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Here’s where the ‘Hawgs’ will be this year

Looking for big bass this year? Here are the spots rated as excellent by the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources.

 

Excellent

 

Lake Barkley

Shallow water fishing for spawning bass can be amazing in the spring around button ball bushes with floating baits, buzzbaits, spinner baits, and plastic creature baits.  During post spawn most bass move to drop-offs in the main lake and mouths of the bays.  Try fishing Carolina rigs, jigs, and crankbaits in deeper water when there is good current moving through the reservoir.  During summertime, fishing shallow near structure can also be effective, particularly at dawn or dusk.  In fall and winter, bass move into the bays to feed on shad.

 

Barren River Lake

Shallow water fishing for spawning bass can be amazing in the spring around button ball bushes with floating baits, buzzbaits, spinner baits, and plastic creature baits.  During post spawn most bass move to drop-offs in the main lake and mouths of the bays.  Try fishing Carolina rigs, jigs, and crankbaits in deeper water when there is good current moving through the reservoir.  During summertime, fishing shallow near structure can also be effective, particularly at dawn or dusk.  In fall and winter, bass move into the bays to feed on shad.

 

Beshear Lake

One of the main reason anglers fish Lake Beshear.  The bass population is dominated by 12- to 18-inch largemouth bass.  Best fishing during spring when fish move to shallow water, along the water willow and lily pads.  Try fishing the edges of these weeds with a pearl colored fluke using a short jerk retrieve, or use a white spinner bait.  Worms, creature baits, and other soft plastics can also be effective during the spawn. In late afternoon or on cloudy days, try top water baits.  During summertime, as temperatures heat up, bass often suspend near deep water ledges.  These fish can be caught on dropshot rigs or long lined crankbaits and jerkbaits.

 

Bullock Pen Lake

Good numbers of bass at and above size limit (12-inch size limit).  Excellent potential for quality-size fish and bass over 20 inches.

 

Cedar Creek Lake

Wide range of sizes available for anglers, with a high density of 15- to 19-inch fish and a smattering of fish >20 inches. Cedar Creek Lake remains a great place to catch a large bass.  A trophy regulation of a 20-inch minimum size limit, 1-fish creel limit, is in effect on this lake.

 

Elmer Davis Lake

Plenty of bass under 12- to 15-inch protected slot limit with good numbers in the slot. Good numbers of bass greater than 15 inches.  Weed beds are back. Trophy-size bass are possible.

Green River Lake

Good numbers of quality-size fish (15-inch plus) and exceptional numbers of 18-inch plus fish.

 

Guist Creek Lake

Very good numbers of fish over the 12-inch size limit. Excellent potential for quality-size fish and bass over 20 inches. Excellent potential for a trophy fish.

 

Herrington Lake

Good numbers of fish over 12 inches, many over 15 inches; largest fish around shoreline cover in March and April; potential for trophy-sized fish. Best success in the upper half of lake. Good at night during the summer.

 

Kentucky Lake

Several good year classes have resulted in some good fishing.  During late winter and early spring, suspended fish can often be caught with jerkbaits and other shad imitations such as the Alabama rig.  As spring progresses, fish move to wood structure along the shoreline.  During the summer big fish are found along the main lake drops and secondary channels.  Fishing the weed beds is good with top water baits on cloudy, rainy days during the summer.  Smaller fish can be found in the backs of embayments around brush, and chasing shad during late summer.  During the fall, fishing around boat docks and rocky shorelines is good.

There is some good bass fishing in the tailwaters below Kentucky Dam.  Try fishing white spinner baits along the rip rap shoreline.

Kincaid Lake

Very good numbers of fish over the 12-inch size limit; good numbers of fish over 15 inches; excellent potential for a trophy fish.

 

Lake Malone

Stable population with large number of 15- to 20-inch fish. Many trophy fish available. Fish the shoreline waterwillow during spring and fall and at night during summer with plastic baits. Also try submerged trees and brush along deeper banks in spring and summer with spinner baits and jigs.

 

Lake Wilgreen

High numbers of fish over 15 and 20 inches. These sizes of fish are fat and healthy for their size.  All indicators are continuing to show an increase in this population.  Should be another great year.

 

Metcalfe County Lake

Not a high density population; however, trophy fish (20-inch plus) potential consistently above average.  Try trout colored jerkbaits in May.

Mill Creek Lake

Good numbers of larger fish (15-inch plus) overall; 18-inch plus fish numbers well above average.

 

Rated as Good

 

Beaver Lake

Good numbers of bass up to 15 inches; bass over 20 inches are present.

 

Boltz Lake

Good numbers of bass at and above 12-inch size limit; some potential for bass ≥20 inches.

 

Carpenter Lake

Increasing number of 12- to 15-inch and over 15-inch fish in the population.

 

Carr Creek Lake

Good numbers of large fish over 20 inches.  March- to early-April anglers have very good fishing success for big fish.  During late spring through summer best results often at night.

 

Cave Run Lake

Fish are heavy and healthy for their size with good numbers of larger fish (over the 16inch upper slot limit) for a low nutrient reservoir.  Try fishing the rocky banks warmed by the morning sun in April and May.  Note: 13- to 16-inch protective slot limit.

 

Cumberland Lake

Good density of fish up to 18 inches; some larger fish are available.  Creek arms in the upper lake are slightly better for largemouth than lower lake arms.

 

Dale Hollow Lake

Good numbers of larger (16-19 inch) fish.

 

Dewey Lake

Improving numbers of fish 15-20 inches.  March is good time to go after largest fish in shallow murky water with plastic baits.  When water is clear fish group close to submerged brush and trees.

 

Elkhorn Creek

Quality fishing found in slow moving pools in the North Fork. Note: 12-16 inch slot limit applies on main stem.

 

Fishtrap Lake

Fair numbers with excellent size distribution and good growth; lake is prone to rapid changes in water level affecting fish activity for periods.  Ratio of keeper size bass is one of the best in eastern Kentucky.

 

Grayson Lake

Fair numbers of fish over 15 inches, but most still less than the minimum size limit.  Most prevalent of all black bass species in the lake.  Best population exists in the Bruin areas.  High water helps to congregate these fish within the flooded vegetation in the spring and the fall months and can produce feeding frenzies and high catch rates within the open water areas of Deer Creek and Bruin.  Note: 15 inch minimum size limit.

 

Greenbo Lake

Good numbers of fish over 15 inches long and chances for trophy-size fish over 20 inches.  Due to water clarity, anglers may have to fish deeper or at night.  Fish around downed trees or brush piles.

 

Lake Reba

Good numbers of bass over 15 and 20 inches present.  Gibson Bay, upper end of the lake and away from the bank anglers are good areas during the summer. Note: 15-inch minimum size limit.

 

Laurel River Lake

Very good population of quality fish. Currently good density of 14- to 18-inch fish with some over 20 inches. Best numbers in the Laurel River arm of the lake.

 

Mauzy Lake

Number of 12- to 16-inch fish have declined over the last couple of years. Still many 18- to 21-inch bass. A good number of smaller fish in the population should bring up the number of mid-sized fish as they grow into this size range in the next few years. Fish plastic baits and spinner baits around hardwood brush piles, especially in spring/early summer.

 

McNeely Lake

Good numbers of fish over the 12-inch size limit. Best cover is water willow, fallen trees and stumps.

 

Mill Creek Lake

Similar numbers to previous years.  Holds nice 20 inch plus fish, but this lake can be difficult to fish.  The timber areas in the upper reaches are the best bet.  Note: 15 inch minimum size limit.

 

Nolin River Lake

Number of 12- to 15-inch fish down a bit over last couple of years, but the number of fish 15-20 inch and over 20 inch still good and holding steady. Anglers should continue to have a good number of quality bass in 2017.

 

Rough River Lake and Tailwater

The number of 15- to 20-inch bass down slightly over last couple of years, but still well above average for last 10-15 years. Bass anglers at Rough should continue to enjoy a good number of quality bass for the next several years.

 

Spurlington Lake

Better than average numbers of larger fish (15-inch plus).  Big bass (20-inch plus) opportunities above average.

 

Taylorsville Lake

Very good numbers of 12- to 15-inch fish; good number of 15- to 18-inch fish; best in timber coves; try embayments in spring and fall.

 

See the full fishing forecast here.

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