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Don’t Put That Rig Away Yet…There Are BIG Muskies In Kentucky!!!

By Dennis Radloff - December 1, 2001
I used to get a little misty eyed on November 30th each year because I knew it would be five months before I'd throw another lure at a musky. NOT ANYMORE!!! Musky fishing as I know it has changed forever, and even though Wisconsin's' musky season closed on Friday, there's plenty of excellent fishing to be had all winter long. Not just some little "action" lake, or another "over pressured" body of water, but one of the best musky factories I've seen. Is your heart beating? Are your palms starting to sweat? Do you want to know where this place is? Are you ready to go now??? Cave Run Lake just outside of Morehead, Kentucky is as good as it gets, and December is BIG fish month down there. One look at Tony Grants new State Record will tell you that Cave Run is much more than an "action" lake, and is a true class A musky fishery.

I met Tony Grant this year on the Professional Musky Tournament Trail, and aside from being one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet, he's a musky machine if there ever was one. Tony just recently boated that state record fish on September 21, 2001, which measured an awesome 54.5", and weighed in at an impressive 44.75 pounds. According to Tony, Cave Run has two primary months that are considered big fish months being October and December.

December at Cave Run will generally present you with the type of weather we usually get in October, seeing mid to low 50's for highs, and lower 40's at night for the lows. Water temperatures will be in the mid to low 50's, and the fish will be on the move. Cave Run is a reservoir system, which at regular pool is around 15,000 acres, and at max flood stage over 20,000. On the north end of the system you will find the main lake which has many smaller bays and coves, while on the south end you'll find 2 rivers which flow into the main lake.

Fishing this reservoir will be a little different than what most Midwest musky anglers are used to, since most of the primary structure will be the flooded timbers. On the other hand, the presentation will be the same as any late season musky fishing you do back home, slow and deep. Both rivers have a deep main channel with flooded timbers along the edges. While seeking these areas, use caution and common sense because as soon as you get out of the marked main channel you will be in hazardous navigation. Those timbers stick up to just inches below the surface and you don't want to be motoring at wide-open throttle through this area. You can work your way around though with your trolling motor, and cast deep diving crank baits through those timbers; a sure tactic to sticking a big fish. You will also find these deep timber areas at the openings of the bays and coves on the main lake. Here again, use caution as you move into these areas, as there will be flooded timbers just below the surface.

Two things I'd recommend are a good map, and a guide. Fishing Hot Spots makes an excellent map of this system, which includes many useful tips on how to fish it. Getting a guide will surely increase your chances of succeeding during your time on the water, and Tony Grant is the best there is on that system. In addition to guide service, Tony can assist you with lodging also for your stay. Tony may be reached at Cave Run Guide Service or Mountain Musky Lodge by calling 1-800-452-1600, or for more information you can also go to

In closing, I'd like to thank everyone at Lake-Link for their support in helping Sterling Guide Service with a great season on the water, and most of all, may you all have a blessed and safe Holiday Season.

Author Dennis Radloff
Dennis Radloff
Dennis Radloff is the owner and operator of Sterling Guide Service which specializes in Walleye and Musky Fishing. Dennis has helped run and coordinate many of the Youth Tournaments. He is also a PMTT angler, Dave's Turf & Marine/Princecraft Pro Staff, and a Mepp's Field Staffer.
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