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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    Cave Run Muskie tips?

    I caught my first ever Muskie down on the "Musky Mile" section of the French Broad River in NC. Technically I believe it was before the actual "mile", but that's besides the fact. That was the strongest fighting freshwater fish I have ever caught, might be the largest freshwater fish for me. I caught it casting a loon colored whopper plopper 75 in a eddy adjacent to a small rapid (I had to retire that lure after this catch). Bonus points is that I pulled it in with my dominant hand still in a cast from breaking my wrist 2 weeks prior. Its small for a musky, but its still a musky.

    I would like to get to target some Cave Run Musky this year and was hoping I could get some help. As you can see I am on a peddle kayak. Any boat ramps that you would recommend or general locations where they hang out?

    Lure recommendations? All of my rods are bass fishing rods, so i don't have any heavy gear. Not looking to catch a state record, just looking for the thrill again.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Lexington, Kentucky, USA.
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    976
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    I've caught several Muskie out of Cave Run Lake ... trolling cranks & casting jerkbaits, but that was eons ago (& around the Alfrey Ramp area). I have always heard that it is "dangerous" to throw a chartreuse spinnerbait around the cedars up in the river on account of the Muskie ... but, I can't attest to that, personally. I do know that the jerkbait I caught them on was a Rebel Minnow w/chartreuse back, because that's the jerkbait I used to use at Herrington Lake for pre-spawn Bass (and did quite well with). I have no recollection of what crankbaits I was trolling with, though. So, in my estimation, something all chartreuse or a good percentage of the color chartreuse does seem to have the interest of those Cave Run toothy critters ... or so it would seem.

    Also of note: I did catch & land those Muskie with Bass gear (& a net ... LOL !! ) but the only "legal" sized one was caught trolling a crank (& that was back when a 30" fish was legal)

    There are several launching facilities up in the river end of the lake, so check on Google Maps or Google Earth for those.
    Likes peter, robertdilbert liked this post

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Lancaster
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    17
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    If you are fishing from a kayak, and the current is not too strong, I would put in below the dam and fish the Licking River. Ramp is at the dam off Highway 826. Just drift down stream about 75 to 100 yards to the first pool. Your bass gear will be fine. Just use 20 lb line and a 6" steel leader. Try a crank bait like a model 7A Bomber or Storm Little Mac, or a 1/2 oz. spinner bait in a light colors, white or chartruse depending on water color. This would be your best chance of hooking up right now and you wont have any boat traffic.

    On the main lake try the Ramey Creek pool off highway 801. Might also try Warix Run ramp off of highway 801, or the Clay Lick ramp off highway 1274. Poppin Rock ramp of highway 519 can be good at times too.

    Muskey, the fish of 10,000 casts!!!!

    Good Luck!!!!
    CW

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Louisville. KY
    Posts
    2,958
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    Quote Originally Posted by robertdilbert View Post
    I caught my first ever Muskie down on the "Musky Mile" section of the French Broad River in NC. Technically I believe it was before the actual "mile", but that's besides the fact. That was the strongest fighting freshwater fish I have ever caught, might be the largest freshwater fish for me. I caught it casting a loon colored whopper plopper 75 in a eddy adjacent to a small rapid (I had to retire that lure after this catch). Bonus points is that I pulled it in with my dominant hand still in a cast from breaking my wrist 2 weeks prior. Its small for a musky, but its still a musky.

    I would like to get to target some Cave Run Musky this year and was hoping I could get some help. As you can see I am on a peddle kayak. Any boat ramps that you would recommend or general locations where they hang out?

    Lure recommendations? All of my rods are bass fishing rods, so i don't have any heavy gear. Not looking to catch a state record, just looking for the thrill again.
    Nice job..from a kayak. I like that.
    Likes robertdilbert liked this post

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Trivers
    Posts
    92
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    Fly fish for them

    Quote Originally Posted by peter View Post
    Nice job..from a kayak. I like that.
    This is the year I am going to start targeting them with my fly rod! Very exciting.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    .
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    776
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    A white buzzbait used to catch a few, esp around culverts.
    Likes robertdilbert liked this post

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    130
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    Quote Originally Posted by crappiepappy View Post
    I've caught several Muskie out of Cave Run Lake ... trolling cranks & casting jerkbaits, but that was eons ago (& around the Alfrey Ramp area). I have always heard that it is "dangerous" to throw a chartreuse spinnerbait around the cedars up in the river on account of the Muskie ... but, I can't attest to that, personally. I do know that the jerkbait I caught them on was a Rebel Minnow w/chartreuse back, because that's the jerkbait I used to use at Herrington Lake for pre-spawn Bass (and did quite well with). I have no recollection of what crankbaits I was trolling with, though. So, in my estimation, something all chartreuse or a good percentage of the color chartreuse does seem to have the interest of those Cave Run toothy critters ... or so it would seem.

    Also of note: I did catch & land those Muskie with Bass gear (& a net ... LOL !! ) but the only "legal" sized one was caught trolling a crank (& that was back when a 30" fish was legal)

    There are several launching facilities up in the river end of the lake, so check on Google Maps or Google Earth for those.
    Quote Originally Posted by CousinWilbur View Post
    If you are fishing from a kayak, and the current is not too strong, I would put in below the dam and fish the Licking River. Ramp is at the dam off Highway 826. Just drift down stream about 75 to 100 yards to the first pool. Your bass gear will be fine. Just use 20 lb line and a 6" steel leader. Try a crank bait like a model 7A Bomber or Storm Little Mac, or a 1/2 oz. spinner bait in a light colors, white or chartruse depending on water color. This would be your best chance of hooking up right now and you wont have any boat traffic.

    On the main lake try the Ramey Creek pool off highway 801. Might also try Warix Run ramp off of highway 801, or the Clay Lick ramp off highway 1274. Poppin Rock ramp of highway 519 can be good at times too.

    Muskey, the fish of 10,000 casts!!!!

    Good Luck!!!!
    CW
    Awesome, thanks guys!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    130
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by CousinWilbur View Post
    If you are fishing from a kayak, and the current is not too strong, I would put in below the dam and fish the Licking River. Ramp is at the dam off Highway 826. Just drift down stream about 75 to 100 yards to the first pool. Your bass gear will be fine. Just use 20 lb line and a 6" steel leader. Try a crank bait like a model 7A Bomber or Storm Little Mac, or a 1/2 oz. spinner bait in a light colors, white or chartruse depending on water color. This would be your best chance of hooking up right now and you wont have any boat traffic.

    On the main lake try the Ramey Creek pool off highway 801. Might also try Warix Run ramp off of highway 801, or the Clay Lick ramp off highway 1274. Poppin Rock ramp of highway 519 can be good at times too.

    Muskey, the fish of 10,000 casts!!!!

    Good Luck!!!!
    CW
    went out to the lake yesterday fully expecting to go below the dam, but once i got there that access was closed off due to them churning out water (3500CFS). By that time i had forgotten about all the other main lake areas everyone suggested, so we went to musky bend. i mean, it has "musky" in its name. No luck though, one decent thud on the rod. When you say the Ramey creek pool, are you talking about the lake side, or the north pool not connected to the main lake?

    Tom Timmerman (fisheries district) suggested the Zilpo Flats, so I am guessing he means the shallow 1-10ft deep water around the recreation area.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Lancaster
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    17
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    Yes, the Ramey Creek Pool on the other side of KY 801. It's only connected to the main lake by a small culvert. Several fish come out of there every year as there is not much fishing pressure. Zilpo Flats area can be productive too during Summer months trolling deep cranks on the outer edges next to the old river channel. May be tough in a Kayak. The drive out to Zilpo recreation area is a little long but scenic. On the way out to Zilpo you will pass a little lake called Clear Creek (no motors). You might want to hit it also but no Musky there.
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