A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Art Lander’s Outdoors: One of Ky’s oldest reservoirs, Dale Hollow offers good fishing, exceptional scenery

Construction on Dale Hollow Lake began in 1942, and was completed after WWII. (Photo from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) Dale Hollow Lake is one of Kentucky’s oldest major reservoirs. Construction began in 1942 but the project was not fully functional until after World War II, built at a cost of $52.3 million. Straddling the Kentucky-Tennessee border, in Cumberland and Clinton counties in Kentucky...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Kentucky’s newest major reservoir, Yatesville Lake offers excellent fishing

Editor’s note: This is the third article in a series about Kentucky’s major reservoirs. Yatesville Lake (Photo from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) Yatesville Lake is Kentucky’s newest major reservoir. Located 5 miles west of Louisa in Lawrence County, the backdrop is piney, forested hills. Impounded from Blaine Creek, which flows into the Big Sandy River about 25 miles upriver from Ashland,...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: The largemouth bass remains most popular gamefish in Kentucky waters

(Editor’s Note: This is the seventh article in a series about Kentucky’s gamefish species.) The largemouth bass is Kentucky’s most popular gamefish. French naturalist Bernard Germain de Lacépède (1756-1825) was the first to publish information on this black bass in the scientific literature, based on a drawing and simple description obtained in 1802 from the Carolinas. He named the...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: James Henshall forever remembered for introducing America to black bass

Editor’s Note: This is the last of three articles on the life and work of the father of bass fishing in America. Throughout his life, James A. Henshall vigorously praised and promoted black bass but took issue with the naming of the two most important species — the largemouth and smallmouth bass. In a trip abroad to seven countries that started in December 1886 with a 17-day voyage from...

Evarts resident Mark Ward catches Kentucky-record largemouth bass (14 pounds, 9.5 ounces)

Evarts resident Mark Ward went fishing after work on Good Friday, April 19, at 6-acre Highsplint Lake in Harlan County with his wife and 9-month-old daughter. It rained all day in Harlan County on Good Friday, but finally cleared up just before he got off work. The water in Highsplint Lake grew a bit murky from the rain, but he saw a nice-sized 4-pound bass in the shallows. Evarts resident Mark Ward...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: The spotted (Kentucky) bass not recognized as a separate species until 1927

Once thought to be a hybrid between the largemouth bass and smallmouth bass, and easily confused with the largemouth bass in coloration, the spotted bass was not recognized by ichthyologists as a separate species until 1927. The spotted bass is one of four species of black bass found in Kentucky waters. All are members of family, Centrarchidae, which includes sunfish and crappie. Identification in...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Wild weather makes deciphering Spring white bass runs challenging

By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward This spring seems like one long continuation of late winter. As soon as we get a warm day, the temperature plunges and we are back in February again. It even snowed on Monday of the third week of April. This up and down weather combined with cold rains has the spring fishing season behind by a few weeks. The spawning runs of white bass into the headwaters of reservoirs...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Spring fishing is underway, but anglers should monitor weather trends

The calendar says yes, but the weather forecast can be iffy. Spring fishing is underway and now is the time for anglers to pay close attention to weather trends — temperature fluctuations, outlooks for precipitation, and storm fronts, to pick the best times to wet a line. Springtime in Kentucky means unsettled weather, and sometimes snow, as we experienced this week. Make the most of your time...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Here are two excellent options for combating early summer fishing blues

By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward (This is the ninth and final installment of the “Spring Fishing Fever” series of articles, detailing productive fishing techniques and opportunities across Kentucky. An archive of past articles is available on the department’s website at www.fw.ky.gov). June is one of the best months for outside activities such as fishing. However, many predator species,...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Two good state resort parks for early summer largemouth bass fishing

By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward (This is the eighth installment of the “Spring Fishing Fever” series of articles, detailing productive fishing techniques and opportunities across Kentucky. The series will continue until early summer. An archive of past articles is available on the department’s website at www.fw.ky.gov). The months of May and June make for two of the best for catching largemouth...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Rising water temperatures result in best largemouth bass fishing of the year

When water temperatures in Kentucky’s small lakes, streams and major reservoirs rise into the mid-to-upper 60s largemouth bass begin feeding along the shoreline, in preparation for spawning. For fly fishermen it’s the start of some of the best largemouth bass fishing of the year. This “topwater” action continues post-spawn into May, when water temperatures warm into the mid-to-upper 70s, and...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Forget the Final Four, early April is the time to hook trophy largemouth bass

By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward (Note: This is the fourth installment of the “Spring Fishing Fever” series of articles detailing productive fishing techniques and opportunities across Kentucky. The series will continue until early summer. An archive of past articles is available on the department’s website at www.fw.ky.gov). Now that the Kentucky-based teams are no longer in the NCAA basketball...

State Fish and Wildlife Department to remove largemouth bass from Anderson County’s Beaver Lake

The Fisheries Division of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources plans to remove smaller largemouth bass from Beaver Lake in Anderson County to improve the quality of bass and sunfish. The removed bass will be released into Boltz Lake in Grant County and Taylorsville Lake in Spencer, Anderson and Nelson counties. “The largemouth bass are becoming too crowded in Beaver Lake, which...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Up and Coming Fisheries a savory menu of potential fishing trips

By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward (This is the first installment of the “Spring Fishing Fever” series of articles, detailing productive fishing techniques and opportunities across Kentucky. The series will continue until early summer. An archive of past articles is available on the department’s website at www.fw.ky.gov). The Fisheries Division’s Fishing Forecast each year presents its “Up...

State Fish and Wildlife Department shutters trophy bass propagation program until October

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife’s Trophy Bass Propagation Program will not be accepting fish until October. Summer’s higher water temperatures place additional stress on bass, decreasing their chances of survival while being held and then transported to a hatchery. “Waiting until the water cools will ensure that the fish have the best possible chance of making it to the hatchery in good health,”...

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Department launches trophy largemouth bass propagating program

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...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Cooler waters signal start of fall largemouth bass season

The shorter days and longer nights of early fall beckon largemouth bass in lakes into shallower waters to feed heavily. Crawfish-colored jigs with subtle trailers, similar to the jig in the mouth of this largemouth bass caught early last fall from Benjy Kinman Lake in Henry County, draw more strikes in the autumn months (F&W Photo)   By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward   The orange...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Spring provides best shot to hook trophy largemouth bass

John Williams, southeastern fisheries district biologist for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, holds two healthy largemouth bass from Lincoln County’s Cedar Creek Lake captured and released during population sampling last May. Spring is the best time of year to catch largemouth bass like these (F&W Photo)   By Kevin Kelly Special to KyForward   This is the fifth...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Spring provides best shot to hook trophy largemouth bass

John Williams, southeastern fisheries district biologist for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, holds two healthy largemouth bass from Lincoln County’s Cedar Creek Lake captured and released during population sampling last May. Spring is the best time of year to catch largemouth bass like these (F&W Photo)   By Kevin Kelly Special to KyForward   This is the fifth...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Fly fishing for bass
a subtle presentation with dramatic results

The best time to fly fish for bass is early and late in the day. (Photo by Art Lander Jr.)   Catch a bass fly fishing and it’s an experience not soon forgotten:   The sight of the fly line rolling forward, a fly landing on quiet water with a resounding plop. A tug on the fly line makes the fly pop, sending tiny ripples outward.   The lure is motionless for an instant. Then a bass...