FRANKFORT, Ky. – Kentuckians are blessed with many good things: the best bourbon, the swiftest racehorses and two of the best smallmouth bass reservoirs in the world in Lake Cumberland and Dale Hollow Lake.
The beauty of fishing for smallmouth bass is they bite best when cold winds blow the heat off these lakes beginning in fall. By the time Christmas rolls around, the best smallmouth fishing of the year is here on these two lakes.
Many people have time off over the next few weeks and nothing makes a person forget about work or family responsibilities quicker than a 22-inch long smallmouth bass pulling line from your reel. Two excellent state resort parks on these lakes offer affordable accommodations for anglers who want to sneak away for a smallmouth bass fishing trip during the Christmas holidays.
Lake Cumberland State Resort Park: The location of Lake Cumberland State Resort Park in the lower one-third of the lake is ideal for smallmouth anglers. Smallmouth bass live throughout the lake, but in winter, the stretch of Lake Cumberland from the state resort park down lake to Wolf Creek Dam makes for highly productive fishing.
Chad Miles, host of the Kentucky Afield television show, is a world-class smallmouth bass angler and catches many fish each year over 5 pounds from Lake Cumberland and Dale Hollow Lake in the winter months. Viewers of the show see him catch these fish routinely.
“This year, due to abnormally high rainfall, smallmouths are not in their typical winter locations yet,” Miles said. “A lot of fish are suspended in the water column in the mouths of creeks as deep as 40 feet.”
On Lake Cumberland and Dale Hollow Lake, Miles loves to throw an