June 2014

6/23/14: I thought I’d try Dix River VPA in low flow conditions. When I got there, the long field had not been mowed this year, and was six feet deep in thick growth. I really couldn’t access much more than the front (impounded) portion, which must have been raised to summer pool. The path upstream to the riffles was fully overgrown, and in some pretty snakey country. Wearing shorts and water sandals, I decided wading through heavy brush was not a good idea. I fished what I could access, with no luck. A couple appeared, wearing boots and long pants, having come from the riffles. They said they caught several small-sized largemouths and some bluegill. Later, a kayaker with a rod came down stream, and took out directly in front of the entrance (the banks are steep, so I was surprised to see someone put in or take out there.) He reported similar results to the couple. If you’re planning to head to the Dix on foot, wear boots and pants, and watch for snakes. The riffles seem to produce in hot summer, as well.

6/15/14: Robinson Dam on the Elkhorn was hopping, and crowded today. Lots of smaller fish biting, though. I managed to catch four rock bass–two smaller, and two in the 1+ lb. range, using a brown grub with an orange tail, fished slowly across the bottom. The weather is hot (86 degrees), but the water felt great.

6/8/14: I took the kayak down to Cedar Creek Lake for a few hours yesterday. The weather was nice and the water was warm. Fish were active, and the water was crystal clear. I could see at least 6-8 feet, revealing structures and features I had never seen before there.

I caught 20-30 small to medium sized bluegill, mostly on big fat garden worms I found under a pile of rotting hay at my in-laws small farm. I fished the bottom in and near weed beds with a carolina-rigged shakey-tail, nothing. I switched to a Yo-Zuri Pin’s minnow, and using a fast, jerking retrieve, managed a strike and short fight with a decent largemouth. He jumped and threw the lure, so I didn’t have a chance to land the fish. I guesstimate about 15-16 inches, 2-3 pounds.

It was a nice day on the water, and I kept a few of the bigger male bluegill and a decent redear sunfish. They’ll make a nice lunch today.

Spring 2014

5/25/14: After trying to go to Robinson on the Elkhorn (every parking spot taken), I headed over to Scott County Park. I caught three decent bluegill in an hour, then stopped at Oser in Georgetown, also packed. I caught two small sunfish there. No great stories; LOTS of folks fishing this weekend. Tell us your fishing stories from the weekend in the comments section!

5/4/14: I scoped out a couple of spots on the main stem of the Elkhorn in Franklin County. Read about it on the new T. N. Sullivan WMA page.

4/26/14: Spent a couple of hours on the Elkhorn, launching from Great Crossings. I caught a couple of sunfish, nothing exciting. I did nearly run face-first unto this guy:Copperhead on the Elkhorn

I was drifting along, fishing next to a fallen tree, and just happened to look up to see this bad boy at eye-level, about three feet in front of me. Just a little reminder to pay attention; I can’t count the number of times I’m drifting along, and just run into overhanging branches. Luckily, I didn’t kiss this one on the lips…

4/13/14: I checked out Dix River VPA on the Lake Herrington headwaters in Boyle County today. I didn’t find the white bass run. but I did find some other fishing action and a beautiful location. Read about it in the new Dix River VPA page!

4/12/14: It sure is a beautiful weekend. I’m going to try to get out–let us know where you are fishing, and what is biting!

3/15/14: I fished the Salt River in the Taylorsville Lake WMA this afternoon. I had read that the white bass were making their spring run, so I thought I’d check it out. I didn’t see (or catch) any fish at all, but the location is intriguing, and not too far away. I put together a Salt River page to explain…

3/8/14: It is a little premature, but I’m tired of winter. Welcome Spring!

I went to Scott County Park to try for trout, stocked last week (1000 in each lake there). I couldn’t get the trout to bite, but I did catch one bluegill. Anyway, it was nice to get out.

2014: Happy New Year!

KY River Sauger
KY River Sauger

1/20/2014: Sauger. I took off for a couple of hours to Lock 7 this afternoon, and reeled in this nice sauger after five minutes of casting a white curly tail on 1/4 ounce. 17 inches, 1.5 lbs. A nice break from the winter weather…

1/4/2014: It is cold. The sun is out today, though, and sauger season should be heating up below dams on the Kentucky and Ohio Rivers. Here’s a link to the video I did a while back about Sauger in Kentucky. If you manage to get out, let us know if they are biting!

Winter 2013

12/22/2013: First weekend of winter…I headed to Scott County Park on Sunday, between storms and a cold front. Something went right, though, and I caught a limit of five trout, including this decent guy, in about 90 minutes. A few people were throwing spinners and rappalas; I threw a white roostertail with one pole and drifted a live red worm from the garden on the other. The worm was catching them so fast, I put the roostertail down. I used a small hook, about 20 inches of a lead below a small split shot, and a slip bobber to mark any action. This method lets the worm sort of suspend a foot or two below the surface.

The bite was super light, and didn’t even pull the bobber under. More like a tickle. I would pick up the pole, and very slowly start to reel, until the line went tight, then I’d land the fish. Five times in a row. I filled the smoker, and we ate smoked trout until we were stuffed. I love the fishing on nice days in winter…

Chunky Trout from Scott County Park
Chunky Trout from Scott County Park

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!

Late Spring 2013

5/25/13: A friend and I took kayaks to the Elkhorn. We put in above Robinson Dam and paddled toward Great Crossing, fishing along the way. Lots of small bluegill and bass, and one “slab” redear sunfish that  jumped the hook as I pulled him into the boat. We paddled up Cane Run, which is navigable for a few hundred yards. My friend caught some crawdads, but they didn’t manage to attract anything of size.

The forecast said “0% chance of rain”. It drizzled all day. Still, it was nice to get out on the water.

5/10/13: Rain. Rain. Rain.

I really don’t have much to report, unfortunately. We should have PLENTY of water this summer, hopefully…

So, if you have had success in the last few weeks, please share it with us all. This rain has left my fishing high and dry…

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.

Fall 2012

12/9/12: I just returned from a week in Sanibel, Florida. Beautiful weather–fished everyday. Cold, wet & grey in Kentucky–must be nearly Sauger time…

11/18/12: I hit Scott County Park for a couple of hours before dark, and managed to land two trout, one about 10 inches, the other about 14 inches (and a real fighter!). It is a great time to hit the FINs lakes around the state–trout love cooler temperatures. If you’re not in the woods looking for meat-on-the-hoof, there’s great tasting trout in the water right now…

10/26/12: As a follow up to the announcement about Jacobson Park joining the FINS program, Fish and Wildlife stocked 4000 rainbow trout (keeper-sized) into the lake on Tuesday, October 23. My experience with these stocking events would suggest that they will be hitting hard and fast this weekend. Rain is in the forecast, but keep in mind that trout love the rain (what fish wouldn’t, really?). Don’t forget that a trout stamp is required to keep trout–check regulations for details.

Motor boats aren't required for great fishing!