When you begin to map out an entire year’s worth of good fishing trips in Kentucky, it doesn’t take long to realize there’s a lot out there to choose from no matter the month.
So let’s get started, and see what some of the top locations and opportunities are available, and get you primed for 2012.
Lake Cumberland fills the bill in size and habitat, and mid-winter is an excellent bet for finding active fish in quite cold water.
Stripers can be taken on Cumberland a variety of ways, but two of the best are drifting shad on downriggers, or using planer boards along creek channels. Mark any bait or bigger fish with your electronics, and adjust your fishing depth accordingly.
Another good technique is simply casting big topwater lures off points to attract tremendous surface strikes from these powerful fish.
An alternative choice for this month is sauger fishing below McAlpin Dam on the Ohio River, where good numbers of the fish congregate.
Also you can take a crack at crappie on Barren River where the population is doing well. Drawn-down water levels make finding fish along main-lake channels easier.
Dale Hollow Lake
Dale Hollow Lake supports a world-class fishery for smallmouth bass, but also has an excellent population of largemouths. February is a great time to give those largemouths a try.
Fishing deeper structure with slow presentations is a tried and true tactic for big winter bass. Locating even a slightly warmer water temperature pays off.
Banks that warm in the afternoon sun produce better. At times monster largemouths slip into shallower water around fallen trees or shoreline debris where baitfish hold.
Another choice to consider is the prespawn walleyes moving up the Cumberland Lake to the headwaters of the reservoir.
Or try some trolling along the banks of Wood Creek Lake in Laurel County for rainbow trout.
Late this month several waterways come alive with white bass, providing excellent action. One of the best is the Dix River that feeds Herrington Lake in Central Kentucky. White bass begin to run as water temperatures creep up, and the action continues into April.
Anglers have the best chance of the year to get on this species in good numbers and size during this spawning run.
Minnow-imitating lures, inline spinners, and spoons are the top lures. Begin watching for surface activity as you near the headwaters. Continue upstream until you locate the feeding schools.
Heading east to Cave Run Lake to take advantage of a little early season crappie fishing is another plan.
A tad farther east, Buckhorn Lake holds spawning muskellunge. Break out your big tackle and target woody cover in creeks and coves.
Kincaid Lake is a superb choice for largemouth bass this month. According to Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources biologists the lake has traditionally given up big bass. Those largemouths become more active as the water warms in April.
On Kincaid don’t overlook fishing some slightly deeper water for better fish. Bass feeding times will lengthen all month with the changing spring weather.
Kincaid has a variety of habitat and depths to work. Fishing to submerged brush at medium depths or along contour changes is always worth a try this month.
Nolin River Lake walleyes should be ramping up activity this month in the upper reaches of the lake or tributaries.
Brown trout are feeding below Wolf Creek Dam on the Cumberland River. Try the stretches known as Rainbow Run and near the Rockhouse for success.
Check out the hot spots for Kentucky fishing for May, June, July and August on page two