfish, and kept a small stringer of about six “keepers”.  They added up to one labor intensive, but tasty diner off the grill tonight (enough for just me…) I caught consistently with a chartreuse roostertail, while the others used small pieces of nightcrawler (garden worms have disappeared with the heat) on small hooks and bobbers.
  • 6/2/12: I went to Lock 7 on the Kentucky River for a couple of hours this afternoon.  I saw what looked like white bass jumping–I caught nothing. So, I packed up and headed to Jacobson Park. No bites, no fish, lost four lures. Nobody appeared to be catching anything at either place. A definite off-day.

Memorial Day Weekend.  It’s hot. Summer is clearly here, again. Share your trip details with us in the comments below…

  • 5/27/12: I fished Robinson Dam on the Elkhorn last night and last weekend. Plenty of light action with a variety of lures for me–about five small fish per hour yesterday with small white salt tubes, chartreuse roostertail, and a small soft crawdad rigged with a lead head (weedless, lead at the tail end…looks like a crawdad moving slowly backwards on the bottom). Another guy was fly fishing, throwing some kind of white dry fly, similar results…A group came up the creek, and the father of the group was throwing live crawdads, and had a stringer of nice panfish. Last week, similar story for me, but there was a fellow in his 50s or 60s who came in with what appeared to be a small translucent grub, and fished it slowly on the bottom. He literally caught 30-40 fish, including a few VERY nice smallmouth and at least one slab-sized red eye (rock bass). He released all, and was there for maybe an hour.  I looked for whatever he was using at the store, and couldn’t really find it…


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.

Welcome to Smallwater Fishing!

Smallwater Fishing is intended to be a resource for people who fish from the shore, on foot, or in small craft like kayaks and canoes.  There are lots of sites with information for people who have trailered boats.  There is a lack of information for people who fish from the bank or use only small craft–hopefully this site will help those without a bass boat find good fishing. 

I decided to start this site after spending several years searching for info about places to fish on foot.  Typically, I could find the name of a waterbody, and little else.  Living in Central Kentucky, fishable water is relatively hard to come by.   After years of effort, driving, and trying to find decent places to cast a line, I have collected a fair bit of information about where to fish without a fishing boat.

This spring, I bought a sit-on-top fishing kayak.  I keep it on the wall in my garage, and have removable racks to carry it on top of my Jeep.  At less than 60 pounds, I can manage it pretty well on my own.  I have spent most of the warm weekends of the year on the water, finding various small lakes in the area.  I still fish on foot, as well, wading local creeks and finding small ponds.

I hope you can find a new place to fish near you–my posts are about Central Kentucky fishing (within an hour or so of Lexington).  In time, I hope to begin branching out with posts from others from around the country.  Thanks for looking!

The Water Awaits