Fishing in Kentucky

Kentucky Fishing at a Glance

From secluded crystal clear trout streams to the large southern reservoirs, Kentucky offers anglers a wealth of year-round fishing opportunities.

Whatever freshwater fish you’re hunting, you’ll find it in Kentucky, proud home of the world record smallmouth bass. There are over 50 species of freshwater fish in Kentucky, including bass, catfish, trout, and walleye. Bass are the most popular game fish in the state and can be found in most of the state’s lakes and rivers. Catfish are also popular, and can be caught in a variety of waters, including ponds, streams, and rivers. Trout fishing is popular in the eastern part of the state, where there are several cold-water streams. Walleye are found in some of the larger lakes in the state, such as Lake Cumberland and Kentucky Lake.

There are some regulations that anglers need to be aware of when fishing in Kentucky. A fishing license is required for all anglers over the age of 16. The cost of a license varies depending on the type of license, the length of time it is valid for, and whether or not the angler is a resident of Kentucky. A one-day non-resident fishing license costs $11. A seven-day non-resident fishing license costs $34. A yearly non-resident fishing license costs $60.

There are a number of good rivers, lakes, ponds, and streams to fish in Kentucky. Some of the best bass fishing can be found in Lake Barkley, Cave Run Lake, and Taylorsville Lake. Good catfish waters include the Ohio River, Green River, and Kentucky River. For trout, anglers can try fishing in the Cumberland River, Laurel River, and Rockcastle River. And for walleye, Lake Cumberland and Kentucky Lake are two of the best spots in the state.

Kentucky ranks #22 in the U.S. for fishing licenses per capita and has a good number of local fishing enthusiasts with over 11.39% of the population having fishing licenses.

Table of Contents

Estimated Fishing Enthusiasts
Population: 4,505,836
Fishing Enthusiasts 513,230
Fishing License % 11.39%
Hunters Rank 22

The state of Kentucky is mostly private land with just 3.54% of acres considered public land -ranking #42 amongst all states.

Land Types (Acres)
Acres % Rank
Total 25,428,500
Public 899,800 3.54% 42
Private 24,528,700 96.46% 8
Tribal 0 0.00% no tribal land

Kentucky Fishing Licenses & Requirements

For the most accurate and updated information on fishing licenses and requirements, it’s always a good idea to check the Kentucky DNR. We’ve provided their contact information and other helpful information for your convenience here.

Kentucky DNR

#1 Sportsmans Lane
Frankfort, KY 40601

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What are the most popular fish to catch in Ohio?

Some of the most popular fish to fish for in the state include bass, trout, catfish, crappie, and bluegill. Of course, each of these types of fish present their own challenges, so it’s important to do some research before heading out on the water. For instance, bass are typically found in deeper waters and can be difficult to catch without the right gear. Trout, on the other hand, are often found in faster-moving waters and may require different tackle in order to be successfully reeled in. Catfish are another popular option for Kentucky anglers, and they can be found in both rivers and lakes. Crappie and bluegill are two more types of fish that are commonly sought after by fishermen in Kentucky, and they can both be found in a variety of different habitats throughout the state.

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Fishing private lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams in Kentucky

Fishing on private land in Kentucky has some real advantages over public lakes, rivers, streams, and ponds *if you can get access. For instance, there’s nothing like having a quiet lake all to yourself and oftentimes there are simply more fish available to catch, because they haven’t been fished out. There are generally more processes for access private land for hunting than fishing, though some similar methods exist. For instance, you can sometimes join a fishing club in Kentucky or if you have the money, it may be possible to rent some private land for fishing. Another option is to knock on doors or work your contacts in an area to see if a landowner would let you fish for the day or possibly be open to a longer term arrangement.

Fortunately Wing It is simplifying land access for fishing, hunting, camping, and more. We’re adding new land every day and if we have some in your area, you’ll see some great options below.

1. Kentucky Lake
2. Lake Cumberland
3. Rough River Lake
4. Nolin River Lake
5. Barren River Lake

Fishing private land in Kentucky

Fishing on private land in Kentucky has some real advantages over public lakes, rivers, streams, and ponds *if you can get access. For instance, there’s nothing like having a quiet lake all to yourself and oftentimes there are simply more fish available to catch, because they haven’t been fished out. There are generally more processes for access private land for hunting than fishing, though some similar methods exist. For instance, you can sometimes join a fishing club in Kentucky or if you have the money, it may be possible to rent some private land for fishing. Another option is to knock on doors or work your contacts in an area to see if a landowner would let you fish for the day or possibly be open to a longer term arrangement.

Fortunately Wing It is simplifying land access for fishing, hunting, camping, and more. We’re adding new land every day and if we have some in your area, you’ll see some great options below.

More Private Land Fishing

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• 552 acres •
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Arkansas
• 1977 acres •
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• 307 acres •
Nebraska
• 3 acres •
  • Hunting
  • Fishing
  • Camping
  • Others activities
    • Kayaking
    • Turkey hunting by bow only
  • Hunting
  • Fishing
  • Camping
  • Others activities
    • Kayaking
    • Turkey hunting by bow only
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