Those of us who fish Dale Hollow regularly usually launch at the State Park ramp. That ramp is getting a new name. On the morning of July 9, 1955, angler David L. Hayes of Leitchfield began a trolling run in the Phillip’s Bend area of Dale Hollow Lake. After he cleared a point near what is now Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park, the biggest smallmouth bass ever caught by an angler struck his pearl-colored Bomber 600 lure. The 27-inch long smallmouth bass that Hayes reeled in from the Kentucky side of the lake that day weighed 11 pounds, 15 ounces. It remains the all-tackle world record.

To commemorate the catch, the auxiliary boat ramp at Dale Hollow State Resort Park Marina was recently renamed the David L. Hayes Boat Ramp. The sign marking the ramp includes a life-sized image of the record fish.

“Now anglers that launch or take out their boats at Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park can compare their trophy catches to the world record,” said Chad Miles, administrative coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.

The ramp dedication was a collaborative effort of the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the Kentucky Department of Parks and Kentucky Fish and Wildlife.

Art collectors also have the rare opportunity to purchase a copy of the Hayes smallmouth bass painted by nationally recognized wildlife artist Rick Hill. The Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Foundation is offering 100 prints individually signed and numbered by Hill. Proceeds from the sale will benefit conservation education efforts across Kentucky. The painting depicts the life-sized fish.

A print signed by Hill and Hayes now hangs in the lobby of the Mary Oaken Lodge at Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park.


The first fall hunting season in Kentucky opens in less than a month. Here are some highlights of what’s to come:

 The 2011-2012 Kentucky Hunting & Trapping Guide is being printed and will be mailed to license vendors statewide next week.

The 66-page guide is free, and details the season dates, bag limits and regulations for deer, elk, bear, turkey, small game and furbearers.

There’s also information on licensing, youth hunting, hunter education requirements and quota hunts. This year, hunters may apply online for the special hunts for deer, pheasant and other upland bird hunts on state wildlife management areas.

Hunters and trappers can also find out about public lands and read a summary of regulations for each area.  

Some items in the 2011-2012 Kentucky Hunting and Trapping Guide include regulations for the new Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area. You can also see the changes to the elk seasons and an earlier opening day for bear season.

You can read a printable version of the 2011-12 Kentucky Hunting and Trapping Guide online at the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources website at

Kentucky’s squirrel season kicks off the calendar of fall hunting seasons on Aug. 20, and the outlook is excellent.

“Last fall we had a really good mast (nut) crop, particularly the red and white oak groups, with the hickories close behind,” said Ben Robinson, small game biologist for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. “There was abundant food and females were in good condition going into breeding. Usually that equates to more young being produced.”

The first of two statewide fall squirrel seasons continues through Nov. 11. The season opens again Nov. 14 and runs through Feb. 29.

The September Canada goose season increased from nine to 15 days for the 2011 season.

This season opens Sept. 1 and closes Sept. 15. Fifteen days are the most allowed within Federal season framework.

In another change for early migratory bird hunting for 2011, the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission modified the American woodcock season by moving it later in the year during the peak of the bird’s migration.

The American woodcock season opens Nov. 1 and closes Dec. 15. The season opened in mid-October last year.

Kentucky dove hunters will enjoy expanded opportunities this season. Well over 50 public dove fields located across the state give dove hunters productive places to go. These fields, located on both wildlife management areas and private land, are a significant increase in number from last season.

A complete list may be found in the 2011-12 Kentucky Hunting Guide for Dove, Wood Duck, Teal, Woodcock, Snipe and Crow, available in early August wherever hunting licenses are sold.

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