Larry's Fishing Hole

On Kentucky Lake

With fall in full swing here in 2005 and winter around the corner, many central Illinois anglers no longer pursue crappie. However, we have found another great fall getaway just 5 ½ hours from the Peoria, IL area and that is Kentucky Lake.
As mentioned last month, we had the opportunity to visit this premier vacation spot and a stay at the beautiful development, High Ridge Resort. Jack & Jan Faust were gracious hosts and more than willing to make our stay comfortable with the great accommodations offered at High Ridge Resort. It was obvious as we looked around that there is no neglect here. It was so peaceful and quiet; we found ourselves over sleeping and still got to enjoy coffee outside while watching deer and other wildlife.
Located just south of the Jonathan Creek arm, this area is known as a crappie hot-spot. Each rental unit is fully self-contained, spacious and set on a 1/3 acre site so you do not feel confined and appear to be the newest facilities in the area.
Jack and Jan took us for a pontoon tour of the lake and with his 30+ years of experience fishing this lake, Jack pointed out some interesting hot-spots. We enjoyed the sites, wildlife and as we called it an evening headed back to the marina, the sun was setting as we heard some great fish stories.
We had the privilege of enjoying breakfast and dinners at several different restaurants, all with consistently good food. And one of the most unique was at Ken Lake Marina on the lake. With 30+ years of experience they know the area and lake like the backs of their hands making for some great conversation. Their love for the area made it an easy choice to settle here along with the fact Rand McNally had rated this Marshall County area a number one retirement area in the nation.
Jack hooked us up with Hipsher’s Guide Service and as we talked it was obvious this father-son team (at time of this writing before fathers passing) really knew the lake and fish. Since son Craig had a Bass fishing guide trip, his late father - Dale smiled and said “what time in mornin’ do you want to go?”
As Dale launched his boat that next day and we headed out on the lake, I got excited with the prospects of fishing with this 36 year veteran of this lake. He started across the bay and paused saying there was a boat on the spot he hoped to start fishing which made me wondered how he would handle it. He said “that is OK we will come back here later when he is done fishing it”. We motored to another area and as we slowed he reached for a marker and I watched his depth sounder break from 20 foot to 14 foot and he tossed the marker and turned around. He followed the break at about 16 foot marking brush and tossing out two more markers. Now I was pumped as he set the trolling motor down and showed me his hair jigs that he and wife Connie make, but I told him I would try couple of mine first. We did not tell him much about our fishing abilities and you may know from our articles and my talks that we do a lot of vertical fishing over brush. His technique was different, we set out on deeper side of each marker and cast past letting the jig fall on count down of 5 then lift and let fall, lift and let fall as you slow retrieved to the boat. Dale explained how they would hit the jigs on the fall and the importance of watching line for bite and sure enough it was not long before he had his first fish. It was also not long before I realized my jigs were too heavy and the twisters were not what the fish wanted. Oh did I mention he was using yellow line for better visibility. This trip was a real thrill and learned how to employ the hair jigs slow drop rate to catch not only nice Crappie but some nice Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass.
Even though we focus on fishing there is much more to do in this recreational paradise or just drive through beautiful countryside.
You can meet with Jack and Jan at various Fishing or Sport Shows to schedule your next vacation or talk with them about getting your own little piece of heaven.
If you are looking for a great fall getaway, very affordable rates and a chance to enjoy super fishing during this time of year when fish have the feed bag on, check them out at or call 1-800-684-8989, you will not be disappointed. While at High Ridge, be sure to check their good supply of fishing gear, tackle and more.
Check our Fishing Reports, Product Reviews, Events, Tips, Classified section or read our past articles at and check the big bass Linda caught last month in this issue.


Click to return