Kentucky State Parks offering discounts to current military, retirees and veterans through March 31

Current and former members of the nation’s armed services can receive lodging discounts at Kentucky State Parks with the “USA Military Discount” program now through Mar. 31. Those on active military duty, retired members of the military, veterans, members of the National Guard and reservists, are eligible for the program. “Kentucky State Parks are proud to offer this lodging discount to show...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Like the summer temps, Lake Cumberland striped bass are heating up

By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward Few things in the outdoors in Kentucky can top being on Lake Cumberland at daybreak on a summer morning, watching a planer board or large bobber disappear, followed by the sound of a slipping drag. Striped bass pull like no other fish in Kentucky and landing a 22-inch or longer keeper brings a rush of adrenaline that gives you the shakes. Now in the fourth year...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Once thought to only exist in Kentucky, spotted bass abound

By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward   They were not even recognized as a distinctive fish species until 1927. People for many years believed these fish only existed in Kentucky.   Glenn Barber of Versailles holds a spotted bass caught in Indian Creek on Lake Cumberland. Spotted bass from schools in fall, making for exciting and productive fishing. Lakes across Kentucky hold burgeoning populations...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Falling water, cold fronts make autumn bass fishing a challenge

John Williams, southeastern fisheries district program manager for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, holds a huge smallmouth bass he caught from Laurel River Lake in late fall. Overcoming the challenges of fall fishing may lead to landing brutes like this one. (Photo from F&W)   By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward   You arrive at the Holcomb’s Landing Ramp just...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: No place like Buck Creek in Somerset for ‘cave smoke’ and fish

By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward   No other stream in Kentucky has caves that flow cold air and fog over the water, springs that gurgle fresh water along the bank and rugged beauty that rivals the Red River Gorge. Nothing else resembles Buck Creek in Pulaski County; it even has a tributary that appears from one cave, flows aquamarine for less than a football field before disappearing into...

One-third of people with early heart attack ‘don’t make it to hospital’; know signs, risks

By Shelly Whitehead Special to KyForward   Jerry Sigl is a likable fellow with a quick, self-effacing sense of humor. And, at 72, he was living the good life after retiring from Cincinnati Bell, parsing his time between the golf course and his boat on Lake Cumberland.   But this past winter, he seemed to be feeling less energetic with each passing day. In fact, even his wife noticed a change.   “It...

Kentucky to break ground on newest ‘in-lieu’ wetlands and stream restoration project

U.S. Corps of Engineers Lt. Col. John L. Hudson and Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources Commissioner Gregory Johnson will join the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, state legislators and Russell County officials on Friday, Aug. 8, in breaking ground for Kentucky’s newest in-lieu fee program wetlands and stream restoration project just below the Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery at...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Night fishing bite just starting, but striped bass look good so far

Fisheries technician Ryan Kausing holds a large striped bass from the Lake Cumberland tailwater. After several down years due to the drawdown of Lake Cumberland for repair work on Wolf Creek Dam, the striped bass fishery in the lake is rapidly improving. All signs point toward the world class striped bass fishing in Lake Cumberland returning in a few years. (Photo from F&W)   By Lee McClellan Special...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Kentucky has record with largest smallmouth bass in world

Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources staff artist Rick Hill, left, and “Kentucky Afield” Television Host Tim Farmer admire a smallmouth bass Farmer caught from Dale Hollow Lake in early spring. Dale Hollow Lake, Laurel River Lake and Lake Cumberland hold some of the largest smallmouth bass in the world. (Photo from F&W)   By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward   You...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Almost 60 years later, spotted bass still Kentucky’s state gamefish

The spotted bass has been Kentucky’s state gamefish since 1956. (Photo by Art Lander Jr.)   The spotted bass (Micropterus punctulatus) has found a home in Kentucky.   On Feb. 27, 1956, Kentucky’s General Assembly passed Senate Resolution 70, establishing the spotted bass as Kentucky’s state gamefish. Soon afterwards, the legislation was signed into law by Gov. Albert B. “Happy”...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Keep an eye on water, weather trends for early fishing opportunities

Anglers can access daily water conditions at Green River Lake and other U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lakes in Kentucky by visiting lake websites (see below). (Photo courtesy of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)   Spring begins on Thursday, March 20, but most anglers would probably say they want to go fishing now.   It’s been a long, cold winter.   Late winter offers good fishing opportunities...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Jumpstarting fish populations, deer and quail studies on tap

By Kevin Kelly Special to KyForward   The new year already is shaping up to be a busy one at the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.   The department’s Fisheries Division is working to jumpstart fish populations in Lake Cumberland and its tailwater in anticipation of the lake returning to its normal level in 2014, following a dam repair project which began in 2007. The division...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Best time to catch trophy smallmouth bass – if you can stand it

Scot Ortwein of Park Hills holds a 21-inch smallmouth bass caught yesterday from Laurel River Lake. The trophy smallmouth fell for a 3-inch pearl swimbait. The cold water period of fall, winter and early spring is the best time of year to fish for large smallmouth bass in reservoirs such as Lake Cumberland, Dale Hollow Lake and Laurel River Lake. (Photo from F&W)   This is one in a series...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Striped bass make a comeback at Lake Cumberland after repairs

John Williams, southeastern fisheries district biologist for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, holds a huge striped bass collected during population sampling on the Cumberland River below Wolf Creek Dam. Lake Cumberland produced fish such as this one before the drawdown of the lake necessitated by repairs on Wolf Creek Dam. With normal lake water levels returning, the striped...

See KY: Expansive lake, gorgeous scenery are just part of appeal of Lake Cumberland area

Lake Cumberland at Sunset (Photo from Kentuckytourism.com)   By Marty Rosen Special to KyForward   Some folks come to Somerset and Pulaski County in Kentucky because the sparkling waters of Lake Cumberland are known as the “Houseboat Capital of the World” – a place where friends and family can fish, play and find cozy anchorages under sunny (or starry) skies.   And it’s worth...

As water level rises, more boaters, anglers, vacationers expected at Lake Cumberland

(Photo from LakeCumberlandTourism.com)   More boaters, anglers and vacationers are expected to head to Lake Cumberland this summer as the southeastern Kentucky lake’s water level rises about 20 feet following repairs to the dam.   Lake Cumberland, Kentucky’s deepest and third largest lake in surface area, was lowered 40 feet by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 2007 to ease pressure...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: ‘Largemouth bass on the brain’ a common malady these days

Ryan Kausing, fisheries technician for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, holds a big largemouth bass found during population sampling in the headwaters of Barren River Lake. The numbers of largemouth bass over 20 inches in Barren River Lake continue to increase, and spring is the best time of year to catch a trophy. (Photo provided)   By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward   You...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: White bass runs ‘around the corner’ as temperatures warm

An angler reels in a white bass from the Dix River in the headwaters of Herrington Lake in this vintage photo. During the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, the lake held a regional reputation for productive white bass fishing during the spring runs. This fishery is on the rebound. The spring white bass runs give anglers all over Kentucky a chance at some exciting fishing.(Photo from Ky. Fish and Wildlife)   By...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: March is the best time for catching trophy smallmouth bass

By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward   Female smallmouth bass in lakes such as Laurel River Lake, Green River Lake, Lake Cumberland and Kentucky Lake grow hungry in early spring as water temperatures slowly warm to 50 degrees. The water temperatures in these lakes range from the mid to high 40s right now.   James Charas of Lexington holds a 22-inch smallmouth bass caught recently from Lake...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Striped bass fishing on Cumberland will be best in years

By Art Lander Jr. Special to KyForward   Editor’s note: This column is from the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources’ Spring Fishing Frenzy series.   As winter begins to lose its grip, striped bass in Lake Cumberland are on the move.   “We have threadfin shad, gizzard shad and alewives in Lake Cumberland,” said Benjy Kinman, deputy commissioner of the Kentucky...