Salt River Fishing
Central Kentucky's Salt River is 150 miles long, with a good chunk of the middle being impounded by the Taylorsville Dam, built by the Army Corps of Engineers to control annual flooding. Taylorsville Lake claims the honor of being the most heavily stocked lake in Kentucky, and for a state that has an abundance of excellent fishing, that’s saying something.
The flooding has contributed to incredibly verdant bottomlands and a healthy variety of wetland habitats. The area has great biodiversity, with tons of wildlife and several rare species of plants and animals that call the area home. Because of this, the river itself is a part of a Nature Conservancy, and 10,000 acres surrounding Taylorsville Lake are a wildlife preserve.
What makes it great?
The Salt River is very user-friendly when it comes to fishing. Though much of the shoreline is on private property, multiple boat ramps and put-ins make it a casual affair to hike in for wading along its length.
If paddling is on the docket, the river runs at class I the whole way with some fun little riffles here and there to keep things interesting. Multiple sandbars and islands dot the river, so it’s perfect for a multi-day fishing expedition as well.
When it comes to fishing the Salt, it’s all about the bass. Most people come here hoping to reel in one of several species of bass including largemouth, smallmouth, spotted, and striped bass. The annual white bass spawning runs that happen in the beginning of the year bring hopeful anglers from far and wide. Even though bass is the most sought after catch here, there’s also white and black crappie, and bluegill in the waters. If you’re looking for catfish, you’ll find the flathead and channel variety. In fact, there are tales of 40- to 60-pounders coming from the Salt during high water!
Because of its calm waters and peaceful setting, the Salt River is a great place to bring kids or beginners trying to figure out their gear for a day trip, or grab a couple of friends and float down the river for a weekend.
Who is going to love it?
With so many options, any angler can find the right spot on the Salt. Choose from a quick, after-work trip for a few hours, a whole day of floating and fishing, or even an epic overnight stay. Whatever your choice, you can enjoy it while soaking in the beautiful countryside.
The fishing and the strategy changes depending on where you set up on the river. Upstream of the dam or downstream, so it’s like getting two rivers for the price of one.
Beginning paddlers and families also find the Salt the perfect place to gain some experience and dial in gear/tackle choices.
Directions, Parking & Regulations
From Louisville: Take I-64 E to I-265 W. Take Exit 23 from I-265 and follow KY 155 for 28 miles. KY 155 turns into KY 55. Left on Little Mountain Road. Turn right onto State Hwy 2239 and another right onto Corps of Engineers Tail Water Road.
Written by Savannah Patton for RootsRated in partnership with Kentucky Tourism.