Fishing

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Kentucky’s mountains and undulating terrain have spawned a wealth of water: Here you’ll find more than 62,000 miles of fishable streams and 40 public lakes exceeding 100 acres. Look to our Where to Fish page where more than 850 public and private boat ramps offer you access to prime fishing spots. If you don’t have a boat, bank access options include the popular Fishing in Neighborhoods program. This includes dozens of specially stocked small lakes near cities – perfect for a day of family fun.
 
To help keep fishing great, Kentucky stocks 7 million fish a year and actively manages sport and commercial fish populations across the state.  Our fisheries management team is constantly working to monitor and improve Kentucky's aquatic heritage. 
 
The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) created the Fishing in Neighborhoods (FINs) program in 2006 to provide anglers with quality fishing opportunities close to home. The program currently includes 43 lakes statewide. The aim of the program is to create quality fishing opportunities near cities of all sizes throughout the state. Lakes are regularly stocked with catfish and rainbow trout throughout the year. In addition to these lakes being stocked with catfish and trout, the sunfish and bass populations are regularly sampled to ensure natural reproduction is meeting the needs of anglers. Stocking of hybrid sunfish and/or largemouth bass occur if needed.

2017 FISHING FORECAST FOR BUCKHORN LAKE

Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources

Bluegill, good forecast: Good size distribution and very good numbers; larger fish 7-8 inches. Upper lake areas and heads of coves hold best numbers during summer pool. Shallow mudflats in main lake areas can hold large congregations of fish on spawning beds.

Catfish, excellent forecast: High numbers of channel catfish with good recruitment of young fish each year. Some flathead catfish available up to 40-50 pounds. Tailwater provides additional good fishery.

Crappie, good forecast: July and August can provide some very good fishing over shallow mud flats adjacent to main lake channel. Try trolling bait tipped jigs or small crankbaits over the flats. Also, October-November during drawdown to winter pool can be very good in the same locations. Most of legal fish are 9-12 inches with occasional fish to 14 inches.

Largemouth bass, fair forecast: Excellent growth rates of young bass and fair numbers of 15- to 17-inch fish with good numbers for fish greater than 20 inches. Spring fishing success can be very good if high water events do not occur.

Muskellunge, fair forecast: Fishing can be difficult for periods following flood events. From January-March fish will congregate in the lower lake and near dam. Trace Branch area has good fishing in July and August. September will find many large fish on edges of weed beds in backs of coves in shallow water. Bank fishing opportunities are good at the tailwater in March and October.

White bass, poor forecast: Fish range primarily from 8-15 inches and numbers remain low. During late summer look for fish in heads of coves where creeks enter.

FINS Regulations

Rainbow Trout
Daily Limit: 5
Minimum Size Limit: None
No culling* of  trout
Catfish
Daily Limit: 4
Minimum Size Limit: None
Largemouth Bass
Daily Limit: 1
Minimum Size Limit: 15"
Bluegill/Other Sunfish
Daily Limit: 15
Minimum Size Limit: None
*Culling is holding a trout in a livewell, fish basket or stringer and later replacing it with another fish.

License Requirements

  • Resident/Nonresident Youth ages 15 and younger do not need a fishing license or trout permit. Residents/Nonresidents age 16 and older must posses a statewide fishing license.
  • Resident Seniors age 65 and older are not required to purchase a trout permit to keep trout if in possession of the Resident Senior License.
  • Resident/Nonresident Fishing License holders must purchase a Trout Permit to posses Rainbow Trout. Resident/Nonresident Fishing License holders can fish for Rainbow Trout, but can not be in possession of trout.
  • Any angler can fish without a fishing license on the Free Fishing Days that take place the first weekend in June (June 3-4, 2017).
  • For more information on Fishing License Requirements and Exemptions, follow the link to the Fishing and Boating Guide.
  • Call 1-800-25-Alert to report Fish and Wildlife violations.

All information taken from KDFWR's WEBSITE.