• Jim Morgan with Large Mouth Bass from Laurel Lake. This one weighed almost ten pounds.


Hello. My name is Jim Morgan.  I was raised in Southern Laurel Co. Kentucky.  I started fishing when I was 12 years old. I had this one uncle, who fished quite a bit and caught a lot of fish.  He never owned a boat but always fished from the bank. I remember oh so well my first fishing pole when I started fishing.  I used a dogwood sapling around seven feet in length with about 20 feet of monafiliment line, a hook and sinker.

At that time the primary bait we used was a can of red worms.  I remember coming home from school and digging these worms where my grandmother threw out the dish-water.  Man, you sure could find plenty of worms there.

My uncle and I would camp out under a cliff and fish with only red worms and catch fish like crazy – all different species.  I never will forget how I got my first rod and reel.  We were camping at the old camp cliff during early April.  The white bass run was going strong.  A couple of my other uncles, and their wives, decided to camp for the weekend with us.  Neither of these uncles had ever fished any at all before.

The uncle that was the fisherman in the family used a Zebco 33 and my other uncles had bought Zebco 202’s & 404’s, solid fiberglass rods with wire line guides.  But at the time man I thought that these were the best looking rods and reels I had ever seen.  Ev-erybody had a rod and reel except me. I had the old dogwood pole, sitting and watching everyone else trying to fish.

I remember hearing them curse those rod and reels cause they had never used one before and just couldn’t catch on.  Finally one of my uncles got really teed off, threw his Zebco 404 into the rapids where he was fishing and walked off. He had enough of fishing.

So I added some extra sinkers and a couple of extra hooks onto my dogwood pole. I would throw my line out into the area he had tossed the rod and reel.  After about a couple of hours I scored!  I finally snagged into the Zebco 404 I got it in and laid claim to it.  That is how I got my first rod and reel, I made the fish live hard after that. Fishing has been my life since then, with many unforgettable and fun filled days.

I remember walking the river banks and finding different fishing lures, mostly jigs.  Back in those days they were called Doll Flys and during the spring you could tie on ei-ther a white or yellow Doll Fly & kill fish. With large mouth bass, crappie and white bass you would catch so many you couldn’t carry all of them home.When we went fishing we had around a three mile one way walk through the Daniel Boone National Forest.  That was the best time in my life.  I kept on fishing. Every chance I got I was at the river or the lake,  learning how to catch anything that swims in our area.

In 1990 I started the First Guide Service ever in this area it was a very successful business.  We guided for every species of fish.  There are different areas to fish rather than just Laurel River Lake, which is all that is written about in this book.

Thirty five years of experience and special tricks that I have learned through the years, I would like to share with you.  The way I see it is “why hire a guide service for usually $200 to 250 per day when you can have a guide for life with this book.  If you have never been here in Southeast Kentucky, it is a beautiful part of the state and if you always wanted to learn how to fish, this book will teach you how to possibly catch everything that swims in any of our waters.

There have been other people try the guide service business but they didn’t last long.  My guide service was called The Fishin’ Buddy Guide Service Inc. in Corbin Ky.

If you want to be successful in fishing this area, even if you have never fished be-fore, pick a species from this book and do what I have written, and you will see that these methods work in the Southeast Kentucky areas.  Also there will be a map of Laurel River Lake marked with color code for east species of fish.  You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to be a successful fisherman.  Usually a $20 bill will purchase all the artificial lures needed to catch fish.

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