Guide To Great Fishing In Kentucky
All about fishing in the Bluegrass State
Kentucky offers a diverse range of fishing opportunities, with its variety of species and abundant warm water fisheries, cold water fisheries, ponds, lakes, and rivers. Anglers in Kentucky can enjoy a wide array of fishing experiences throughout the state.
Kentucky's warm water fisheries are home to numerous species that thrive in the state's lakes, reservoirs, and rivers. Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, catfish, and sunfish species such as bluegill and redear sunfish are among the popular targets in these warm water fisheries. Lakes like Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley, and Lake Cumberland provide excellent habitats for these species, offering anglers exciting opportunities to catch trophy-sized bass, plentiful crappie, and a variety of other warm water species.
The state's cold water fisheries are primarily focused on trout fishing. Trout species such as rainbow trout and brown trout are regularly stocked in lakes and rivers throughout Kentucky. Anglers can enjoy the serene beauty of cold water lakes like Laurel River Lake, Dale Hollow Lake, and Lake Cumberland, where they can test their skills in pursuing these prized game fish. These fisheries provide a tranquil setting for fly fishing enthusiasts and those seeking a different angling experience.
Kentucky's ponds are another popular option for anglers. Many private and public ponds throughout the state are stocked with various species, including bass, catfish, crappie, and bluegill. These smaller bodies of water offer a more intimate fishing experience, making them suitable for anglers of all ages and skill levels. Pond fishing provides an opportunity to hone fishing techniques and enjoy the peaceful ambiance of Kentucky's countryside.
Kentucky's lakes and rivers are teeming with fishing opportunities. The Ohio River, Green River, Cumberland River, and numerous other waterways provide anglers with a chance to target a variety of species, including bass, catfish, crappie, and more. These flowing rivers and expansive lakes offer diverse fishing environments, from deep pools to shallow riffles, providing anglers with endless possibilities for exploration and angling adventures.
Whether you prefer the excitement of warm water fisheries, the tranquility of cold water fisheries, the intimacy of pond fishing, or the ever-changing challenges of river fishing, Kentucky has something to offer for every angler. The state's commitment to conservation and fisheries management ensures the sustainability of its fish populations and the preservation of its natural resources. So grab your fishing gear, explore the waters of Kentucky, and get ready to create unforgettable fishing memories in the Bluegrass State.
The state of Kentucky offers plenty of fishing for bass, crappie, stripers, catfish and more. Trout fishing is somewhat limited, see Kentucky trout fishing details here. There is fishing water everywhere in Kentucky with too many lakes, ponds and streams to cover them all. We concentrate on the major Kentucky lakes in this site. Many of these lakes offer fishing boats for rent.
Here, you can fish for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, channel catfish, flathead catfish, blue catfish, white catfish, black crappie, white crappie, walleye, rainbow trout, brook trout, brown trout, lake trout, bluegill, green sunfish, longear sunfish,redbreast sunfish, redear sunfish, rock bass, warmouth, white bass, yellow bass, yellow perch, stripers, bowfin, chain pickerel, longnose gar, muskie, northern pike, paddlefish, sauger, saugeye and tiger muskie in local lakes, rivers, ponds and/or streams.
Major Kentucky Lakes & Species
Lake & Fish Chart
This chart shows the major angling destinations, cross referencing these waters with the major species to be found in each of the lakes or impoundments.
For a detailed list of primary fish species in KY, plus state fish records, see the list below.
Fishing lake sizes and locations in the state.
Barren River Lake is a 10,000-acre lake in the south-central part of the state, 4 miles southwest of Glasgow.
Buckhorn Lake is a 1,230-acre lake in the east-central part of Kentucky, at the town of Buckhorn.
Carr Creek Lake is a 710-acre lake in the southeast part of the state, 10 miles east of Hazard.
Cave Run Lake is an 8,300-acre lake in the northeast part of the state, immediately southeast of Farmers.
Cedar Creek Lake is a 784-acre lake in central Kentucky, 20 miles southeast of Danville.
Dale Hollow Lake is a 28,000-acre lake in the south-central part of the state, on the TN-KY border, 5 miles southwest of Albany.
Dewey Lake is an 1,100-acre lake in eastern Kentucky, 10 miles southeast of Staffordsville.
Fishtrap Lake is a 1,130-acre lake in the eastern corner of Kentucky, 10 miles southeast of Pikeville.
Grayson Lake is a 1,500-acre reservoir in the northeast corner of Kentucky, 8 miles south of Grayson.
Green River Lake is an 8,200-acre lake in the central part of the state, 2 miles south of Campbellsville.
Guist Creek Lake is a 317-acre lake in the north-central part of the state, 8 miles east of Shelbyville.
Herrington Lake is a 2,300-acre lake in the central part of the state, between Burgin and Bryantsville.
Kentucky Lake is a 160,000-acre lake in the southwest part of the state, at Grand Rivers.
Lake Barkley is a 58,000-acre lake in the southwest part of the state, at Grand Rivers.
Lake Beshear is a 760-acre lake in the western part of the state, 2 miles south of Dawson Springs.
Lake Cumberland is a 63,000-acre lake in the south-central part of the state, between Jamestown and Monticello.
Lake Linville is a 350-acre lake in the central part of the state, 2 miles north of Mt Vernon.
Lake Malone is a 788-acre lake in west-central Kentucky, 2 miles west of Dunmor.
Laurel River Lake is a 6,000-acre lake in the southeast part of the state, 2 miles west of Corbin.
Martins Fork Lake is a 340-acre lake in the southeast corner of the state, 3 miles southwest of Cawood.
Nolin River Lake is a 5,800-acre lake in the west-central part of the state, between Bee Spring Cub Run.
Paintsville Lake is a 1,140-acre lake in northeast Kentucky, 3 miles northwest of Staffordsville
Rough River Lake is a 5,000-acre lake in the west-central part of the state, at Falls Of Rough.
Taylorsville Lake is a 3,000-acre lake in the north-central part of the state, at Taylorsville.
Wood Creek Lake is a 672-acre lake in southeast Kentucky, 8 miles northwest of Pittsburg.
Yatesville Lake is a 2,300-acre lake in the northeast part of the state, at Adams.
Fish Species & State Records in Kentucky
World record: 22 lbs 4 oz
State Record: 14 lbs 9.5 oz
World record: 11 lbs 15 oz*
State Record: 11 lbs 15 oz*
World record: 8 lbs 12 oz
State Record: 1.21 lbs
World record: 9 lbs 8 oz
State Record: 7 lbs 10 oz
World record: 58 lbs 0 oz
State Record: 32.0 lbs
World record: 123 lbs 9 oz
State Record: 97.0 lbs
World record: 143 lbs 0 oz
State Record: 106.9 lbs
World record: 22 lbs 0 oz
State Record: 5.27 lbs
World record: 6 lbs 0 oz
State Record: 4 lbs 14 oz*
World record: 5 lbs 3 oz
State Record: 4 lbs 14 oz*
World record: 25 lbs 0 oz
State Record: 21 lbs 8 oz
World record: 17 lbs 7 oz
State Record: 7 lbs 7 oz
World record: 15 lbs 6 oz
State Record: 8 lbs 8.8 oz
World record: 42 lbs 2 oz
State Record: 14 lbs 6 oz
World record: 14 lbs 8 oz
State Record: 3.65 lbs
World record: 40 lbs 4 oz
State Record: 21.0 lbs
World record: 72 lbs 0 oz
State Record: 5 lbs 5 oz
World record: 4 lbs 12 oz
State Record: 4 lbs 3 oz
World record: 2.2 lbs
State Record: 1 lbs 9.44 oz
World record: 1.75 lbs
State Record: 0 lbs 13.28 oz
World record: 2 lbs 0 oz
State Record: 0.88 lbs
World record: 5.4 lbs
State Record: 3 lbs 1 oz
World record: 3.0 lbs
State Record: 1 lbs 10 oz
World record: 2.4 lbs
State Record: 1 lbs 6.2 oz
World record: 6.8 lbs
State Record: 5 lbs 0 oz
World record: 2 lbs 15 oz
State Record: 1 lbs 6.4 oz
World record: 4 lbs 3 oz
State Record: 1 lbs 7 oz
Inland world record: 64 lbs 8 oz
State Record: 58 lbs 4 oz
World record: 27 lbs 5 oz
State Record: 20 lbs 8 oz
World record: 21 lbs 8 oz
State Record: 15.08 lbs
World record: 9 lbs 6 oz
State Record: 5 lbs 6 oz
World record: 50 lbs 5 oz
State Record: 40 lbs 0 oz
World record: 69 lbs 9 oz
State Record: 47 lbs 0 oz
World record: 55 lbs 1 oz
State Record: 10.53 lbs
World record: 144 lbs
State Record: 106 lbs 0 oz
World record: 51 lbs 2 oz
State Record: 19 lbs 9 oz
Click the images and links above for species details.
State of KY Fishing Information
The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources website is packed with information about fishing in Kentucky. Visit AA-Boats-Boating.com to find information about fishing boats in Kentucky and other boating information.
Visit here to obtain a Kentucky Fishing License.
Fish for big bass
Excellent largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass fishing is available to anglers of all skill levels.
Fishing in all states