Sport Fishing and Angling

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Kentucky Fishing - Lakes, Rivers, Parks and Best Spots for Anglers

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Kentucky Fishing and Angling

The State of Kentucky has over 90,000 miles of streams and rivers, to say nothing of its many lakes, parks, reservoirs, creeks and ponds. Fishing is one of the most popular sports.

Anglers come from far and wide to seek out the best fishing spots. Lakes, parks, marinas and campgrounds, offer every kind of facility for anglers and fishermen.

Fishing Regulations

Whilst fishing and angling are extremely popular in Kentucky, the sport is very closely regulated to ensure that fish stocks and the environment are well preserved for the benefit of all.

If you are fishing either from a boat or the bank, or even just assisting another person to fish - YOU NEED A LICENSE.

There are limits to the numbers of fish you may take in any one day. These fishing limits can vary from place to place (there are well over 200 designated fishing spots across the State) and of course there are seasons to observe and you may also require a permit for some types of fish.

The rules are quite complex but are clearly laid out at Fishing Regulations where sports anglers, trophy fishermen, casual vacation anglers, whether resident or non-resident in the State of Kentucky, can find out about types of licenses and permits and their cost, fish size and creel limits, and bait restrictions, for all the major lakes, rivers and fishing areas.

Be sure you understand the regulations about the method of fishing you intend to do, the fish you hope to catch and the licenses or permits required, before setting out on your trip.

Where to go Fishing in Kentucky

For the most comprehensive online information resource for all things fishing, go to

The website is a first class source for fishing enthusiasts where anglers and fishermen of all kinds can find out about Best Fishing Spots and Locations, Fishing Reports and Reviews, Guides, Lodges, Tournaments, Lakes, Rivers, Boat Rental, Accommodation, Fishing Magazines and Publications, and online blogs and forums.

The Anglerweb database is massive, listing over 180 fishing spots in Kentucky alone, where 20 or more species of fish can be found.

Types or Methods of Fishing

The distinction between the terms 'Anglers' and 'Fishermen' is vague and the subject of much discussion, and perhaps depends to some extent on the methods each individual uses to catch fish and their reasons for doing so ie., to eat, to sell, to stuff as trophies, etc., or simply for the sport, where the fish are returned to the water.

Methods of fishing include:
GIGGING which means spearing fish with a sharp implement on the end of a rigid pole and is legal from any bank, or from a boat only on larger lakes and in daylight.
SNAGGING means taking fish by drawing a hand-held pole with a line and hook across the water without using bait. Snagging from a boat is illegal.
TICKLING and/or NOODLING is the art of catching fish directly by hand or using a hook with a handle. The season is June to August.
BOW FISHING applies to rough fish only which can be caught all year round using a bow and arrow with a line attached, either from bank or boat. The method is restricted in certain areas.
SPEAR FISHING is only allowed in large lakes (1000 acres or more) and must be done underwater with a hand-held spear or spear-gun. Allowed all year round but catch limits apply.
SPORT FISHING enthusiasts may use trotlines (up to 50 baited hooks on a line at least 3 feet below the water surface), juglines (a single or multi-barb baited hook on a line attached to a float), or a setline (a single line with baited hook attached to a tree, fixed pole, or any other fixed object on the bank).
There are many restrictions and prohibited areas to be aware of.

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Kentucky Fishing - Lakes, Rivers, Parks and Best Spots for Anglers