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Tuesday, 08 January 2013 11:45

Fishing In The State of Kentucky

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Fishing In The State of Kentucky Photograph by Mark Watanabe

Kentucky's 90,000 miles (140,000 km) of streams provides one of the most expansive and complex stream systems in the nation. Kentucky has both the largest artificial lake east of the Mississippi in water volume (Lake Cumberland) and surface area (Kentucky Lake). It is the only U.S. state to be bordered on three sides by rivers—the Mississippi River to the west, the Ohio River to the north, and the Big Sandy River and Tug Fork to the east. Its major internal rivers include the Kentucky River, Tennessee River, Cumberland River, Green River and Licking River.Though it has only three major natural lakes, the state is home to many artificial lakes. Kentucky also has more navigable miles of water than any other state in the union, other than Alaska.

Needless to say, fishing is great in my beautiful state of Kentucky. Anglers and fishermen come from all around the world to fish our waters. One of the largest Bass Tournaments in the nation is held in my home town of Louisville, Kentucky. Lakes, parks, marinas and campgrounds, offer every kind of facility for anglers and fishermen. The distinction between the terms 'Anglers' and 'Fishermen' is vague and the subject of much discussion, and perhaps depends to some extent on the methods each individual uses to catch fish and their reasons for doing so ie., to eat, to sell, to stuff as trophies, etc., or simply for the sport, where the fish are returned to the water. Whatever you call your place in the sport, Kentucky is an awesome place to participate.

map of kentucky

The above is a map of the rivers and large lakes in Kentucky. We also have many creeks, streams, reservoirs, small lakes (natural and man-made) large lakes and farm ponds not pictured on this map that makes for some wonderful choices of fishing spots.

Methods of Kentucky fishing include: GIGGING which means spearing fish with a sharp implement on the end of a rigid pole and is legal from any bank, or from a boat only on larger lakes and in daylight. SNAGGING means taking fish by drawing a hand-held pole with a line and hook across the water without using bait. Snagging from a boat is illegal. TICKLING and/or NOODLING is the art of catching fish directly by hand or using a hook with a handle. The season is June to August. BOW FISHING applies to rough fish only which can be caught all year round using a bow and arrow with a line attached, either from bank or boat. The method is restricted in certain areas. SPEAR FISHING is only allowed in large lakes (1000 acres or more) and must be done underwater with a hand-held spear or spear-gun. Allowed all year round but catch limits apply. SPORT FISHING enthusiasts may use trotlines (up to 50 baited hooks on a line at least 3 feet below the water surface), juglines (a single or multi-barb baited hook on a line attached to a float), or a setline (a single line with baited hook attached to a tree, fixed pole, or any other fixed object on the bank).There are many restrictions and prohibited areas to be aware of. And of course, there's the rod and reel approach which is probably the most popular. We won't go into a discussion about the styles and methods used for the sake of time here in this blog. Another time and blog.

Here are a few of the kinds of fish that can be found in Kentucky waters: Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Spotted (Kentucky) Bass, Bluegill, Green Sunfish, Redear Sunfish, Longear Sunfish, Warmouth, Rock Bass, White Crappie, Black Crappie, White Bass, Striped Bass, Yellow Bass, Hybrid Striped Bass, Channel Catfish, Blue Catfish, Flathead Catfish, Yellow Bullhead, Black Bullhead, Walleye, Sauger, Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Brook Trout, Muskellunge, Grass Pickerel, Chain Pickerel, Freshwater Drum, Carp, Grass Carp, Smallmouth Buffalo, Golden Redhorse, Spotted Sucker, White Sucker, Northern Hog Sucker, Creek Chub, Flier, Skipjack Herring, Rainbow Darter, Orangespotted Sunfish, Redbreast Sunfish, Pumpkinseed, Central Stoneroller, Bluntnose Minnow, Logperch, Striped Shiner, Golden Shiner, Brook Silverside, Gizzard Shad, Threadfin Shad, American Eel, Chestnut Lamprey, Bowfin, Mooneye, Paddlefish, Shovelnose Sturgeon, Longnose Gar and Spotted Gar.

Source for this list and photos with more information can be found at: http://fw.ky.gov/pdf/kyfishid.pdf

Read 7338 times Last modified on Tuesday, 08 January 2013 12:03

John Cochran

Just bought an Ocean Kayak Scrambler XT Angler Edition in 2010 and have been out fishing like a mad man the last three years. I'm absolutely loving it!  Actually....  Addicted!

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# Jugbutt 2014-02-06 15:04
thanks for the info.
 

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