June 2008, Various
I travel around the greater part of Kentucky looking for big fish. However with all the BIG fish I've caught (i.e. 40 lb. spoonbill catfish), a five pound bowfin could put them all to shame. That's why I am willing to drive anywhere in KY in pursuit of these fish. I know a bunch of good places to catch some big ones so here's a few. Feel free to use as many as you want. These are all public fishing holes, and I will include descriptions on how to fish each place. As soon as I catch some more bowfin I'll take some pictures and send them to you. Also I have a few fun stories I would be willing to share if your interested.
A little sweet spot back in the woods
Going west down 70 towards Richland you'll stop at the second little bridge after you pass Ky-1337. Now it's a little tricky to get to the spot. You'll need a small jon boat. You'll go maybe a half mile down that little creek and you'll see it open into a small lake. It's a lot of trouble to get to, but when you see the size of the bowfin you'll catch then you'll be happy you took the time. The bowfin here are very aggressive because it is a small lake. I usually just fish for them with a popper or something top water.
If you want to catch some big nasty fish with teeth Green river is the place to do it. This place is known for huge gar, 20 lb muskie, and my personal favorite big bowfin with nasty attitudes. I usually jus sit on the bank here and tightline a big ol' chunk of cutbait. It gives me time to just relax and spend time with friends until that drag starts squealing. Then you just reel 'em in and hope whatever it is ain't still hungry...lol. Of course you can fish it how you want. Just have fun and happy finnin'!
Green River Lake
Green River Lake! What can I say about this place? I've had some good finnin' here. The KFWD takes real good care of this place, and they stock bowfin here almost every year. It is a big lake so stick to the basics. Look for weedy, sloppy, areas or submerged timber. Cut bait works well here.
I have most of my bowfin luck at Lake Beshear on the east side. For one a lot of people ski on the west side. I haven't caught ALOT of bowfin here, but the ones I have caught have been pretty good size (6-8 lbs.) Cutbait works good here (mostly bluegill is what I use) but top water lures are great too.
Out there on 70
This may actually be my best bowfin spot. I can't believe I'm letting this one go. On the west side of the road right across the street from the mines there's a walking trail. Walk all the way down to the small dam and wade across it. Keep walking back till you get to the last lake on the left. I've caught a bunch there. I even hooked into one that probably weighed 15 or 20 lbs. but I couldn't get him in. B@$$ colored crankbaits work best here.
Established by the Army Corps of Engineers and maintained by the KFWD, Kentucky Lake is the Mecca of all fishing in Tennessee and Kentucky. Now this is a BIG lake with BIG fish (LBL is over 170,000 acres). So you can't just go casting anywhere in the lake and hope to catch bowfin. I've caught most of my bowfin in the bays off Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley. Twin Lakes is a good spot to catch bowfin, as is Pisgah bay. Use a deep diving crankbait or cutbait. And if you in the mood for gar, snagging at the Kentucky dam has caught me some of the biggest gar I've seen in my life.
ChadS, KYDogfishin, 06/24/08
My favorite Bowfin fishing spot probably won't be around much longer. It's in the middle of 150 acres of woods near an old abandoned railroad. Someone is cutting the timber and will probably drain the slough. Most of this property is wetlands. I have been going there since I was a kid (about 40 years.) I have caught many Bowfin that would top our state record and a few that would top the national record. Here's a pic of a small one I caught yesterday. It was 30 inches long. I guess I need to try to keep a record fish before my favorite fishing hole is gone.
CarlM Dundee, KY 04/20/06
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