Thursday, April 22, 2010

First Professional Musky Tournament of the year Cave Run Lake

Joe, my brother, and just returned home from our first Professional Musky Tournament Trail Tournament of the year. We fished Cave Run Lake near Morehead, Kentucky.

We left on Tuesday afternoon of last week and let me tell you that is a long drive. We drove through the night and made it to the lake. After a few u-turns we got our Kentucky fishing license and we were off to the boat ramp. Going into this tournament I knew two areas that were going to produce fish and I also knew that most of the anglers fishing would also know about these two areas. Joe and I talked and said we were going to focus our pre fishing on off beat locations. The water temps were anywhere from 60 to 70 degrees with the average being around 64. Most anglers thought that the musky were done spawning and some said that the spawn has yet to happen.

On Cave Run there are several bites to key in on. One is to focus on deep “hollows”. There are several ways to fish these deep hollows. We found lots of really small muskies towards the shallow water in the back of the hollows and along the edges as you enter the hollows. We started to see fish immediately but they were small and not the fish we were looking for besides the occasional 32 to 36 incher.

The second bite on Cave is the weed bite. Now the largest weed flat known as Zilpo flats is one of the community holes I knew fish would be caught. There a very few other weeds, mostly milfoil, in the lake but we found some. There were fish on a few and the right size fish. Usually this weed bite really kicks in when the water temps hit the consistent 70 degree mark.

The other main bite on the lake trolling over deep water and bait fish. Which Joe and I did for awhile during prefishing which proved to work as we lost one nice fish. Joe and I focused our efforts away from those three bites and found fish on the deep water main lake. Needless to say we found the hawg bellies. During prefishing we saw a ton of really nice fish and on the spot we saw several, Joe had one bite 20 feet from the boat. Joe didn’t set the hook and we just watched her shack her head trying to kill the minnow she thought she just eat. Finally she let the bait go and went back to the depths. We were pretty dialed in and thought we could catch a couple of these nice fish in the tournement.

The night before the tournament we made a decision to fish these off beat spots and go for the win. We couldn’t wait for tournament take off.

Saturday came and we were ready to rock em’. I was little concerned as the temp dropped from around 75 degrees to a blistering 30 degrees in the morning. We went to our first spot and didn’t move a fish. I was thinking what in the world? These fish were just here I know there here. I told Joe lets hit it from a different angle and after that they started coming out of the wood work. We saw several nice fish but couldn’t get them to eat. We continued to fish out big fish spots and mixed in a few hollows and moved fish but had not bitters. So day one was over and we were fishless.

Day 2 and Joe and I decided to stick to our plan to try and catch a big one as we knew if we could get one of these fish to bite we would be in the top 10 and if we could get two we would win this bad boy. It was again another cold morning and we took off to our number one spot. Nothing again! We found on day 1 once that sun warmed the water up they fish would start to move and that is exactly what happened on day 2. We went back to our number 1 spot and I heard Joe set the hook, “got er”, yes fish on and as soon as I looked up to go for the net fish off. This was in the exact area we were seeing a really nice fish. Crap! That’s fishing and we continued to fish. We had several more fish follow through out the day and even had a fish with 10 minutes to go nipping the back of Joe’s bait but just wouldn’t seal the deal. So no fish but were happy with the decision we made to go for the win.

One of our main lake spots did produce the biggest fish of the tournament. Caught by locals Anthony Smith, my buddy that lives down there, and his partner. Congrats to him. Another one of my friends, Josh Brovosky and Troy Zuelzke, took third with two fish. Almost all of the guys who placed fished on the two community spots that I mentioned earlier. I knew there would be fish caught on those spots but I didn’t think that many.

Thanks to our many sponsors for helping us fish these tournaments. My Mercury Verado ran perfect! Also thanks to my good Southern Buddy Larry Besant who let us crash at his place. Larry get your butt up North and we will catch another 50 incher. Our next tournament is in the end of June on the Eagle River Chain in Wisconsin.

Here is a list of the fish caught in the tournament. (from

Southern Shootout! Day 1 Day 2 Total
Team Cave Run Lake, KY Size of Size of # of
# Place Team Name Fish Caught Fish Caught Fish
30 1 Schneider, Russell & Wells, James 37 & 38 32 3
48 2 Lijewski, Mark & Schroeder, Clay 37.5 & 36 31.25 3
34 3 Zuelzke, Troy & Borovsky, Josh 37 & 37 0 2
78 4 Burns, Billy & Tate, David 36.25 36.25 2
73 5 Reed, Joey & Smith, Anthony 0 48 1
8 6 Clepper, Brian & Smida, Charles 46 0 1
53 7 Everhart, Dave & Gardiner, Nate 45.75 0 1
14 8 Olsen, Ben & Hamm, Andy 0 37.5 & 32 2
43 9 Johnson, David & Walls, Jason 35.5 & 31.25 0 2
13 10 Rusteberg, Steven & Bowman, Ron 37.75 & 31.25 0 2
77 11 Searsor, Darrell & Seasor, Lance 0 38.5 1
57 12 Guenther, David & Lewis, John 36.25 0 1
19 13 Mullins, Crash & Mullins, Justin 36 0 1
26 14 Rozek, Tom & Dresow, Mark 36 0 1
50 15 Kircher, David & Kircher, Matt 35.25 0 1
55 16 Campbell, Tad & Kinney, Justin 0 35.25 1
5 17 Keyes, Michael & Genson, Steve 0 35 1
2 18 Summers, Jason & Bilbrey, Troy 34.5 0 1
49 19 Burton, Richard & Rue, Mark 34.5 0 1
69 20 Morris, Jerome & Burquest, Eric 34 0 1
6 21 Korpela, Ross & Adkins, John 0 34 1
25 22 Landmeier, Duane & Ryan, John 33.75 0 1
31 23 Risius, Jr, John & Lulay, John 33.5 0 1
36 24 Stewart Jonathan & Ferjutz, Jeff 0 32.5 1
24 25 Reiter, James & Saucedo, Cesar 32 0 1
80 26 Lewis Paul & Lewis, Willie 31.75 0 1
29 27 Forman, Marty & Tiegs, Donnie 31.5 0 1

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