by John Kirkland
Earlier this week, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife announced the opening of Veterans Memorial WMA in Scott County, north of the Toyota plant. The 2500 acre property introduces a nice representation of Central Kentucky’s rolling hills and farmland. In the center of the property, near the end of the gravel road, is an old farm pond, about 2 acres in size.
I decided to check it out, and try to get in to a little-fished pond before the whole world shows up and empties out the fat bass and catfish. Today was the fifth day of being open, and folks seemed to be fully aware of the existence of this pond already–about 15 people were there when I arrived, and were catching bluegill with every other cast. My plan was to tie on a Live Target frog, and bang the edges with a little frog action, hoping a sleepy lunker would play his part.
I threw the frog, circling the duckweed-covered, but otherwise fairly clear, pond. One fish stirred at the lure, but didn’t hit. I switched over to a bobber and piece of hotdog, and several hooks were cleaned off. Finally, one hooked on, peeled the drag a moment, then turned into a weedbed, tangling the line. He got away, but felt a lot like a catfish, maybe 2 pound range. Another fellow across the pond reeled in a nice catfish, though I wasn’t really close enough to see it. I did see another guy pull in a largemouth, maybe 16 inches, but not too heavy.
This pond isn’t very big, and I’m afraid that the sudden pressure will shock the balance that is there, especially after a hot, dry summer. Hopefully folks will release the bass, and keep reasonable numbers of bluegill and catfish. I guess others were thinking the same thing–to hit this pond before the fish get “smart”. The fish, as I figured out, weren’t just jumping on the hook. There must have been some pressure before it opened. I have fished farm ponds in the past that hadn’t been fished before, and they literally were biting empty hooks. Definitely not so with this one, but a nice, tucked away pond, about 40 minutes total from my house in south Lexington.
To get there, take the gravel road all the way to the end. There is parking, and a hilltop pasture on the right. Go to the end of the pasture, and there is a trail through the woods, about 100 yards to the pond. Getting around the pond takes a little stomping around in high weeds and pretty snakey country. This is not a highly accessible site, but there are decent sloped approached that someone could walk carefully to. Wheelchairs might work, but that would be tricky, and could get stuck in mud, etc.
I’ve included a map–take 25 north of Georgetown to Rogers Gap (you’ll see a sign for Whispering Hills RV Resort), turn right (east), go under the overpass, and the entrance is immediately on the left. Let us know how it goes, and what works.