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PMTT Cave Run 2015 - Come Musky or High Water

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Hi guys -

Just got back from our trip down to Kentucky's Cave Run lake for the PMTT. Tough, tough fishing for us but still had fun overall. Water levels at all time state record high levels over 35' feet above the normal. This reduced the number of overall boat launches on the lake from the normal 11, down to just two. 102 boats in PMTT, plus 35 boats in bass tournament, plus another 10 boats in Crappie tournament made for some interesting crowds at the launches. Not very many fish caught and water clarity was very poor. At one point 71 boats were all fishing the same postage stamp size spot making even casting very difficult. I was impressed at the size of the fish taken - many over 40" and healthy fat looking.

With water levels so high, we got to cast in some parking lots, jig near road signs, get tangled in the TOPS of 50ft tall trees, and get to see the damn spill-way running at full capacity to try and alleviate current water levels. Here are some pictures and a video from our trip that I thought you would enjoy.

Ever fish above road signs before?


The famous Zippo Flats, now 35ft deep.


Spill-way on otherside of the dam - water really rippin' out of there.


One of the few strategies that worked for the anglers that caught fish was to get way back in the trees and cast small baits (spinners, cranks) into the heavy cover and pull it out. Still hard for fish to see baits in that water - here is Joe fishing over 40' trying that strategy.


Probably my favorite photo of the trip... here we are trolling ON LAND according to our GPS but still over 50ft of water!


Notice the Handicap parking signs....


Video of the spill-way on otherside of the Cave Run dam.

Well I wish we could have had some nice pictures of either Joe or I holding a fish or two but it wasn't meant to be this time around. I give anyone who boated a fish in this tournament a lot of credit as the conditions were probably the toughest I have ever fished. The winners managed three muskies with the largest one measuring 40" - I tip my hat to them for figuring it out.

One a side note, it was nice (finally) to see a couple other anglers from Chautauqua up there! Todd & Vance - hopefully we will see you guys again next year at the cave. If the musky fishing is that hard again though, I might join the crappie tournament and go fish over the submerged port-o-potties, where I know the crappie bite is always hot! :lol::rofl:

Cheers :beer:


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Wow-   cool story and pictures.   nice to see some other guys' adventures even if they don't involve huge fish.  Chad, was it you that fished the tourney at the cave last year?  I remember seeing a report from last spring and was tough goin down there also.  I love to take road trips and explore new waters almost as much as i love catchin big fish so it is cool to see guys posting reports outside of the local waters

Edited by JOE ESOX
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Ryan - yeah I've fished a couple of PMTT's now.  They are fun and cave run is a scenic lake (under normal conditions) that gives NY anglers a chance to get out when our season is closed. 


Steve - local knowledge is always a good thing.  There are many awesome anglers in the PMTT who are going to catch muskies no matter what the conditions.  Someone is going to figure out something and put a program together.  Experience is also helpful as this is not the first time the lake has seen flood level conditions. It was my first time fishing those kind of conditions but many anglers in the PMTT have fished that kind of water before. 


Musky fishing is a challenge under normal conditions and that challenge is what I enjoy most about it.  I tell a lot of people that musky fishing is less like fishing and more like hunting.  You have to be in a similar mindset that you going out to get that one trophy - the objective isn't to boat 10 or 20 fish, nor do you go out looking to shot 10 or 20 deer.  Your looking for that one trophy..... and that challenge has always been what's attracted me most to the sport. 

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Chad, If it makes you feel better there have been some big name muskie guy's go zippo there many times in a row.When I fished the PMTT at Cave Run I caught one 37" muskie at one tourney and went zippo 4 other times.What makes it tough is you could go to Cave Run the weekend before and catch numbers of muskies, but the following week the water levels are way up or down and everything has moved!

Edited by mostlymuskies
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Yeah Larry I believe it.  It can be a tough lake when it wants to be.  We are blessed here in NY to have some great options for both numbers and size (Tigers included). 

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