Fishing in Perry County: Where, How & When


Perry County is an angler's paradise. Not only is there good year round fishing, the local area offers a variety that very few places in the Midwest can equal. Anglers can fish every month of the year, and have an abundance of public available water when it comes to finding a place to try their luck.

The Ohio River is especially beautiful as it winds it's way southwest along Perry County. The construction of high lift locks and dams in the 1960's turned the river into a series of huge lakes with abundant fishing and boating opportunities. The county also is blessed with four beautiful lakes in the Hoosier National Forest.

The river pool above the Cannelton Locks and Dam, for example, is essentially a 110-mile long lake, stretching northeast to Louisville. It is a favorite among bass fishermen who use the section of the river for tournaments. Rocky Point Marina, just above Cannelton, has 30 large tournaments schedule this year, plus a number of smaller informal tourneys will be headquartered at the facility.

When the new locks and dams were constructed, the river level was raised, creating a series of embayments (flooded streams) off the river. These embayments provide excellent fishing, plus offer boating opportunities.

Some of Perry County's best fishing embayments are: Oil Creek, Poison Creek, Bear Creek and Deer Creek. Oil, Poison and Deer all can be accessed from the Ohio, and anglers can make their way a number of miles up the meandering streams for fishing in areas with excellent structure. Oil Creek, for example, still has a lot of standing timber.

Bear creek, near the small historic town of Rome, usually is not accessible from the river by boat due to siltation and brush in the creek; however, there is a boat ramp on the Bear Creek Bayou, on a gravel road just west of Rome. Sometimes it can be accessed by smaller boats when the river is above summer pool.

The Ohio and the embayments are full of surprises. Anglers can catch a wide variety of fish. You may catch a small bluegill or battle a powerful, huge catfish.

Some of Perry County's best fishing embayments are: Oil Creek, Poison Creek, Bear Creek and Deer Creek. Oil, Poison and Deer all can be accessed from the Ohio, and anglers can make their way a number of miles up the meandering streams for fishing in areas with excellent structure. Oil Creek, for example, still has a lot of standing timber.

Bear creek, near the small historic town of Rome, usually is not accessible from the river by boat due to siltation and brush in the creek; however, there is a boat ramp on the Bear Creek Bayou, on a gravel road just west of Rome. Sometimes it can be accessed by smaller boats when the river is above summer pool.

The Ohio and the embayments are full of surprises. Anglers can catch a wide variety of fish. You may catch a small bluegill or battle a powerful, huge catfish.

The embayments probably are best known for their crappie, bluegill, largemouth bass and catfish fishing. Early spring and late fall are generally the best times for larger crappie. After spawning and as the water in the embayments warms, the larger crappie tend to move to deeper water and that usually means the river. However, crappie can be caught year round in the creeks.

As crappie fishing wanes, bluegill fishing usually picks up. Bluegill action generally is best in the late spring and in the fall, but also can be caught anytime during the year. Catfish provide good summertime action, whether in the river, creeks or lakes. Many catfish are taken using rods and reels, and many are taken using trot lines. In fact some catfishermen come and spend a week and fill their freezer with filets to last the year.

Largemouth bass fishing is good year round. Tournaments offering a prize or money for the largest bass usually are won with largemouth in the five- to seven-pound range.

The former state record largemouth bass, and now the second largest ever caught in the Hoosier state, was taken from a Perry county farm pond. Caught by Warren Alexander, the lunker bass weighted 12 pounds, six ounces.

Many anglers think largemouth only can be caught from the embayments; however, the Ohio itself provides good bass fishing, but usually the bass tend to run a bit smaller than in the creeks.

Summer on the Ohio is the best time to catch tackle-busting striped bass below the dam at Cannelton. It isn't unusual for anglers to catch their limit of 10-15 pound fishing in two or three hours.

Stripers can be taken by casting into the swift water using about three ounces of weight and a lure, or by trolling in the same general area.

Winter is the best time to catch sauger (cousin of the walleye) in the Ohio. The water below the dam is one of the best sauger spots, but they can be caught almost anywhere in the river.

The Hoosier National Forest also has plenty of fishing opportunities. it has four good fishing lakes - Tipsaw, Celina, Indian and Saddle. All four are stocked with largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, redear and catfish, and are rarely crowded. All four have boat ramps. No gasoline motors are permitted, but electric trolling motors can be used.

Tipsaw, Indian and Celina are all about 150 acres in size, while Saddle is about 50 acres. Tipsaw and Celina both have campgrounds and Tipsaw has a beach. A 12-mile hiking trail meanders between and around the shoreline of Indian and Celina.

The Hoosier National Forest also is dotted with small wildlife ponds and, if you can obtain directions to find them, some have good fishing.

Rainbow Paylake, just west of Derby on Highway 70, is a unique pay lake that is stocked with rainbow trout, hybrid stripers, walleye, largemouth and smallmouth bass, redear, bluegill and catfish. It's a fun place for everyone, but is especially good place for youngsters to catch fish.

Area tackle and bait shops are always happy to offer advice to visitors about where to fish, what currently is the best fishing, and what tackle is needed and any other assistance wanted.

Come visit Perry County. It's a great place to fish, boat or just have fun.

 

Ohio River Boat Ramps

Canneton

Tell City

Troy

Mano Point

Webb Branch

Rocky Point

Poison Creek

Rome

Stephensport, KY

Hawesville, KY

Cloversport, KY