10 Best Fish to Catch in Kentucky

This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links, at no cost to you.

We can bet you great odds that the first thing that popped up in your mind was KFC. But don’t worry, with our guide of the best fish to catch in Kentucky, you will bring home some delicious and well-tasting fish. So good that you may even forget everything about KFC.

So, we know that you are going to Kentucky this fishing season, but which fish shall you be after? Let’s see!

1. Pike

The most prominent member of this family in Kentucky is the northern pike. Most anglers are after this fish because of its excellent taste, tender meat, and juicy filets. You can easily recognize a pike because of its slender body, sharp teeth, unusual jaw, and duckbill like snout. You may recognize the Muskellunge of this family as it is quite large. However, you must have to put in a lot of effort to catch this.

2. Bluegill

This is a freshwater species that usually lives in rivers, lakes, and streams. This fish is mainly caught for its delicious meat that is so juicy that you can’t resist smoking or grilling it.

3. Trout

Though none of the species that belong to the trout family are native to the State, you will be surprised to see the large population of trout that dwells in Kentucky’s waters. The environmental conditions here are optimal, and they encourage the growth and living of this fish to see a lot of trout here. The most common kind of trout present is the Brook trout, so if you are after that, you know where to find it.

4. Perch

This species is one of the most widely sought in Kentucky. The most diverse range of this family is found in Kentucky, and because of that, many anglers are after this. Though the fish are small, it isn’t that difficult to catch them as they usually travel in groups. If these fish are present in Kentucky’s waters, it is given that the water is fresh and of high quality.

5. Bass

This family includes both largemouth and smallmouth bass. The most common kind of fish in this family widely available in Kentucky’s water bodies is the Striped Bass. The white bass can also be found here. The anglers are usually after these two kinds as their meat is quite delicious, and they are a fun challenge to catch. All of the basses are deep-bodied. The adult fish are after forage fish, so make sure your bait is up to the mark.

6. Carp

Kentucky is rich in this family, which is highly diverse. The species in this family are exotic, and some even pose as biological control of vegetation. These fish indicate that the ecosystem of water is pretty healthy.

7. Sunfish

This is the family of fish that you may even find in the ponds of Kentucky. These are so abundant here that at a point, you get tired of taking these back home. These fish are fast swimmers, so that they will jump on the bait faster, but it won’t be easy to get a hold of them.

8. Drum Family

This family is mainly found in brackish or marine waters. This means that it is quite widespread in Kentucky, so you can easily find it anywhere. The anglers cannot easily find freshwater Drum anywhere, so they come here to Kentucky in their search. The name drum caught on because these fish make a drum-like sound whenever their swim bladder vibrates. These fish feed mainly on small invertebrates.

9. Catfish

The easiest task during fishing in Kentucky is identifying any of the catfish. It is insanely easy because of their whiskers, or more commonly known as the barbels. These are around the mouth of these fish. Their scaleless bodies also make the identification process easier. These fish are like gold bars to commercial fishers, and it is easy to catch them as they attract to the lure quickly because of their sharp smelling sense.

10. American Eel

Now you may not like the meat of this fish or its freakishly smooth texture, but this species is also easily found in Kentucky. This is like a goldmine for anglers because it sells for a lot of money, even though only a handful of people enjoy the meat of an eel.


By now, you must have figured out that KFC is not the only good thing about Kentucky, and now that there are so many different species of fish, they must expand their menu and include some delicious meals of fish too!


Campus Murray State

Fish Identification Kentucky Gov