Springs spawns several active fishing opportunities at Fort Knox

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Memorial Day weekend — what a great time to get on a lake and go fishing, say Fort Knox wildlife management officials.

“This time of year is a really, really good time to fish,” said Mike Brandenburg, chief of Natural Resources Branch at the Fort Knox Hunt Control Office. “May is probably the best month to fish in Kentucky. Everything is moving up and active because the water’s warming up.”

Fort Knox has six managed lakes and ponds that don’t require specific check-in and check-out procedures each day.

Brandenburg said that is one reason why Fort Knox fishing is appealing to many. Another reason: the managed waters are annually stocked with fish.

“There’s the managed lakes. Of that, probably the best fishery is lower Douglas,” Brandenburg said. “I don’t know if you would agree, Lance.”

Lance Walters, of the Fort Knox Hunt Control Office, nodded.

“Yeah, lower Doug-las and upper Douglas are good. Sanders Springs is good,” he said.

Walters explained that fishermen are required to have a valid Kentucky fishing license as well as a Fort Knox fishing permit.

“There are several other resources that people can go and fish, de- pending upon the training schedule. Those require daily check in and check out through iSportsman,” said Brandenburg. “A very good resource is Duck Lake, when it’s open.”

Brandenburg explained that Duck Lake is a shallow body of water with a lot of vegetation that gets weedy as the water warms up.

“It has some very good bass and crappie fishing,” said Brandenburg.

Brandenburg said there are also some streams that can be fished, depending on what area is cleared for fishing. He warned that fishing any streams can be a little abstract because one stream may run through several hunting areas. However, it is another option, according to Brandenburg.

“Other than the managed lakes, everything else you have to check in and check out to find out if it is available based upon whatever the training mission will permit,” said Branden-burg. “But those managed waters are very good for bass, catfish and bluegill. That’s what they’re managed for.

“Upper Douglass and Sanders have hybrid striped bass in them, but you’re primary fishing in Kentucky and here in Fort Knox is bass, catfish and bluegill.”

One unique fishing experience is Carlson Lake at Camp Carlson.

“It’s a collaborative effort between us and the Kentucky Fish & Wildlife. It is part of the [Fishing In the Neighborhoods] program,” said Branden-burg. “They stock that lake pretty regularly.”

Brandenburg said the state just stocked the lake, in fact, last week. Those who fish there are required to have a fishing license that specifies Carlson Lake to fish it. An installation license is unnecessary.

Barring issues, channel cats are expected to be stocked in the managed lakes within a month, according to Brandenburg. He will post stocking of the catfish on public websites when they arrive.

In the meantime, there’s plenty of crappie and bluegill to be caught.

“When they get on the nest is when they’re really vulnerable to being caught,” said Brandenburg. “They become very aggressive. May and June is really a good time for this.”

Walters grew up in the area and has fished in pro bass tournaments. He offered some advice to anglers looking to hook bass here.

“In Kentucky and Fort Knox waters, bass fishing is [best] usually with an artificial bait,” said Walters. “What I tell a lot of these guys that come up to the counter is to use anything green, like green pumpkin, of that color in that plastic family for this time of year. The more moving pieces, the better.”

Brandenburg said the season, especially this year, is quite possibly the prime season for pros and novices alike.

“I bet you there’s a lot of fish that normally get caught in April and early May that are still waiting to be caught because of the weird spring that we’ve had,” said Branden- burg. “The weather patterns have been odd.”

He also reiterated that while managed lakes have their own set of challenges, they don’t require the daily check-ins and check-outs that anglers will have to daily conduct with unmanaged lakes and streams.

“All of fishing is challenges, and dealing with the challenge at hand,” said Brandenburg. “We have a really good resource, but it’s fishing, and fishing is fishing. You don’t always catch.”

For more information about fishing on post as well as hunting, go to their resource, iSportsman, at https://ftknox.isportsman.net. n