Kentucky fishing guide

Welcome to your key source for all fishing-related information in Kentucky. Discover not only the prime fishing spots but also learn about the diverse species inhabiting these waters. Stay informed about the latest fishing regulations and licensing requirements for fishing in Kentucky

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14 waterbodies
25 cities
34 fish

Lakes and reservoirs for fishing in Kentucky

Below are the largest and most popular lakes, reservoirs, and bays for fishing in Kentucky. Each Kentucky body of water includes information on fish species, analytics, and a map with fishing spots

Licenses for fishing in Kentucky

For the most accurate and up-to-date information, and to purchase a license, you can visit the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources website.

License Type Resident Price Non-Resident Price
Annual Fishing $23.00 $55.00
Joint/Spouses Annual Fishing $42.00 -
1-Day Fishing $7.00 $15.00
3-Year Fishing (Online Only) $55.00 -
Nonresident 7-Day Fishing - $35.00
Trout Permit $10.00 $10.00
Annual Combination Hunting/Fishing $42.00 -
Senior/Disabled Sportsman’s License* $12.00 -

Key Notes:

  • Kentucky's license year begins March 1 and continues through the last day of February.
  • New licenses are required annually.
  • Resident and nonresident youth younger than age 12 are not required to purchase licenses or permits to hunt (except the elk lottery application).
  • Resident and nonresident youth ages 15 and younger are not required to purchase licenses or permits to fish.

Fishing Regulations in Kentucky

Prohibited Gear and Fishing Methods
  • Use of explosives, poisons, or electricity for fishing is illegal.
  • Limblines and juglines are prohibited in certain areas.
  • Snagging fish is not allowed in most Kentucky waters.
  • Fishing with more than two poles or lines simultaneously is not permitted.
  • Use of any fish trap other than a minnow trap is illegal.
Catch Limits
  • Bass: Daily limit of 6, only one may be over 20 inches.
  • Trout: Daily limit of 8, no size restrictions.
  • Crappie: Daily limit of 15, must be over 9 inches.
  • Catfish: Daily limit of 12, no more than 4 can be over 20 inches.
  • Walleye: Daily limit of 6, minimum size 15 inches.
  • Bluegill: No daily limit or size restrictions.
  • Muskellunge: Daily limit of 1, must be over 30 inches.
  • Northern Pike: Daily limit of 5, no size restrictions.
  • Yellow Perch: Daily limit of 15, no size restrictions.
  • Striped Bass: Daily limit of 5, minimum size 15 inches.
  • White Bass: Daily limit of 15, no size restrictions.
Restrictions on Access to Water Bodies
  • No fishing within 100 feet of a boat ramp or dock.
  • Fishing from bridges or causeways is prohibited in certain areas.
  • Access to private ponds and lakes requires landowner permission.
  • Some streams and rivers may be closed to fishing during specific times.
  • Fishing in designated swim areas is not allowed.
Zones of Special Regulation
  • Catch and release only areas in certain trout streams.
  • Special bass regulations in designated lakes and rivers.
  • Trophy fish areas with increased size and decreased bag limits.
  • Seasonal closures in sensitive spawning areas.
  • Restricted gear zones where only artificial lures are allowed.
Protection of Rare Species
  • No fishing for endangered species like the pallid sturgeon.
  • Immediate release required for certain rare or threatened species.
  • Restrictions on fishing in habitats of rare aquatic species.
  • Special permits may be required for fishing in conservation areas.
  • Illegal to possess or harm protected species.
Seasonal Restrictions
  • Trout streams closed during the spawning season.
  • Spring black bass fishing closed in certain areas to protect spawning fish.
  • Certain waters closed to fishing from March 1 to June 15.
  • Winter restrictions on ice fishing in some northern regions.
  • Fishing for certain species like paddlefish closed during specific seasons.

Most popular cities for fishing in Kentucky

The largest and most popular fishing cities in Kentucky. Cities in Kentucky include information on fishing, as well as a map with fishing spots. Explore the cities to know what fish are caught and in which bodies of water.

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Nearby cities (25)
Nearby waterbodies (14)
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