New website can help you find your next fishing hole

Published 10:59 pm Thursday, July 13, 2017

By Lee McClellan

Kentucky Afield

Two employees of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources recently used the department’s website at to glean information on catching saugeye.

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They used the 5-foot contour maps on the “Find a Place to Fish” to study the bottom of Guist Creek Lake in Shelby County and determine a place to fish. They later fished those areas and caught their first saugeye.

“We trying to provide information on our website to make it easier for anglers to find places to fish and be successful,” said Mike Hardin, assistant director of fisheries for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. “The “Find a Place to Fish” page allows anglers to sort by county, city, waterbody, access type or even species of fish.”

Many of the waterbodies detailed in the “Find a Place to Fish” page contain important fishing information, such as the 5-foot contour maps. “When you pull these waterbodies up, many of them have the location of fish attractors, species assessments as well as the contour maps. We have the contour maps for most of our smaller state-owned lakes as well as the Fishing in Neighborhoods (FINs) lakes.”

Hardin said the large reservoirs operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have commercially available maps at tackle shops near the lakes or for sale online. Many of the large outfitters also sell these maps.

“Each entry contains driving directions to all of the ramps on that waterbody,” Hardin said. “They also contain a link to the Fishing Forecast, detailing the fishing for many species in waterbodies across the state.”

Planning a float trip on a stream can be daunting. The “Canoeing and Kayaking” page contains loads of information to help select a place to paddle. You may click on the “Stream Fisheries” tab for detailed information on access sites, lengths of floats and recommended floating levels for streams across Kentucky.

This page also contains photos of each access point and a description of the access. This is invaluable information to paddlers floating a stream for the first time. This page also shows the abundance and size structure of the population of the desirable fish in the stream such as rock bass or smallmouth bass.

The “Canoeing and Kayaking” page also contains a link to the award winning Blue Water Trails series of articles detailing more than 30 different floats across Kentucky. These articles also contain fishing tips for the species in the waterbody as well as a printable map.

“If you are trying to figure out a place for the coming weekend, our website has many resources to help guide you,” Hardin said. “We want people to enjoy our water resources and catch some fish.”


Author Lee McClellan is a nationally award-winning associate editor for Kentucky Afield magazine, the official publication of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. He is a lifelong hunter and angler, with a passion for smallmouth bass fishing.