Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster

WK Outdoors – Fishing the Kentucky River

fishing ky riverWESTERN KY (5/17/13) – It flows through the heart of Kentucky for some 255 miles from the confluence of the North and South forks at Beattyville to the Ohio River at Carrollton.
 
The Kentucky River is a scenic waterway with numerous quiet backwaters and tree-shaded tributary streams. For the enterprising angler who is willing to spend some time looking at maps and driving back roads, the search for places to launch a fishing kayak or bass boat will reap many rewards.
 
"The Kentucky River offers a variety of fishing opportunities, said Jeff Crosby, central district fisheries biologist for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. "The more I work on the river, the more impressed I am with it."
 
Improving water quality, inherent fertility and annual stockings of sport fish by Kentucky Fish and Wildlife are three reasons why the Kentucky River produces quality fish populations. A good source of information on Kentucky River fishing is the 2013 Fishing Forecast. To view it online, go to fw.ky.gov and click on Fishing & Boating, then 2013 Fishing Forecast.
 
The fish species found in the river include: bluegill, channel catfish, blue catfish, flathead catfish, crappie, hybrid striped bass, white bass, walleye, sauger, largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass, and muskellunge.
 
It's not a stretch to say that the Kentucky River is overlooked and underutilized by anglers. This is probably because of limited access and the inability to motor through most of its 14 locks. "Access is a lot better than it used to be," said Crosby. "But, in some pools, there's only one place to launch, and anglers have to motor some distance to get to a tailwater."
 
The Kentucky River Authority will operate Lock 3 and Lock 4 on weekends and holidays for anglers and recreational boaters this year from May 24 through Oct. 27. For hours of operation, log on to the finance.ky.gov webpage and search the "Kentucky River Authority" website.
 
In part because of the access issue, fishing pressure on the Kentucky River is a lot lower than other Kentucky waters. Also, rock cliffs in the upper stretches of the river, and high, dirt banks in the lower pools, are limiting factors to access for fishing from the banks.
 
To find a list of fishing and boating access sites on the Kentucky River, visit the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife website at fw.ky.gov. Click on the Fishing & Boating tab, then Find a Place to Fish and follow the link.
 
Fish populations in the Kentucky River are influenced a great deal by environmental factors and water conditions that can mimic both a lake and a river.
 
"In drought years, during low flow, the shad spawn is good, and there's plenty of food for the game fish species," said Crosby. "But in the years when there's high water in the spring and it acts more like a river, the standing water species like largemouth bass, crappie and bluegill aren't as successful at spawning."
 
The dramatic fluctuations in the river's level can have some beneficial impacts as well. For example, the 1997 flood created sand bars, cut ditches and deposited a lot of wood in shallow water, creating structure used by a wide variety of fish species.
 
Some of the best fishing is when the current slows and the river becomes a series of lake-like pools. "The muskie fishing is really good right now," said Crosby. "We've been able to stock a few surplus fish in each pool of the lower river and we're seeing good results. There's some quality fish to be caught."
 
Get out this summer and enjoy the overlooked jewel right in the backyard of many Kentucky residents.
 
The current license year expired Feb. 28, 2013. You'll need to buy a new fishing license, available in the sporting goods section of department stores and tackle shops. Licenses and permits may also be purchased online from the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife homepage at fw.ky.gov or by calling 1-877-598-2401. The entire Spring Fishing Frenzy series will be posted at this same website for future access to these articles.
 
Author Art Lander Jr. has been writing about the outdoors since the 1970s. He is a staff writer for Kentucky Afield Magazine.

WK Outdoors
Information provided by Seth Stewart (Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife)
Visit the WK Outdoors website at www.wkoutdoors.com

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

button coupons
button classifieds

In Other News...

Lady Panthers Pull Away from Owensboro in Overtime

OWENSBORO, Ky. (1/26/15) — Visiting Daviess County outscored Owensboro 8-1 in overtime to prevail 56-49 in a Ninth… Read More

Providence Police Reports Released

PROVIDENCE, Ky. (1/26/15) ― The Providence Police Department released the following arrest report Monday, Jan. 26.… Read More

Most Read This Week

January 23, 2015 8601

Local Church's Faith Restored; 71 Souls Saved…

in Video by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
January 22, 2015 7134

Nortonville Man Accused of Selling Drugs near…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Jail
January 21, 2015 6027

KYDOT Pre-Treating Roads Thursday in Antipation…

in Top News For All Sites by Keith Todd
January 23, 2015 5684

Parents Face Charges after Marijuana Joint Falls…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Jail
January 22, 2015 5606

MCEA Head: Further School Mergers Might Ease…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
January 21, 2015 4876

Man Arrested after Allegedly Nodding off on Baby…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Jail
January 23, 2015 4501

Nortonville Woman Charged for Meth Possession

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Hopkins County Sheriff's Office/Hopkins County Detention Center
January 25, 2015 4424

Dean’s List Announced

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Joyce Riggs
January 22, 2015 3689

Local Family Business Changes Hands

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
January 23, 2015 3259

School Board Hears Public Comments Regarding…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Today

January 26, 2015 2983

Man Goes to Jail after Allegedly Attacking Family

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Jail
January 26, 2015 2909

KSP Arrests Two on Child Porn Charges; MPD…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Trooper Stu Recke
January 25, 2015 2426

Juvenile Hit by Vehicle at McDonald's

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by GPD Officer Wes Miller
January 26, 2015 1609

Madisonville Post Welcomes New Troopers

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Trooper S. C. Recke
January 26, 2015 1473

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released

in General News For All Sites by Hopkins County Sheriff's Office
January 26, 2015 1365

School Board Votes 3-2 for Utility Tax

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
January 26, 2015 1336

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Jan. 26, 2015

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
January 26, 2015 1332

Hopkins District Court Fines Handed Down

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Circuit Clerk's Office
January 26, 2015 1310

Kentucky Highway Crews Prepared for Snow into the…

in Top News For All Sites by Keith Todd
January 26, 2015 991

McClearn Remains Optimistic I-69 Signs up Between…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Keith Todd

SurfKY News Group, Inc.
Corporate Office & Studio
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431
270.452.2727 (phone)
  •  270.452.2249 (fax)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social fbsocial twsocial yt
social gpsocial flr subscribevideoitunessocial rss