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Fishing Forecast Predicts Hot Spots

They say Stradivarius violins need musical workouts to keep their wood fibers limber and maintain their magic. I feel the same way about fishing poles—at least that’s what I tell my wife.

With winter on its last legs, it’s time to clean and oil reels, change fishing line, wipe the gunk off poles, and give your fishing rods their much-needed workouts by catching some fish.

Think March is too soon to start? This is the month when walleye, sauger, and white bass start their spawning runs. Big bass prowl the banks. Muskellunge gather at creek mouths and headwaters to feast on spawning suckers. Crappie are shallow.

In case you don’t know where to go fishing or want to sample a better location, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources produces an annual fishing forecast. With this forecast, you’ll learn that Cave Run and Green River lakes offer the hottest prospects for muskies. Or you’ll discover that shellcracker numbers have improved on several small lakes.

While the Big Twins of the west—Kentucky and Barkley lakes—are the state’s traditional draw for crappie anglers, both also offer outstanding opportunities for bragging-sized catfish, panfish, and bass. Department biologists predict a banner year for largemouth bass on both lakes. Kentucky Lake has a high density of fish over the 15-inch size limit. Lake Barkley, meanwhile, has a high number of big shellcrackers (redear sunfish), some the size of a plate and nearing 3 pounds.

Recommended areas for the popular smallmouth bass include Cumberland, Kentucky, Laurel River, Dale Hollow, and Fishtrap lakes. Laurel River Lake, which has a growing reputation for smallmouth bass, has good numbers of 14- to 18-inch fish. It received an excellent rating.

For white bass, Nolin River Lake gets the nod. Biologists report a large increase in white bass numbers during the past few years. Rough River Lake remains a premier fishery for hybrid striped bass, with a large number of fish exceeding 15 inches.

There’s another good thing about the fishing forecast: it’s packed with tips that will help you catch these fish. Get your own copy today by calling (800) 858-1549, or save time by obtaining it online: go to www.fw.ky.gov and click on “Fishing,” then “Where to Fish.” The forecast is free, but donations are always welcome to the Jefferson Baker College Scholarship Fund.


INSIDER’S TIP

Imagine you’re ready for the first cast when you remember that you didn’t get your new fishing license. Now you can obtain your license over the telephone. All you need is a credit card. Just call (877) 598-2401—it’s fast and easy.

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