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Car camping is probably the most popular form of camping.
Put your gear in the car, truck, van or sport utility vehicle and
drive to your campsite. Maybe take along the boat, and camp
on a lakeshore (Photo Provided)
By Lee McClellan
(This is the sixth installment of the “Spring Fishing Fever” series of articles, detailing productive fishing techniques and opportunities across Kentucky. The series will
The grass is the deep forest green that only reveals itself in early spring. Keeneland opens this week and the Kentucky Derby is not far away.
It is early April in Kentucky and the fish are biting all over the state.
“I caught a limit of striped bass last Saturday and another on Sunday and did the same the weekend before on Lake Cumberland,” said Joe McWilliams, an avid striped bass angler who has owned a house on the lake for nearly 20 years. “Most of them ran 24 to 26 inches, but my biggest was 30 1/2 inches.”
Stripers ranging in length from 24 to 26 inches weigh roughly 8 to 11 pounds while 30 inchers run about 14 pounds. McWilliams fishes the area from White Oak Creek down lake to Fall Creek most of the time.
McWilliams bottom fishes live alewives or shad he catches in a
net in the pre-dawn hours to catch striped bass. He has a milk run of sloping banks, channel banks and points and changes locations and depths until he finds fish. Store bought large shiners work for bait as well.
He employs a simple slip rig with a 1/2- to 3/4-ounce egg sinker on the main line above a barrel swivel. He ties a leader of 20-pound monofilament line to the barrel swivel with a 4/0 octopus style hook on the business end.
“I’ve caught smallmouth bass up to four pounds recently on this rig as well,” McWilliams said. Stripers are also hitting 1/2-ounce white and blue bucktail jigs worked down channel banks in the lower lake.
Crappie are biting on Taylorsville Lake and other lakes across Kentucky.
“They are catching many limits of crappie,” said David Baker, Central Fisheries District biologist for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “There are many 10- to 11-inch crappie, both whites and blacks.”
Anglers reported catching black crappie over the last week by casting to rocky banks with 2-inch lime green or chartreuse curly-tailed grubs. The black crappie are hanging in 4 to 8 feet of water in the mid-lake region. Minnows fished in woody cover draw strikes from white crappie on Taylorsville.
“The lake has settled down and that’s really helped the crappie,” Baker said. The less turbid sections of the lake provide better crappie fishing.
Crappie are also shallow and active on central Kentucky’s Herrington Lake. The canyon-like lake is known more for its largemouth and white bass fisheries, but the lake holds an excellent population of black and white crappie.
“We saw many 9- to 14-inch crappie in Herrington this past week,” Baker said. “Look for shoreline cover or stumps just under the water. The fish are relatively shallow for Herrington in 5 to 8 feet of water.”
He said the fish are fat with excellent body condition. Cast pearl-colored 2-inch curly tailed grubs to the stumps and fish the shoreline cover with live minnows. Black crappie predominate the lower lake while anglers will find more white crappie in the upper lake above King’s Mill Marina.
Anglers report catching black crappie on the famous crappie twins of west Kentucky, Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley, by casting chartreuse and lime-green curly-tailed grubs rigged on 1/8-ounce leadheads to pea gravel banks. White crappie are still staging in the deeper sections of creek arms in 8 to 14 feet of water, but should move shallow anytime with water temperatures now cresting 60 degrees.
There is an old saying, “the white bass run when the redbuds bloom.” Baker saw many anglers catching white bass on Herrington Lake by trolling medium-running shad-colored crankbaits between Kings Mill Marina and Dunn Island.
“One guy even complained to us he was sick of catching them,” he said. “My father-in-law caught 36 this past Sunday on Herrington. They are impressive with many of them 12 to14 inches. They look great.”
The run has likely not commenced into the lake’s headwaters, Baker said.
The white bass run at Taylorsville Lake has been spotty so far. The smaller male white bass made a run in the last two weeks that seems to have petered out.
Nolin River Lake in west-central Kentucky holds arguably the best white bass population in Kentucky. The white bass are staging in the upper lake from Cane Run to Bacon Creek Ramp and the smaller males are up in the Nolin River.
Eventually they will run upstream as far as Wheeler’s Mill.
The spawning runs of white bass into the headwaters of Herrington, Taylorsville and Nolin River lakes should
White bass strike anything that flashes during their runs. White in-line spinners, white or chartreuse curly tailed grubs, silver casting spoons or small
topwater lures all draw strikes. Small 1/32-ounce feather jigs in pink, white or chartreuse suspended under a bobber and allowed to drift in the current is also a deadly presentation for running white bass.
The redbuds are blooming, the grass is green and fish biting everywhere. Get out and enjoy, winter is gone for good. Don’t forget to buy your 2016-17
Author Lee McClellan is associate editor for Kentucky Afield magazine, the official publication of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.
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. Kentucky Fish and Wildlife is an agency of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet. For more information on the department,
The Eagle Ridge Golf League will commence on Tuesday, April 19, 2019, at 5:30 PM. The 2015 season was difficult with all the weather cancellations and a four-week extension. This year we are hoping for much better weather as we have seen in years past. I am looking forward to seeing many of my friends that I have not seen since last year. If you haven’t competed in the league before, you will find that this will become your favorite day of the week. It will also make certain that you play golf once a week when, without league play, you will seldom get to play that round. Besides, it gets great people together in a time of competitiveness, friendship, and tall tales; a time if experienced, you will miss.
First, we lost two of the original officers and members of the league from 2015. Everyone has heard about the loss of Bill Copley, but some may not know of the passing of Clyde Adkins. Clyde was an inspiration to all. Two years ago he had to reenter chemotherapy. In 2014, although unable to play, Clyde came to the course on the league nights to give lessons to his son-in-law, Dean Stinebring. Of course, if one followed closely, he might see him hit an occasional shot or putt.
Clyde’s story is inspirational.
When he came back to the league in 2015, Clyde appeared frail. I approached him and asked whether he minded if I asked the club to allow him to drive to his ball. I was aware that Clyde was certainly capable of doing this, but I also knew, like anyone else who knew him understood Clyde would never ask for any advantage. When I approached him about this idea, Clyde said “No buddy,” his favorite saying, “if I can’t play how and where the others play, then I will quit!” And how did Clyde play in 2015? He was in the final group vying for the league title. That was my friend Clyde. I did not find of his passing, missing both his visitation and funeral. Regardless, I am going to miss both Bill and Clyde as will the other members of the league.
I would ask that all golfers enter into league play, regardless of their skill level or their age. Compensations are made in teeing areas, and the handicaps make everyone equal. There was only 4-points difference between 6th place and 1st place. It is great fun and an opportunity to spend time with others you would never see.
League applications are at the pro shop. Stop by, fill out your application, and pay the $25 league fee. All monies are returned in prizes and include a free banquet dinner. If you have any questions, call Dan Preece (673-4190) or me (638-4308).
By the way, know that I haven’t picked up a club since the first of November. However, I did get two new putters. You can’t have too many putters. I will be dangerous. Also, the “boys down at the pool room” said that J. Lynn See is returning from Florida, having played three or four times a week. The rumours are that J. Lynn has said he can’t wait to defend his title.
I’ll see you at the course on Tuesday, April 19.
Submitted, April 2, 2015
Men's League will kick off on Tuesday April 19th at 5:30 p.m.. Annual League Fee, $25.00
Ladies Clinics begin Tuesdays in May!!
Cost: $15.00 per clinic
Dates: May 3, 10, 17, 24, 31
June 7, 14, 21, 28
Time: 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
All skill levels are invited to participate!!! We will learn the game from the green back to the tee! and have some fun too!!!
Junior Clinics begin in May!!
Cost: $10.00 per junior per clinic
Dates: Sundays in May
1, 8, 15, 22, 29
Time: 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Ages 7 to 11
2016 GOLF RATES:
$39.75, 18 HOLES & CART $44.75, 18 HOLES & CART
AFTER 1:00 P.M. AFTER 1:00 P.M.
$29.75, 18 HOLES & CART $34.75, 18 HOLES & CART
AFTER 4:00 P.M. AFTER 4:00 P.M.
$19.75, GOLF(9 OR 18) & CART $21.75, GOLF(9 OR 18) & CART
9 HOLE PLAY, 8:00 A.M. TO 4:00 P.M. 9 HOLE PLAY, 8:00 A.M. TO 4:00 P.M.
JUNIOR RATE JUNIOR RATE
SPECIAL DISCOUNT DAYS!!!
MILITARY MONDAY-MONDAY ONLY, MUST SHOW MILITARY ID
$25.00, UNTIL 4:00 P.M. (TWILIGHT)
HOMETOWN DAY-WEDNESDAY ONLY, MUST SHOW PROOF OR WORKING OR LIVING IN WAYNE OR LAWRENCE CO.
$25.00, UNTIL 4:00 P.M. (TWILIGHT)
SENIOR DAY-THURSDAY ONLY, AGES 62+
$25.00, UNTIL 4:00 P.M. (TWILIGHT)
FAMILY DAY-SATURDAY ONLY, ADULT MUST BE PLAYING WITH A PLAYING JR. GOLFER AGE 17 OR YOUNGER, LIMIT OF 1 ADULT PER JUNIOR.
$25.00, 1:00 P.M. UNTIL 4:00 P.M. (TWILIGHT)
2016 Golf Passes are available and may be purchased now! We offer single, senior, couples, and family passes. For a full listing of pass options and pricing please visit our website at www.parks.ky.gov.
The $25.00 Golf Card is available. Purchase a discount card for $25.00 and receive reduced rates on four rounds of golf/cart and your fifth round is FREE. This is over a $50.00 savings!! WITH NO EXPIRATION DATE. This card is only valid at Eagle Ridge Golf Course.
April Hours of Operation
8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Last tee time, 5:30 p.m.
All carts in by 7:45 p.m.
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See you at the course!
PGA Head Golf Professional/Park Manager
Eagle Ridge Golf Course
Yatesville Lake State Park
(606) 673-4300 Golf Pro Shop
(606) 673-1492 Business Office
The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources is looking for a few good bass.
Not just any largemouth bass, however. The hunt is on for the wall-hanging, line-busting fish that anglers in the local tackle shop will talk about for years.
The reason is simple: Big bass produce big bass. Kentucky Fish and Wildlife wants anglers to donate their live trophy bass so the department’s hatcheries can use them to produce new generations of oversized fish. In return, anglers will receive a replica mount of their bass.
“I wanted to figure out how we could do a better job of propagating larger bass in Kentucky,” said department Fisheries Director Ron Brooks. “So this kind of program just makes sense. People have been breeding animals forever to optimize the size of the animal, so why not do this with largemouth bass?”
“If we had the same kind of year-round temperatures as Florida, then we’d be stocking Florida-strain bass,” Brooks said.
The best alternative is spawning native fish with proven genetics to grow big. Kentucky’s program will only accept female bass weighing more than 8 pounds, and male bass weighing more than 6 pounds. Fish this size generally exceed 22 inches in length.
Anglers wishing to participate should take their trophy bass to a participating bait shop, where employees will hold fish in aerated bait tanks until a Kentucky Fish and Wildlife employee can pick up the bass and take it to a hatchery.
“We don’t want anglers to leave their trophy bass in a livewell or keep it a fish basket on the bank for an extended period of time, because we don’t want the fish to succumb to stress,” Brooks said. “We’re asking people to handle these fish with kid gloves and bring them to a participating bait shop as soon as possible.”
After the bass spawn, hatcheries will raise young fish until they reach 5 inches long. Then employees will stock the bass in lakes around the state, including the lakes where the parent fish were originally caught.
“This won’t mean that every largemouth bass spawning in Kentucky will have trophy bass genes,” Brooks said. “That would be a long way off. But in the immediate future, it will mean the fish we’re stocking to augment the natural spawning will be a higher quality of fish as far as growth potential.”
A list of the participating bait shops and more information about the trophy fish program can be found on the department’s website. Search under the keywords, “Trophy Bass Propagation Program.”
From F&W Communications