Salt River, Anderson County, KY


Salt River white bass, 2019

It was a slow bite, but I finally managed to land a white bass on the Salt River. Others fishing there (probably 10 or so that I encountered) were catching 0 to 3 or so fish, so not a big day for anyone. It was fun, though, and this is  a great time of year to walk and explore the WMA.  I covered a good mile and a half of terrain there without heavy growth or bugs out of control. It was a good day.

10/8/18 Update: I heard a report (and saw video) of a white bass run a few days ago, so I hit the WMA to give the Salt another try. As predicted, the walk in from the parking area was thick and heavy weeds on a muddy flood plain. At 85°, I was wearing shorts and water shoes, which weren’t the best for tromping through that type of brush.

Looking Upstream on the Salt River 10/8/2018

Reaching the river, I saw no signs of white bass, but there was good flow after the flood had receded last week. I threw a few spinners, hoping for a stray white bass to hit, but nothing. I had picked up some meal worms, so I started floating those with a weighted bobber and three feet of leader. That yielded a few nice-size bluegill. After an hour, the mosquitoes had nearly sucked me dry, so I headed out, and drove to the Taylorsville Tailwater Access, about a half-hour away.


The Salt River winds through central Kentucky, draining a large area south of the Kentucky River. I’ve thought about checking it out for a while, and while scouting locations on the KDFWR site, I ran across a notice that a section of road running along the Salt River in the Taylorsville Lake WMA would open today, and stay open until the day before spring turkey season. The road is opened to allow anglers access to the headwater during the white bass spawn, which typically goes on this time of year. Sounded like a great opportunity, so I set out for the southwest corner of Anderson County to check it out. Salt River in March 2014

There are a few places to access the river. I took Hwy 44 west out of Lawrenceburg, about 10.7 miles. The first, from this direction, is River Road, a sharp turn onto a gravel road, marked with a WMA sign. About a half mile down the road is a parking area (marked). Access to the river is on foot, through fields and somewhat rough country. Just go down hill, toward the tree line. You’ll eventually see the river.

For the next spot, go past River Road on 44, and turn left on 1579. A few miles down, Palmer Road is on the left, and marked with a WMA sign. Follow Palmer to the end. There is a parking area there, and during certain times of the year, the access road is open (like today). Check the Fish and Wildlife website for status. The road follows the River, with several spots to park and walk down.

I fished a while at several spots, but didn’t see any fish at all–just a cold, clear winter river. It is pretty, and I’m sure would be a good bet in warmer weather. I think the extra cold winter might be slowing down the spawn, and they aren’t moving yet, as I saw no sign of any fish, at all.

I’ll probably try to return here in the summer. It is a beautiful, remote stretch of shallow river, and would be a great place to wade. It is in the middle of a WMA, and is public.

If you know about where and when to fish the Salt River and Taylorsville Lake headwaters, let us know in the comments!

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4 thoughts on “Salt River, Anderson County, KY”

  1. I fished the WMA at Palmer Rd access on 04/22/14. Never saw any black bass,(SM or LM) but did catch 5 or 6 white bass. Pretty water and plenty of room to roam up/down the river in the WMA.

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