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Bass Fishing Lakes In Kentucky

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Guide to fishing for spotted, smallmouth and largemouth bass.

By Rick Seaman

Kentucky is renowned for its excellent bass fishing opportunities, providing anglers with a chance to target a variety of bass species. The purpose of this page is to share basic information about bass fishing and bass lakes in the state. Whether you prefer the brute strength of largemouth bass, the acrobatic fights of smallmouth bass, the aggressive strikes of spotted bass, or the challenge of catching redeye bass, Kentucky's waters have it all.

Bass fishing basics video.

Largemouth bass are the most prevalent and widely sought-after bass species in Kentucky. With its numerous lakes, reservoirs, and rivers, the state offers prime habitat for largemouth bass to thrive. Anglers can target these trophy-sized fish in popular destinations like Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley, and Lake Cumberland. From topwater lures to plastic worms and crankbaits, there are numerous techniques that can entice these feisty predators.

Kentucky is also known for its excellent smallmouth bass fishing. The state's clear, flowing rivers and streams provide ideal conditions for smallmouth bass to flourish. The Cumberland River, the Green River, and the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River are popular spots for targeting smallmouth bass. These bronzebacks are known for their fighting spirit and can be caught using a variety of techniques such as casting jigs, crankbaits, or live bait like crayfish.

Spotted bass, often referred to as Kentucky bass or Kentucky spotted bass, can be found in many of the state's lakes and rivers. They share similarities with both largemouth and smallmouth bass and are known for their aggressive nature. Lakes such as Laurel River Lake and Cave Run Lake have healthy populations of spotted bass. Anglers can target these fish using techniques similar to those used for largemouth and smallmouth bass, making for an exciting fishing experience.

For those seeking a unique bass fishing experience, Kentucky is home to the rare redeye bass. These beautiful and elusive fish are native to the state and can be found in certain waters like the Rockcastle River and the Cumberland River. Redeye bass offer a challenging pursuit, requiring finesse and precise presentations to entice these wary fish. Fishing for redeye bass in their natural habitat provides anglers with a true Kentucky bass fishing adventure.

Whether you're chasing largemouth, smallmouth, spotted, or redeye bass, Kentucky's diverse bass fisheries offer a wealth of opportunities for anglers of all skill levels. With its picturesque lakes, winding rivers, and knowledgeable fishing community, the state provides an unforgettable bass fishing experience. So grab your fishing gear, explore the bass hotspots in Kentucky, and get ready to reel in some trophy fish in the Bluegrass State.

Bass Lakes In Kentucky

Bass fishing lures

Finding bass in Kentucky is not difficult. Visit the Bass Knowledge Center for valuable information about bass and bass fishing. Private ponds, small lakes, rivers and large impoundments have bass. The larger populations of bass tend to be found in major lakes including Barren River Lake, Buckhorn Lake, Carr Creek Lake, Cave Run Lake, Cedar Creek Lake, Dale Hollow Lake, Dewey Lake, Fishtrap Lake, Grayson Lake, Green River Lake, Herrington Lake, Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley, Lake Cumberland, Lake Malone, Laurel River Lake, Martins Fork Lake, Nolin River Lake, Paintsville Lake, Rough River Lake, Taylorsville Lake, Wood Creek Lake and Yatesville Lake.

Fishing Boats For Rent In Kentucky

Bass In Kentucky

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass

World record: 22 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 14 lbs 9.5 oz

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass

World record: 11 lbs 15 oz*

State Record: 11 lbs 15 oz*

Redeye Bass

Coosa/Redeye bass

World record: 8 lbs 12 oz

State Record: 1.21 lbs

Spotted Bass

Spotted bass

World record: 9 lbs 8 oz

State Record: 7 lbs 10 oz

Click the images and links above for species details.

Top 5 Bass Fishing Lures For Kentucky

When bass are shallow, spinnerbaits, crankbaits and top water lures are the most productive. As they move deeper, worms and jigs are among the top producers.

Kentucky State Record Bass

The state record largemouth bass was caught from Highsplint Lake.

The state record smallmouth bass came from Dale Hollow Lake.

The state record redeye/Coosa bass came out of the Cumberland River.

The state record spotted bass was caught out of Nelson County.

Bass fishing in Kentucky

Bass are one of the most sought after of all the game fish. Its appeal spans cultures, age groups and genders to tap on the heart strings of anglers everywhere. Join us in our endeavor to offer information about bass fishing on your favorite bass lake in Kentucky.

Understanding the primary seasonal movements of smallmouth bass and largemouth bass is key to locating them on local lakes in the Bluegrass State.

Bass fishing book

Catch big bass in Kentucky!


Bass fishing information by state.

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