From streams flowing through the Appalachian Mountains in the eastern part of the state to Kentucky Lake in the southwestern part of the state, Kentucky has thousands of waterways to explore. Seasoned anglers come to Kentucky for the world-class fishing opportunities offered by large reservoirs, lakes, and gently flowing streams. Whether you prefer to spend the day trolling a lake for muskie, standing in a river fly fishing for trout, or sitting on the banks of a creek hoping to hook a catfish, your perfect fishing spot is waiting for you in Kentucky. To ensure a stress-free fishing trip, be sure to secure a fishing license and to check state fishing regulations when fishing in Kentucky.
Fishing Spots in Kentucky
Lake Cumberland State Resort Park
Lake Cumberland State Resort Park is located just outside of Jamestown, Kentucky, and provides easy access to Lake Cumberland. Lake Cumberland encompasses over 50,000 acres of waterway that has produced some state-record catches over the years, like a 21-pound walleye and a 58-pound striped bass. In addition to record-setting catches, Lake Cumberland is teeming with other game fish like crappie, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and trout.
Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park
Located in the southern portion of Kentucky near Burkesville, Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park is 3,400 acres of wooded land surrounding 28,000-acre Dale Hollow Lake, one of the best fishing spots in Kentucky, boasting the world record smallmouth bass and a state record muskie. In addition, the park offers a state-of-the-art marina with a fuel dock, boat rentals, and a marina store for all your last-minute needs.
Kentucky Lake’s Big Bear Resort
Kentucky Lake’s Big Bear Resort is nestled along the shore of Kentucky Lake just outside of Benton. The resort features campsites right on the water’s edge, making it a perfect stop for those who want to hit the lake for a peaceful day of fishing. Kentucky Lake has 186,000 acres of water with over 2,000 miles of beautiful shoreline, and it is known for its world-class fishing featuring bass, crappie, catfish, and panfish. The area around Big Bear Resort is known for having some of the best crappie and bass fishing on the lake.
Taylorsville Lake State Park
Located in Mt. Eden, Taylorsville Lake State Park is built around the famous 3,050-acre Taylorsville Lake. Visitors can stop by the secure marina for fresh bait and hit the lake, where anglers often reel in catfish, bass, bluegill, and crappie. Because this lake is a popular fishing spot, anglers may find the fishing crowded on holidays and weekends, so planning to fish during off-peak times is recommended.
Twin Knobs Recreation Area
This 700-acre campground is in the heart of the Daniel Boone National Forest on the shores of 8,2700-acre Cave Run Lake. Situated among the hills of northeastern Kentucky, Twin Knobs Recreation Area offers a variety of fishing opportunities. The lake features 12 boat launch ramps, and the state record 47-pound muskie was caught on Cave Run Lake in 2008. If you plan to reel in a record-breaking catch for yourself, muskie season generally runs from March through the fall. However, muskie isn’t the only fish to call Cave Run Lake home. Anglers at Cave Run Lake can also expect to encounter many of the lake’s 150 other fish species, including smallmouth and largemouth bass, bluegill, catfish, crappie, spotted bass, and white bass.
Where to Fish in Kentucky
With over 90,000 miles of streams and 45 major lakes, Kentucky is a premier destination for world-class fishing, no matter what part of the state you choose to visit. Kentucky Lake is surrounded by historic Civil War battlefields, fortifications, hiking, museums, and parks, making it a perfect destination for those who love history. Anglers looking for more of a rugged outdoor adventure might find fishing the waterways of the Appalachians the ideal location for fishing camping in Kentucky. If you prefer to mix your fishing vacation with the bright lights and bustle of the city, consider good fishing spots near the capital city of Frankfort or near bigger cities like Lexington and Louisville.
Camping and Fishing in Kentucky
When planning your trip to go fishing and camping in Kentucky, consider where you plan to go and what type of fishing you plan to do. While the casual angler needs only a fishing pole, some bait, and a quiet spot at the water’s edge, you might need a few more supplies to make sure your fishing trip is as comfortable and stress-free as possible.
Because good fishing spots can take you away from primary resources, be sure to take plenty of water, snacks, and a first aid kit to treat any minor wounds that occur. Temperatures on the water may be lower than those at the shore, so pack light layers to ensure your safety and comfort regardless of the temperatures. If you plan to keep your catch, a disposable cooler with ice packs will help keep your catch fresh until you can return to your campsite to clean and cook it.
Before you head out on your trip, check out our blog for all you need to know about fishing.
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