Why fish for Musky in Kentucky?

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By: Crash Mullins

As you well no I grew up in eastern KY and as the ole saying goes I made mark here in the musky world. I’ve been very fortunate to be able to make my living fishing for muskies in KY. Which brings us to the point of why come to KY to musky fish.  There are many reasons, to start with, what that a lot of people don’t know is that KY is one of the major players in the musky world with lots of trophy size muskies caught here each year.  We have three major lakes and reservoirs with musky and just about every major stream in the state has muskies in it as well.  Also we have one of the top three largest fish hatcheries in North America not to mention one of,  if not the best Muskie stocking program period.

I’v been fishing muskies for better than three decades now an it just keeps getting better. Another plus for coming here is that we have an open fishing season year round so you can come here and fish muskies when you can’t go anywhere else!  March through June are great spring months, and September through Christmas in the fall. Now,  let’s talk about the lakes, as most knows in the musky world, I lived and guided on the Musky Capitol of the South, Cave Run Lake, KY which is a  9000 acre, man made revservoir, and it is without a doubt the Musky Capitol of the South! It holds the current state record musky of 47lbs! Located in the middle of the Daniel Boone national forest with a Canadian type atmosphere, the cave will produce many fifty inch fish each year. Cave Run is located near the town of Morehead, KY.and is 45 mins. east of lexington, and we’re about 6 hours from Chicago and Atlanta.  We have four state parks within a fifty mile radius of us, with Cave Run being a federal park. Cave Run Lake has  two marinas located with houseboat rentals, with us, Crash’s Landing nearby, we are a  tackle shop and the oldest guide service here, since the early 80’s, with my son Justin as our lead guide.  Cave Run is such a neat place to musky fish, with all types of cover, fishing sand flats, to a lot of timber to great weeds, a mix of everything. If you are a musky fisherman or just getting started, the cave is well worth the trip.

What you can expect fishing here in the right time of year is some good action. It’s hard to fish this lake on a two day trip or more without someone in the boat without some action.  Although we know how elusive muskies are,  you still have to work to catch them, but the opportunity is much greater here in these months. Kentucky Fish and Wildlife department says there are 3 1/2 fish per acre of water.

LURE’S THAT WORK HERE:

Typical musky fishing lures that have proven to produce in the spring are lipless rattle baits up to 1 oz, small twitch baits, minnow style, 007’s, Cranes, Big Game, Custom X, and Jake’s. There will be some jerk bait action in early spring with Sledges, Big Manta’s work great too.  I’m suggesting you use them mostly from the middle of February, March, and most of April as we get past the post spawn it changes a little and picks up to a quicker pace and you’ll begin using lures such as Essox Assault Tackle (one of our major sponsors for “Catch Ya’ In The Bluegrass) TV.  With these baits you are talking in-lines # 6,7,8 blades, 1-1/2 oz. long arm spinner baits. Also Super Slayer Tackle and their lure named the Slippery Sam, Chaos Tackle is also hard to beat when you’re using a rubber jerk bait called the Medussa. These lures will really shine when fish start moving a little deeper as we go into late spring and early summer. You can and will have some trolling through these periods and most of your casting due to the fact that you are fishing some very shallow water, trolling will occur usually in the warmer months as the water temperature warms up  and temps hit the mid-80s we usually slow down and shut off for the summer.

Why musky fish Kentucky In the fall 

Musky fishing as general rule is usually a little better in the fall, this holds true as well in southern lakes such as cave run. What we have leaned over the years from having an open season doesn’t mean it’s always the best time, I would highly recommend a trip to Kentucky’s Cave Run from mid September though early December; these month’s are about as good as it gets! The weed growth is in its prime, we have an awesome top water bite, blade bites are just unreal plus you’ll experience the beautiful scenery as our leaves begin to turn, and you’re only 45 minutes away Lexington horse farms and  Keeneland racetrack, and the state  parks at their best as just another reason to fish Kentucky.

Crash Mullins, Pro Musky Guide
Nat’l. Freshwater Fishing HALL OF FAME