Larry's Fishing Hole

Aurora-Jonathan Creek visit at Kentucky Lake

It took us only 2 seconds to answer YES to an invite from the 2007 Aurora-Jonathan Creek group for an outdoor writers visit last month to this friendly community at the Western Gateway to Land Between The Lakes. We could not wait to call Jack & Jan of High Ridge Resort to see if we could stay with them but was disappointed to hear they would gone. This emotion quickly turned to Congrats and excitement for they would be celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary on an Alaskan cruise that week.
On our drive to Kentucky Lake we got excited as Linda read the itinerary which scheduled our stay at the Sportsman’s Lodge, a ½ day guided fishing trip with at that time Dale Hipsher of Hipshers Guide Service and various tours or events. Our excitement peaked as we saw the lake, crossed the bridge over Jonathan Creek and were surprised with the message on the Sportsman’s Lodge sign “WELCOME OUTDOOR WRITER LARRY DOZARD”.
The cordial folks at the lodge gave us room options during our stay to experience the variety of lodging they provide. In viewing different rooms, we are fairly sure that every room or cabin has some kind of lake view. The clean excellent accommodations made our stay very comfortable; contact them at 1-800-733-6716 or www.sportsmans-lodge.com
Our meet and greet was at the Brass Lantern with the other 4 writers, members of the community, fishing guides and this fine dining establishment owners, Berta & Kelly Wilson. A talk with them made it obvious with their culinary background why the appetizers where awesome. A place for finer seafood, steaks and the unique gift shop, call them at 800- 474-2770 or visit www.brasslanternrestaurant.com
The US Forest Service gave us a tour of the Elk & Bison Prairie at Land Between The Lakes (LBL). This is a 750 acre high fenced in impoundment on the LBL that had native grasses and a prairie appearance where Elk & Bison were re-introduced. During our fascinating 3 mile drive through the area, we saw most of the 72 Elk, bulls with fine rakes that have grown back, some still with velvet and the cows with their young. The 49 or so Bison were even more cooperative and were right up next to the road. These majestic animals are amazingly agile, have hollow curved horns that grow each year and one of the bulls was giving us the hoarsely bellow as the van got near. The calves were running about near the cows with a few wallows in sight where bison have rolled in for relief from insects.
The LBL is a National Recreation Area of 170,000 acres offering trails for hiking, biking horseback, off-road vehicles as well as camping, hunting, fishing, canoeing, wildlife watching or just to relax and picnic. In fact, there is more than we put into words but you can find complete info by calling 1-800-LBL-7077 or visiting www.lbl.org
For dinner we all met at the Willow Pond restaurant where everyone knows “The Pond” is the place to go for Catfish, fried, blackened and grilled. Also there is a nice Gift shop, contact them at 270-474-2202.
The next morning we met the guides at Kaylee’s Farmhouse Restaurant for a tremendous breakfast and a talk with friendly upbeat owner Mary who made sure we all were satisfied. You must try the Kaylee’s Special Potatoes, it is a meal in itself, contact them at 207-354-9875.
Time to go FISHING… as some headed to Jonathan Creek, Dale decided to put in at Kenlake Sate Park as did Craig Hipsher and Captain Kirk. The boat launch facilities and marina were terrific and centrally located on the lake. As we started fishing the sun was peaking through and I could not help but reflect on the endless fishing prospects as well as boating and all outdoor recreation this lake provides.
Known for crappie this lake is a great bass fishery too which Dale gave me proof of with some nice smallmouth caught as we fished a 3 mile section. It was impressive fishing with someone who really knows this lake with great gear and equipment.
We all met for lunch at Cindy’s on the Barge at Kenlake Marina and it was interesting to hear that most all species of fish were caught from crappie, large & smallmouth bass, catfish, whitebass, yellowbass and even a 10# drum. They have breakfast, lunch and made to order pizza, call for yours at 207-474-2245 or visit www.kenlakemarina.com. Our sandwiches were fabulous and as we seat looking out at the lake and each other, we said, wow seems all we do is eat, OH YEAH.!
After a short rest, the group met at the full service marina right behind the Sportsman’s Lodge for a tour of the lake with Marina Charter Service, with all captains US Coast Guard Licensed. This was a unique opportunity to experience the natural beauty and enjoy the sights of the lake along with wildlife. We learned a lot of lake history from Captain Starkey and how the TVA sets aside green space areas. On the ride back into Jonathan Creek we realized this is a lake in itself. They also have sailing charters and you can reach them at 270-354-9340 or www.marinecharterservice.com
Our evening wrap up dinner was at Kenlake State Resort Park Lodge where we enjoyed the beautiful view of the lake from our table. It was a fine dining experience as they promised and the talk by park manager Mark McLemore about the parks amenities was compelling. Upcoming events are the World Coon Hunt in mid Oct. and Eagle viewing cruises this winter, visit www.parks.ky.gov
We had a fascinating talk by Shirley Johnson of the Twilight Cabaret Theatre Productions that provides quality family theatre entertainment. She can be reached at 270-436 2399 or www.twilightcabaretproductions.org
After dinner we had a question & answer session for any concerns and additional information on the area. We wish to thank the gracious hosts of this community for the privilege to visit and experience this premier vacation spot.
We said our thanks and goodbyes to those at Sportsman’s Lodge, drove back over the Jonathan Creek bridge and stopped at Marquita’s for a good country breakfast.
Thanks for reading about our experience and we recommend you look into this recreational paradise, we plan to go back.

Till Next Time, GOD BLESS & GOOD FISHING !

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