Dam #52 Pool

In this pool the Ohio river is wide and flat. There is little to fish in the pool itself, especially in the lower half away from the Smithland Dam.

This pool includes Paducah, Kentucky.

Tailrace Waters Below The Dam At Smithland (Mile 918.5)

Not much here, I’m afraid. There are a few flatheads taken from these waters.

Cumberland River (Kentucky-Mile 922.8)

The Cumberland River mouth is just below the Smithland Dam. It runs off on the Kentucky side of the River.

The area just up from the mouth is very shallow, as is much of this pool, so boat with care.

The Cumberland River is one of the most beautiful places on, or near, the Ohio River. Its rock banks, occasional stumps, and swift current provide some of the most unique fishing in the area.

Some monster smallmouth and flatheads are taken in the Cumberland.

If you boat on it make sure you have plenty of fuel and your batteries are charged. This is no place for trouble.

Cumberland Island, Tail (Mile 922.5)

This is one of the best areas on the pool. It is shallow but full of holes. This keeps both bass and catfish in the area.

Fish the dikes and other rock areas in this area regardless of what species you seek.

In general, boat in this area with care as the water is hallow and full of snags, stumps, and other lower unit damaging materials.

Tennessee River (Kentucky-Mile 932.6)

The current is swift and the fishing is not as good as in the Cumberland, (some anglers would dispute this), but there are still some quality fish taken from the mouth of the river as well as upstream.

Fish the barges that are parked in this area—they often hold quality bass, stripers, and flatheads.

Clarks River (Kentucky-Mile 934.5)

This is a consistent producer of bass. This small river winds for miles into the Commonwealth Of Kentucky with ever changing cover and structure. If you are in the area give it a try.

Paducah, Kentucky (Kentucky-Mile 935)

There is a variety of manmade structure and cover in this area of the pool.

The barges in and around Paducah provide some awesome fishing. Several bass tournaments have been won from the barges. They also produce some true trophy flatheads.

Paducah sports one of the largest ramps on the Ohio River. It is 18 or 20 lanes wide and there is plenty of parking for your rig. The water is shallow at the ramp, however, so launch with care.

Paducah is also home to JR’s Executive Inn, one of the finest facilities on the River—bar none!

Dam #52 (Mile 938.9): This dam has low visibility—pay attention to what you are doing!