Cedar Creek Lake lures anglers

October 17, 2003|EMILY BURTON

CRAB ORCHARD - One hasn't lived until they have fished, or so say avid anglers. If true, then the changing leaves and Indian summer skies make October the perfect month to start living at Cedar Creek Lake.

Though still a young lake, Cedar Creek has a growing fan club of anglers who rumor of trophy fish in the near future.

"In a couple of years, we're going to have a real good stock of channel catfish," said Frankie Dyehouse. "According to the fish and wildlife department, they're going to be trophy size."

Dyehouse, a 35-year veteran of the sport, fishes for catfish and largemouth bass among the wide variety of catch available at Cedar Creek.


John Williams with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife said the bass are healthy and growing, even spawning on their own.

"The size limit is 15 inches ... and we've actually got some in there that's that size," said Williams. The limit for largemouth bass is three fish per day.

Though Williams has been a fishery biologist with the state for 13 years, he has been a fisherman much longer.

"I like to go to Laural River Lake, but I mainly fish for walleye," said Williams. "But I'm going to start fishing Cedar Creek Lake."

In May, the lake was stocked with one- to two-inch bass, which have since grown to about four inches.

The lake also offers anglers black crappie, bluegill, redear sunfish and channel catfish. The size and limit for each are: black crappie, nine inches, 15 fish; bluegill and redear sunfish, no size limit, 30 fish; channel catfish, no size limit, four fish.

State fishing licenses are required and cost $6 for one day or $15 for an entire year.

Cedar Creek Lake Outfitter's Pro Bass Shop on U.S. 150 East is the newest bait shop near the lake. The owner, Randy Phillips, opened the store several months ago and said that tackle for bass and bluegill fishing has been selling well.

"This time of year, jigs are selling well, and also plastic baits and buzz baits," said Phillips. "As for live baits, red worms and nightcrawlers are selling best."

While the colder months ahead will slow fishes' metabolisms, they can still be enticed to bite with the right bait. Phillips and Williams both suggested using bass lures such as spinners, cranks or any other artificial tackle.

"Some people use plastic worms. If you go into a bait shop, you'll see a wall of different varieties of them. They catch the fishermen, but I don't know how well they catch fish," said Williams.

"If fishing for largemouth bass, the artificial worms or artificial night crawlers are your best bet," said Dyehouse.

Dyehouse added that scented, plastic night crawlers could be used, but the scents are more for the fisherman then the fish.

"A lot of fishermen use spray-on scents to mask their scent, (after handling the bait)," he said.

The large mouths of the bass allow for the use of artificial lures, but catfish and bluegills' mouths are too small for jigs or jerkbait.

"Live bait is absolutely the best," said Dyehouse. "This time of the year, you can use grasshoppers or any kind of worm."

Commonly used worms are wax worms, red worms and nightcrawlers.

After tackling the right bait, it is crucial to know where to find your prey. In the hunt for bass, experienced fishermen recommend dropping line beside underwater shelters where fish hide.

"Bass like to hide and ambush their prey, so they're always looking for cover," said Dyehouse. "It (the lake) has tons of natural cover, trees and the old U.S. 150 bridge. So, any of those areas where there is standing or fallen timber, you want to use your jigs or artificial nightcrawlers."

"We have a bank fishing access area on the upper side of Ky. 1770," said Williams. "We put some tree tops in the water out there, mainly to provide cover. Fish don't like swimming through open water."

Bank access to strands of cattails and sunken trees can also be found at the end of old US 150, where at dusk the bluegill are literally jumping. Within two minutes of sinking a Canadian nightcrawler, a bluegill is almost sure to bite. The strikes dwindle as the temperature drops, so the best time for bluegill fishing is about two hours before dark.

If an unlucky angler comes home with an empty pail, rather than a trophy catch, his luck cannot be blamed on the location. The state recently inspected the fish population at the lake and found it healthy and plentiful.

"The fish look great; they're growing good. Everything looks good out there," said Williams. "Every time we go out there, someone is fishing."

Limits will become increasingly difficult to abide by as the lake continues to be restocked. According to Judge-Executive Buckwheat Gilbert, at least one more fish dump is planned.

With continued stockings and a quickly growing population of trophy catches, Cedar Creek Lake will not stay a Lincoln County secret for long.

"It's already a good lake," said Dyehouse, "and in a couple years, it will be a great lake."

Central Kentucky News Articles