Kentucky Fish and Wildlife is an agency of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet. 5 years 3 weeks ago #1. Miller emphasizes that May is often the best month to float-fish the upper stretches, as water levels are still sufficient, yet the water is warm enough for the bass to be consistently active. A cold weather front can put a major damper on the bass bite. Some "dandy smallmouths" turned up, according to Cummins. About halfway through this float, paddlers will notice a bluff rising in the distance when Meadow Creek meets the Green on the right. Fly rod anglers can find great sport throwing bass-sized yellow and black cork poppers in the slack eddies beside current in the Green. The main stem is 18.2 miles long and runs from the forks of Elkhorn to the Kentucky River. As the temperatures rise the fish here tend to head for the many deep ledges the reservoir offers that are best tackled with a drop shot or deep diving crankbaits. “Green River and Barren River have good size structure in the smallmouth bass population and both rivers offer a chance to catch a 20-inch or longer smallmouth bass.” The publication has much information on our streams, including smallmouth biology, stream locations and accessibility, floating opportunity and fishing tips. The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources manages, regulates, enforces and promotes responsible use of all fish and wildlife species, their habitats, public wildlife areas and waterways for the benefit of those resources and for public enjoyment. June 15, 2009. Finicky Big South Fork smallmouths that ignored everything else will often fall for this presentation. FRANKFORT, Ky. -A late spring following a brutally cold winter caused some hit and miss stream smallmouth fishing this past spring. gist Eric Cummins. This might be one of the best rivers in the state for tossing flies to smallmouth bass. Fishing for many species slows in the daytime hours during the heat of summer, but smallmouth bass who inhabit Kentucky streams bite willingly even on the hottest days. Green River smallmouths often strike subtly during the warm months. This one simple trick will trigger more bass strikes on a jerkbait during the fall months. I think we are pretty limited in the areas we can shock and our shocking data may not be indicative of the smallmouth fishery.". Mouth to KY 573, Woods Pike bridge crossing: Skaggs Creek: Barren: 19.0: Yes : Slate … Sight Savvy: Different styles of bow sights each have their strengths—and weaknesses. From about 1995 to 2000, anglers enjoyed the peak of good fishing because of the spawning success in the late 1980s and early 1990s. “Small streams are often overlooked,” Rhett told me. Now is the best time of year to catch trophy stream smallmouth bass. This is the most exciting fishing you can find in Kentucky. Author Lee McClellan is associate editor for Kentucky Afield magazine, the official publication of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. South Fork, Licking River: Lair to Terry Dam Ramp, 5 miles, Harrison County: This float makes a good day trip with a short shuttle from the Lair Ramp in the historic community of Lair down to the Terry Dam Ramp (also known at the Airport Ramp) via KY 982. If all else fails, rig a watermelon-colored 3-inch soft plastic stick bait on a small 1/8-ounce Shakey head and cast it upstream of a riffle. I’ve had plenty of days with exceptionally high number of fish, and … Louisville, KY ; auburnAJ ; 50+ Posts! You can catch a fish that weighs three to four pounds!” - Advertisement - Generally, smallmouth bass are a lean predator and built to live in moving water. I have float-fished some of the sections near Williamsburg and have caught smallmouths. The following streams are all good for catching smallmouth bass: the Gasper River in Warren County, Russell Creek in Green and Adair counties, the Russell and Levisa Forks of Big Sandy River in Pike County and the Green River below Green River Lake to Mammoth Cave National Park. They will be collecting genetic information to determine which particular strains of smallmouths are doing best in individual areas. Good Stream Floats in KY for Smallmouth Bass. Those with Internet access can view and print the entire publication in PDF form at the KDFWR's Web site at www.kdfwr.state.ky.us. Tacklemaster Tim takes us to a new stretch of water - apparently the best smallmouth river in Ohio! One of the best-known smallmouth streams in Kentucky is Elkhorn Creek. Mud Hole makes rod-building simple and fun for novice rod builders. Kentuckians who enjoy canoeing or kayaking are lucky to live in a state with bountiful amounts of cool, flowing water that hold smallmouth bass. Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here. Releases from Green River Lake Dam dictate the fishing on the Green River below it. You'll need a cartridge that lives up to... Across the west, look to these areas to find aggressive bass. The poor spawns and limited year-classes had finally caught up and most of the big fish from the earlier great reproduction years had been caught out or died of old age. Employ these expert tips for world-class smallmouth bass fishing in rivers and streams. Both the “Blue Water Trails” page and the “Stream Fisheries page” may be accessed here. The last two to three years have seen many small fish showing up in catches. Green River: Roachville Ford to Russell Island, 6.6 miles, Green County: The Green River offers arguably the best chance in Kentucky to catch a stream smallmouth in excess of 18 inches, with potential for larger fish. It can also be obtained by calling or writing the KDFWR. A four-wheel-drive vehicle is required to access some portions of the upper Cumberland area. This stretch falls within a … Some, of course, are better than others. Excellent Good Average Bad Terrible Published on 06-17-2016 01:39 PM 0 Comments. Read on for one near you. "I think you could pick about any area to float and it would be fairly productive for smallmouths. This can all add up to those “died and gone to heaven” days that smallie fans fondly recall years later. © 2016 Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism. Let the lure tumble in the current and occasionally touch bottom and watch the line intently. The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources’ webpage at www.fw.ky.gov holds a wealth of information about stream paddling. This left the stream with some poor year-classes of smallies. “As long as you have good water quality, woody debris, and rocky substrate, you would be amazed at the fish quality. Buffalo River – The lower 24 miles of the Buffalo River in Arkansas is considered one of the best smallmouth rivers in the nation. Elkhorn Creek is divided into three sections. Information gained from the various research projects will be used to rank the best streams for smallmouths, determine management regulations, and develop stocking strategies. Central Fisheries biologists Jeff Crosby and David Baker routinely sample this stream and find many smallmouths from 12 to 15 inches long, with some over 15 inches. On the lower section, especially the last couple of miles, people report catching more largemouths than smallmouths. Lee McClellan. The chain of events over these years created a natural ebb and flow with the fishery. During the summer, Otter Creek is filled with warm water species like smallmouth, Kentucky spotted bass, and various sunfish species, which can all be taken on popping bugs cast around logs and at … Following is a look at three of our top picks. For more information on the department, click here. This presentation also attracts hefty largemouth bass. The first fall is generally the period that writers mean when they hype “fast fall fishing.” Water temperatures are still relatively warm (above 57 degrees) but food sources are declining, and the smallmouth bass’s energy requirements are high because of developing gonad production. Bam! It holds numerous fish species including crappie, catfish, and of course largemouth and smallmouth bass making it an angling … It's easier than you think — and will put more big bass in your boat. In those years, there was much flooding that resulted in poor reproduction. Robert Montgomery. The mouth of Meadow Creek to the take-out at Russell Island is the best smallmouth bass water on this float. There were ample numbers of fish in the 16- to 18-inch range. Just above Cumberland Falls is an especially popular location with smallmouth anglers. Mud Hole MHX Rod Building Kits: Field-Tested, Amazing Kayak Power and Control: Hobie's MirageDrive 360 Propulsion System, Get On Board: Species 101 for Beginning Anglers, 10 Best Long-Range Rifle Cartridges Ever Made, Transition Bass: It Doesn't Have to Be Difficult, How to Battle Cold Fronts for Big-Chill Bass, Hobie MirageDrive 360 Kayak Propulsion: Amazing Control and Power, Hunting Elk with the Ruger Hawkeye Long Range Hunter in 6.5 PRC, Catch More Bass on a Jerkbait in the Cooler Months, Action and Power Ratings- How to Choose the Right Bass Rod. by . Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Three good stream floats for smallmouth bass, Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism, Center for Great Neighborhoods begins with great neighbors, finding strengths, and filling needs, Gateway graduate Lynda Breeden accomplishes ‘family goal’ of earning college degree, OPEN LETTER TO OUR READERS: We need your support as NewsMatch deadline (Dec. 31) looms. The experts emphasize that a lot of people make a mistake by fishing with ultralight tackle and really small baits in smallmouth streams. You will find some of this water in the first two miles of this float, again at the about the two-thirds mark at the mouth of Paddy’s Run and in the last stretch of the float before encountering the slack water from Terry Dam downstream. I like small streams that require some dragging and wading. This provides around 21 miles of good stream with much of it floatable. Early in the morning I caught most of my fish on a River2Sea Whopper Plopper 90 that I ran at a steady, medium pace. The Green River offers arguably the best chance in Kentucky to catch a stream smallmouth in excess of 18 inches, with potential for larger fish. Subscriber Services. The stretch from Roachville Ford to Russell Island on Green River is one of three great floats stream smallmouth bass anglers may enjoy this summer (F&W Photo). Fishing in a snake pit!? There are dozens of streams where anglers can enjoy smallmouth fishing in Kentucky. Although angling is great now, they hope to be able to better enhance the stream fishery in the future. There were some drought conditions that really helped the spawns. (April 2006). Nothing beats the heat like paddling a cool, gorgeous Kentucky stream. Kentucky has many streams that offer excellent smallmouth fishing. 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