Owsley Fork Lake, Berea, KY

by John Abrams

Owsley Fork lake is a small 151 acre lake located in Berea, KY.  There is access to a gravel boat ramp and plenty of bank fishing areas. When the water is low you can walk most of the way around the lake.  If the water is high you can walk along trails through the woods to access different areas of the lake.  Mid summer the lake gets fairly weedy around the banks and your best bet is to fish from the dam or by watercraft of some sort. On one side of the lake is a nice park area that you can fish and launch canoes and kayaks from however this area is shallow and quickly weeds over in the summer.  The lake itself is trolling motor only and I have never seen more than three or four boats on the lake at any given time.  This lake is perfect for kayaking and canoeing.

I have caught plenty of largemouth bass here mostly under keeper size but I have caught a few over 2 lbs.  The lake is full of bluegill, red ear, and green sunfish. There is a fairly good population of crappie as well most are smaller but good eating size.  There are also smallmouth in the lake but the only place I have ever caught them was by the dam.   Channel catfish are in the lake, as well as tons of bullheads.  Catfishing is good if you use something the bullhead won’t eat.  I personally like to catch a few smaller bullhead and use those for bait.

Most of my trips consist of bank fishing from the dam.  when you turn onto the road to the boat ramp keep an eye on the right side of the road.  you will notice a pull off that goes straight up a hill and another small pull off on the left side of the road.  I pull off to the left most of the time but the right side gets you farther off the road.  From the left side of the road you will notice a trail going through the woods.  A short walk down the trail and you will come out of the woods just behind the dam.  Walk towards the lake and you’re there.  The entire walk from the car to the lake might take 3 or 4 minutes–it’s not far.  I wouldn’t recommend this spot to anyone that is afraid of snakes because the rocks are full of them during the spring and summer. The rocks aren’t the most stable place to fish from either.  I mostly use 4 inch senkos in a natural color or small 1/8th or smaller maribou jigs. You will get hung up in the rocks quite a bit, but you can catch crappie, smallmouth, spotted and largemouth bass about every cast.  Like I said earlier most are under keeper size, but you catch a good size one here and there.

From Richmond, KY:
Take US25 south towards Berea,  Turn right onto US 421( Battlefield Memorial Highway).  You will come to a split in the road where you can continue straight and go towards Berea, or veer to the left and continue on 421.  Continue on 421 (the road gets pretty curvy at this point, so be careful.)  Follow this road until you see a small gas station on your right.  Just past the gas station take the next road on your left.  Follow that road out and you will see where you can turn right to get to the boat ramp or continue going straight to get to the park area.

John Abrams lives in Berea, and fishes the waters of South Central Kentucky throughout the year.

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Motor boats aren't required for great fishing!