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August on the Elkhorn

8/12/12 I took the kayak out for a trip on the Elkhorn this afternoon. The water flow was very low–around 8 cfs. I launched into the pool above Robinson dam, and paddled about half way to Great Crossings. The water was completely still, and covered in duckweed and algae.

I wasn’t really sure about what to expect, paddling through pea soup. After I launched, it became obvious that I could use this to my advantage. Bait fish were running and jumping all over the surface. Predators underneath chasing the schools out of the water–I switched to a yo-zuri pin’s minnow. No hits. Then I tied on a chartreuse roostertail, and a couple of throws later I landed a small smallmouth. I had the color, lure, and method figured out, looking for bait swells, casting across the boil, and swimming the bait through the bait ball. Soon I landed a nice little 12″ largemouth, followed by a 10″ smallmouth.

Over a two hour period, I caught four decent smallmouth and three decent largemouth. Additionally, I caught over thirty small largemouths and smallmouths. Pretty much non-stop.

I figured out that if you look for gaps in the duckweed, in areas that are otherwise completely covered, bass are hanging out there, feeding heavily. The fish weren’t huge, but they were heavy, and well fed.

Fat little bass on the North Elkhorn

Elkhorn Action

4/6: I spent a few hours at Robinson Dam, trying different lures and approaches.  I caught a couple of small fish, but also landed a decent 12″ largemouth, using a live red worm fished along the bottom with a slip bobber.  Water was a bit murky, but they are awake and active in the Elkhorn.

Let us know about your spring hits and misses in the comments section below!

Spring 2012

WOW…we skipped winter, and almost skipped spring.  I’ve made it out a time or two recently, but was sidelined by a broken reel (my last trip to the KY river consisted of two casts, and the reel snapped off; Okuma said it was a defective model, and fixed it for free).  A trip to Scott County Park with a cruddy back-up combo I bought for $10 last year yielded nothing but lots of trout jumping (mocking me, really) and two little bluegill.  The reel is back in order, and I’m ready to start hitting the water again.

I tried to get a trip together on the Rockcastle River last spring, but the trip was washed out.  We’re planning it again in a few weeks; hopefully it pans out this time.

I shot footage and edited a short piece on my sauger trips, but the video editor has gotten gunked up, and won’t render the final version properly. As soon as I get that resolved, I’ll post it on the Youtube channel, and hopefully add more videos this year.

That’s about it at the moment–spring bass should be hitting pretty well now. I’ll go test my theory this week….

Thanks–and let us all know where you’re fishing and what you’re catching in the comments!

3/25: Went to Lock 7 on the KY River again–cast several bright worms/grubs for sauger, but no bites. I didn’t see anyone else catching, either.  Sauger may have moved downstream…

Also, the sauger video has been uploaded.  Definitely Emmy material.


A trip to Kentucky River Lock 7 on a beautiful 55° afternoon in February yielded some excitement and a nice dinner.  I’ve been scheming for years to get out and fish for sauger on the river.  Finally, I got out on the weekend before the end of the license year.  I had been reading various articles and web sites about what to do, where to go, etc.

It was a good trip–about two and a half hours, caught one sauger, fought another.  Read more about it on the Kentucky River page.

New Year, new developments

You may notice some new pages being added, including a new Northern Kentucky section.  There are a variety of other odd pages showing up (Activity, Groups, Etc.).  I am not (obviously) a web designer, but I am working on adding more functionality to Smallwater Fishing. Hopefully, we’ll soon have forums attached to various subjects on the site, and readers will quickly and easily be able to comment, upload pictures, and communicate with each other directly, instead of submitting a comment and waiting for me to moderate. I’m trying to be smart about it, though, because foreign spam bots bombard the comment inbox already, so it will take some tweaking before this will be able to work on its own. Nobody wants to go into a forum filled with spam from fake pharmacies and “brand name watches”.

Thanks for your patience, and thanks for your comments and suggestions.  I’ll post updates as they come along, and HOPEFULLY spend more time reporting on fishing than coding web pages.



1/1/12 : Happy New Year! Taking advantage of the warm weather this week, I’ve been trying to fish whenever possible.  A quick trip to Jacobson on Friday yielded nothing but wind-blown frustration.  I headed back to Scott County Park yesterday.  Weather was calm, sunny, and beautiful, and I caught two rainbow trout on bright spinners.  Took me a while longer than last Monday (see below), but I didn’t mind spending time outside.  Winter will be here soon enough…

I put my smoker to use last night, and smoked both trout for about 90 minutes over hickory.  They came out perfectly cooked and delicious–a great new years treat my wife and I both enjoyed.

Get out to the FINS lakes whenever you can during this great weather–trout are jumping and ready. I hope you have a great new year, and I look forward reporting on more locations and hearing about your fishing stories in 2012!


12/26/11 : Just got back from a quick trip to Scott County Park. I thought I’d see if the recently stocked trout were active. I filled my five fish limit in one hour, using a rainbow-trout patterned in-line spinner, medium retrieve, about a foot under the surface. Three were recent stock (about 8-9 inches) and two were bigger (12-13 inches). The 13 inch was heavier and chunkier, and put up a solid fight. He must have been a spring stock that made it through the summer.

Rainbows cleaned, bagged, ready for skillet
Smoked Rainbow Trout

Tell us about your winter fishing successes in the comment box below. Thanks!

Indian Summer

November 16
I haven’t made it out too much this fall. A couple of trips to Georgetown, Jacobson…no fish to write about. I’ve spent the last few weekends in the woods and working on the house. This warm weather has me dreaming about a kayak trip…we’ll see.

September 10
I just got home from a week of fishing the beaches, piers, and parks near Charleston, SC.  I’ll update the South Carolina pages with that information soon.

My inbox was full of folks updates, reports, questions and comments–thanks so much for sharing! I’m sorry it took a few days to approve the comments, please keep them coming.  I’ll do some homework and figure out how to “approve” users so that once a comment is approved, subsequent comments are automatically posted. Foreign spambots fill the comment queue with plenty of garbage, so I really do have to sort things out first.  My web skills are decidedly 1998-quality, so it may take a bit of work to rig this to work.

ALL THAT said, Kentucky sure feels better today than when I left last Friday.  It looks like we are sliding into our Indian Summer, which is my favorite time of year here.  Fishing is good when the air cools to the 70s in the day and 60s at night.  With recent rain, things are looking better than last fall (really dry). I’m itching to camp/fish/paddle this fall.  I’ll be certain to post details after I get out there. My buddies and I have been scheming an overnight trip down the Rockcastle River for months–we were rained out back in April–the fall is looking promising.

Keep the comments/reports/information coming.  We all appreciate it!