• Canoe Kentucky

Tips for fishing success on The Elkhorn.

Article by Team Member Jordan McHugh

Jordan is an avid fisherman who spends most of his free time kayak fishing The Elkhorn and maintains a healthy fishing rivalry with a select team leader (we wont say who)...Chad


When it comes to fishing smallmouth on Elkhorn Creek, you should be prepared to fish in an environment that includes rocky banks, grass, trees, riffles, and runs. Deep pools may look appealing, but unless the water is below two feet and over 80 degrees, deep pools will not be as productive as the other areas listed above.

When fishing rocky banks, the primary food source for the fish is crawfish. When fishing rocky banks, the angler should be prepared to use lures such as jigs, and ned rigs. Anything weighted from 1/8oz-1/4oz depending on the depth and current of the water would work well with rocky banks.

When fishing grass, the primary food source is baitfish. These baitfish include mostly minnows as well as a bluegill. In this water type, anglers should be using 3-4-inch swimbaits, as well as topwater’s such as poppers, spooks, and whopper ploppers.

During the summer, the most productive water types are the riffles and runs. This is due to the amount of food and oxygen. While these are the most productive sections of water, they are also the most difficult to fish. The speed of the water often makes the presentation more difficult, however if the angler can keep constant contact with their lure, they will be able to find great success. When fishing riffles and runs, anglers should use the lightest line possible to minimize drag to create the most natural presentation. Suggested lures for riffles and runs are light ned rigs and small swimbaits.

The final type of common structures found on Elkhorn Creek is trees. Trees will often have good food and good cover for the fish but lack oxygen. So, when the water temperature is hot, stay clear of these areas, however when the water temperature is below 80 degrees, trees are great spots to fish. The main baitfish in trees will be almost exclusively bluegill, making senkos, whopper ploppers, and spooks your best option.

Many people often stress over colors; however, the color of your lure is the least important aspect of finding success while fishing Elkhorn. Even if you choose the basic colors such as browns, greens, and whites, the real trick is to use the correct lure in the correct water type.

On streams such as Elkhorn, it is often the bug activity that will play the biggest factor in how active you will be throughout the day. Even though the bass don’t focus on feeding on aquatic insects, the crawfish and baitfish do. During summer months, peak bug activity will be mid-morning, early evening, and dusk hours. This will make these times also the most productive times to fish. This does not mean however that you can’t catch fish in other times of the day, the fish eat all day every day, however the peak of fish activity is mid-morning, early evening, and dusk hours.




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