Fishing and Hunting at Leatherwood Resort

Kentucky Lake has over 100 species of fish to include Slab Crappie, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Stripe Bass, Catfish, Bluegill and Sauger fishing that is second to none.  It is common to see and hear about trophy fish coming from our waters. There is something for every fisherman from the expert angler with professional gear, to the kid on the bank with a cane pole.   The World Record Catfish was caught in Kentucky Lake in 1971, weighing in at an unbelievable 115 pounds.

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It's what has earned Kentucky Lake a reputation that few bodies of water can match. A world-class fishery that attracts bass, crappie, largemouth bass & smallmouth bass, panfish, sauger, white bass and catfish anglers from around the globe, Leatherwood Resort & Marina is right in the center of the action.

Kentucky Lake itself is a 160,00 acre impoundment that boasts 2,380 miles of breathtaking shoreline. Countless bays, inlets and point with a 170,000 acre nature reserve on the Eastern shore make angling here one of the most awe-inspiring sightseeing trips you will ever fish.

Tennessee's warmer climate means a longer growing season that results in big and aggressive bass and panfish. Huge numbers of lunker black bass and crappie are main ambition of anglers that regularly harvest quality, as well as quantity, gamefish. Having seven-pound Kentucky Lake largemouth going spastic on your line is a real treat, no matter what type of fish you normally see - and we've got plenty of them!

Fishing at Leatherwood Resort & Marina is generally good year around with the primary season spanning from March to November. Prime time fishing begins in mid-March and extends throughout the normal season.
Mid-March to Mid-May is crappie season. A world-class crappie fishery that attracts anglers from around the globe, limit catches are routing with 1 to 2 pound crappie common with 3 pound slabs mixed in for fun. Hoisting a daily stringer of 30 crappie for the camera is a frequent occurrence on the lake, as many guests of Leatherwood Resort & Marina can attest.

At this time of year as the water level rises to summer pool from Spring rain, crappie start migrating towards the back bays from primary points off the main lake. As the water warms in the shallower coves and backbays, crappie can be found around buckbrush, rock piles and flooded bush as they start to spawn. Crappie can be taken on any assortment of jigs, minnows and small spinners. Darker colors tend to have better luck as the lake is stained, but aggressive fish will even hit shad raps and light color plastics Mid-April usually sees the peak of spawning activity, but with the warm El-Nino Winter, the seasons may start a few weeks earlier than normal, unless a prolonged cold-spell settles in. Regardless of Spring's arrival, taking slabbies on a 1/4 oz. jig with an ultralight is pure heaven. There is a 10" limit on crappie on Kentucky Lake, but those are just the small ones.

Early April finds the small mouth completing its spawning season, and generally fishing some of the deeper rock banks and walls off secondary points is a good bet, but some are still found on beds in 4-8 feet of water around stone humps, gravel pits and stumps. The rocky points are great holding grounds for aggressive smallmouth. Pop a crawfish plastic or firetiger spinner in there and chances are good you will whoop with joy as a really ticked-off smallie is dancing on the end of your line. The smallmouth on Kentucky Lake are good color and size, averaging 4 to 7 pounds. Smallmouth have been by the most part, overlooked by lake anglers concentrating on the crappie and largemouth populations.

As the water warms during April, Largemouth and Kentucky spotted move from holding around the deeper primary and secondary points towards shallow structure to spawn. As the water temperature nears sixty-four degrees, the bass can be found moving to and from the beds along creek channels toward the back bays and calm inlets in woody cover. Look for new plant growth in the back-bays under the wood cover. Crank and spinnerbaits are your primary tools here to quickly work the water to find them, but don't leave out skirted jigs, silver minnows or use a Carolina rig, as largemouth tend to feed on the huge population of shad in the lake. The size limit is 15" for largemouth and smallmouth on Kentucky Lake in Tennessee.

If hunting is your sport, you're in luck. The area abounds with deer, turkey, squirrel, quail, rabbits, wood duck, raccoon, ducks, and geese.

Waterfowl hunting is especially big since Kentucky Lake is on a major migration flyway, but ample deer and turkey populations make these season popular also.

Hunting season lengths vary from year to year in Tennessee, but opening dates are firm. Just call for information on license fees and dates.


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