Fish Trap Lake

Fish Trap Lake

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Pikeville, KY - A beautiful site at Fish Trap Lake, Pike county, KY

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A beautiful site at Fish Trap Lake, Pike county, KY

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Mike B

Hurley, VA

#1 Aug 21, 2011
Today was my first time at Fishtrap Lake, and I’ve come to a few conclusions. Fishtrap Lake is shocking. If you visit this lake, you’ll surely remember it for a long time. I’ve fished many lakes, but never one with such abundance.

Many Eastern Kentuckians know Fishtrap by its unfortunate nickname,“Trash Trap Lake.” Having never fished the lake before today, I presumed this was an exaggeration. It was not. Much of the lake is literally covered with plastic bottles, Styrofoam containers, and other miscellaneous household garbage. The density of floating debris is astounding. In some areas, a frog could literally hop from one shore to the other without getting his feet wet.

To the short sighted, this would seem to be a failure of the Army Corps of Engineers or the KY State Park System. But I submit this is a failure of the local culture and the region’s general ignorance of ecology. Even the most Herculean clean up program can’t resolve that. As long as watersheds south of the lake continue to be polluted, Fishtrap Lake will surely collect and display the evidence. As such, I say it’s beneficial to let the trash keep floating. More people need to see the shameful disaster at Fishtrap Lake.

If you can look past the bobbing brigade of cole slaw containers and sports drink bottles, you’ll soon see that Fishtrap Lake is loaded with fish. The lake has huge schools of baitfish which move around (near Grapevine) in 20 ft. wide broiling balls. I’ve never seen baitfish in this concentration anywhere I’ve ever fished, except for in the ocean. About 20 minutes before dark, Hybrid Striped Bass began attacking the baitfish. I’d never witnessed “the jumps” before; it was quite a sight to behold. I wasn’t able to entice any with my silver crankbait, but countless 2-5 lb. fish were literally leaping out of the water right in front of me. I’ll be back to try again.

I only had a few hours, so this was basically just a scouting day. I spent the early part of the evening just casting along the shores. Crappie and Largemouth Bass seemed to hit anything I threw at them (small ones). I even picked up a decent Channel Cat on a green and white Rattletrap (seriously). I’ve never been to a lake where both my graphs beeped so much that I had to put them on mute. Fishtrap has some great potential. In spite of the abundant debris in the water, I believe Fishtrap has an abundant fish population too. I can’t wait to go back and get serious about boating fish.

Other notes. The boat ramp was really slippery and slimy. If you back in too far, you could easily sink a vehicle at the Fishtrap ramp when loading/unloading your boat. Be careful not to back down any further than you absolutely have to, and don’t rely on your emergency brake (your rear tires will be in the slime). Just a tip.

Best of luck. See you at Fishtrap ... after I update my tetanus shot!

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