September 24, 2012: Jacobson has been added to the FINS program! I’m looking forward to trout fishing in town this winter!
I’ve written some bad things about Jacobson, but there really are some big fish there.
I went fishing on the Kearney side last Sunday. Throwing a shakey-tail tube minnow, carolina rigged, I jigged across the bottom. on the third throw, the line took off. It was a BIG fish, peeling line off the drag while I reeled hard. Three minutes later, after two hard runs, I finally saw a big, stout carp surface, flop, and take off again. After five full minutes of fighting, and four serious runs, I got him up to the shore. As I stepped toward him, he flopped and snapped the line.
It was 8 lb test braided fireline, tied with a palomar knot. He snapped it, lifted not even a third out of the water. I guestimate 20 inches length, girth like a football, probably 15 pounds of fish. This falls into the top ten of fish fights I’ve had, and he was THE most determined freshwater fish I’ve ever wrestled.
Folks have been leaving comments about bass caught early morning in the 3-5 pound range in Jacobson Lake. My opinion has shifted–it is a challenging lake to fish, but there are definitely some big fish there.
April 12, 2009
Jacobson Park Lake, Lexington, KY
by John Kirkland
In writing about the small water of Central Kentucky, I try not to be judgmental. Jacobson Park, for many living in Lexington, is the only (apparent) public fishing available in town. Lots and lots of people fish this small impoundment. I try not to judge, but in reality, this lake is a mudhole. Over-fished, over-silted, trash-filled, and just generally slimey, Jacobson Lake offers poor fishing, and lots of it.
It is our only public lake, though (for the time being). On a warm Easter Sunday afternoon, I headed out, with at least a thousand others, to the park to throw a line. There was a surprising amount of action, and I had to label the day “not bad”, especially given that it was in town, and just after a long, cold winter.
At the far eastern side of the lake is the entrance to Camp Kearney, a city-run day camp that occupies the back portion of Jacobson Park. When camp is not in session , the public can access the shoreline bounded by the camp on one side, and Lakeside Public Golf course on the other. There is a gravel and shot-rock causeway that extends from Kearney to the golf course. This forms a small four or five acre pond fed by a chain of lakes and ponds that runs through Andover Golf Course (now there is some excellent urban fishing—if you know someone living there nice enough to let you fish in their back yard. More about that in another column). Though polluted by golf courses (don’t ever eat anything out of here!), this pond offers consistent fishing with less trash in the water.
On that April day, standing on the causeway, I was casting a chartreuse roostertail just past a mat of weeds, near a small floating dock. Repeatedly, I hooked and landed small largemouth bass, 10 inches and under. Usually, one is lucky to catch a couple of stunted bluegill or an eight inch channel cat at Jacobson. This turned out to be a pretty good trip, throwing a spinner on light tackle, and wrestling a half-dozen little bass.
I never expect big things out of Jacobson, so it is nice when there is at least a bit of a feeding frenzy going on there. Not to mention, 65 and sunny is very nice in April.
I would come back a month later to test out my new sit on top kayak. The kayak worked great, and even though a stiff wind challenged any movement around the lake, I was able to cross the half-mile with little trouble. Fishing was very slow that day, but this trip was only a test of the boat. I caught one fair black crappie, “trolling” a crankbait as the wind pushed me across the lake.
Jacobson Park Lake is located at Jacobson Park, off Richmond Road, on the east side of Lexington. Park hours vary with the seasons, but there is a fishing jetty accessible at the entrance of Lakeside Golf Course, and I haven’t noticed any posted hours there (night fishing for catfish may be possible). About two thirds of the lake is shore-accessible. The lake across Richmond Road is a private lake—the security there will eject trespassers.
UPDATE: May 14th, 2011
I hit Jacobson on a rainy afternoon, thinking that if the weather got too bad, I’d just head home without being too far away. After quickly losing a roostertail to debris on the Camp Kearny side of the lake, I switched to a creek chub in a sunfish pattern, and managed to land a scrappy, fat little largemouth, about 10 inches. After talking to some others about their lures and strategies, I switched to a weedless spinner rig with a fat black grub on it, and soon after caught a half decent 12 inch largemouth. This is the largest fish I’ve personally seen come out of Jacobson, though I know there are bigger ones there. The weedless rig made all the difference.
Largemouth caught at Jacobson