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  • Steven Paul

Melton Hill Muskie Fishing Report 2019

Updated: Dec 29, 2019


Bi-weekly Melton Hill Musky fishing report.

Including conditions, weather and preferred lures for targeting Tennessee Musky.

Melton Hill Lake : Oak Ridge Tennessee.

Tennessee Muskie Fishing Guide Steven Paul

Melton Hill Musky Fishing





Melton Hill Musky

January 1st - 15th


Water Temps : 45 -53 *F


Weather : Mix of rain and clouds, temps ranging from 30-55.

The region is experiencing a high volume of rain causing some flooding of creeks and streams.


*Shifting fronts have created a brief "Indian Summer" with temperatures reaching mid 60"s.

These unseasonable conditions have shifted forage and the locations muskies prefer to use.

Some muskies are holding very shallow or suspended near the surface.


Water clarity has been a moving target due to localized flooding and controlled releases.

Muskie are staging on predictable shoreline cover and adjacent structure.


Most productive Musky Lures :

Bitten Tackle Creeper

Color - Duck

A January top water bite is one of those things you only see on a body of water as "weird" as Melton Hill, but we have contacted a few suspended fish using the creeper in a very slow and meticulous manner.


Joe Bucher Jointed Depth Raider

Color - Blue Back Shad

The jointed Depth Raider is producing both during both casting and trolling as it's jointed body helps give an illusion of speed even though it is being retrieved relatively slow.


The 12" ERC Triple D

Color - Flat Black -Spray Painted

The 12" Triple D is a mammoth Musky lure but it's suspending nature is great for slower Melton Hill Musky that at times have been somewhat negative or neutral in nature.




Melton Hill Musky

January 16th - 22nd


Water Temps : 40's -50's


Weather : Truly a mixed bag, the weather has bounced between mind numbing cold spells and warm fronts. It has been unpredictable and forecasts have been consistently inconsistent.


Water clarity has been generally clear, but some stained conditions have occurred and seem to change on a daily basis due to the large amounts of rainfall experienced in the region.


Most productive Musky Lures :


Joe Bucher Jointed Depth Raider

Color - Sucker

Tennessee Muskies are a sucker for the sucker flavor of the JBO Depth Raider.

We have had great success with a slight mod: Removing the center hook and replacing it with a rather small bait hook dressed with a contrasting colored 2" grub tail. This grub in the middle of the body seems to be great at triggering strikes are the bait floats upward.


Bill Norman DR2 - Read about it here...

http://www.tennesseemuskyfishing.com/blog/top-ten-musky-lures-2019



Tennessee Muskie Fishing : 43 incher caught on a Depth Raider

XI with her first muskie ever taken on a Depth Raider


COLD SNAP Tennessee Muskie Fishing


Melton Hill Musky

Jan 22nd - 31st

Water Temps : 39 - 41


Weather : Day time temps of 15- 30

An arctic air-mass moved into the region bringing frigid temperatures.


Water clarity has been teetering between clear and lightly stained.


When fishing in sub freezing temperatures be prepared for frozen line, rods and reels.

I always recommend spraying reels and rods down with a little WD40 before fishing in these frigid conditions. This light coating of WD40 will help slow or prevent ice build up on your gear.


Most productive Musky Lures :


Joe Bucher Suspending Depth Raider

Color : Perch / Purple Tiger

This lure is exceptional in cold water conditions when utilizing the modification mentioned above.



12" Suick Thriller

Color : Black with orange belly

Suick Thrillers are known by most as a summer muskie lure but should not be over looked during winter months. The dive and rise action should be tuned in to be very steep and dramatic during cold water conditions. Successful musky fishing is all about presentation and preparation so taking time to properly tune a Suick should be a part of your prep.


Muskie Fishing Tennessee

Spencer Jepson with a Monster Tennessee Muskie

Melton Hill Muskie

Febuary 1st - 15th


Water Temps : 40's


Weather : An unpredictable mix, with air temps ranging from 30-70


*Shifting fronts have creating "Indian Summer" conditions.


Most productive Musky Lures :

Crane 207 - Spary Painted White

Bucher Baby Shallow Raiders - TN Shad

Slammer 7" - Silver

Shallow cranks excel on many of Tennessee's muskie lakes in February.

The method of retrieve that is most productive is long rips followed by a slack line float up.





Melton Hill Musky

February 15-28th


Water Temps : 40's


Weather : Rain, rain and more rain......

Heavy rainfall has hit the region dropping at times a half inch or more or precipitation each day.

Melton Hill and other bodies of water have been releasing a high volume of water in an attempt to mitigate the potential of localized flooding.


The high volume of water at times has lead to very stained waters and turbulent conditions.

The sustained pull has drawn bait fish and predator alike away from shorelines and out in to open water patterns.


Most productive Musky Lures :

Bucher Baby Shallow Raiders - White

Magic Maker Glider - White / Silver and Black

These downsized presentations have been producing over open water in casting situations.


7" Jointed Shallow Raider - White Trolling

The jointed shallow raider has contacted a few fish during trolling passes.

The faster than normal flow on Melton Hill has made open water trolling a prime option.

Trolling upstream allows a slower and more methodical approach even when the conditions may seem chaotic to the untrained eye.



Tennessee Musky Fishing



Melton Hill Musky

March 1st - 15th


Water Temps : 45 -51 *F


Weather : Heavy rainfall continues to be a problem for the region.

Flooding or lakes, creeks and feeder streams has added a twist to early spring patterning.


Water Clarity : Mostly muddy, so ares have some visibility.


Most productive Musky Lures

TMBC Glider : This custom glider is a work of art not only in it's finish but more importantly it's action. For more info click here.


Joe Bucher Baby Depth Raider

Color - Purple

This junior version of theclassic Depth Raider is perfect for targeting break lines and depth structure. The magic starts when it is used in a probing dive and rise fashion over sand flats and shallow cover.






Melton Hill Musky

March 15th -31st


Water Temps : 44 - 51 *F


Weather : Cool mourning in the high 30's or 40's with afternoon temps reaching 60's or 70's

Frontal systems have been predictable and are coherent with what one would expect in the early spring.



Water Clarity : Water clarity has been somewhere shifting between light stain to somewhat clear.



Most productive Musky Lures


JB Rattler

Color - Perch / Bone

This is a classic rattle trap style bait that has been enlarged to handle muskies.

Straight retrieves an been productive but rise and fall or ripping style retrieves seem to produce more and larger muskies.


Joe Bucher Baby Depth Raider

Color - Shimmer Shad

This junior version of the classic Depth Raider is perfect for targeting break lines and depth structure. The magic starts when it is used in a probing dive and rise fashion over sand flats and shallow cover.



Jenna from Ohio putting in work with a Joe Bucher Rattler on some Melton Hill Muskies

Derek from Ohio got the trophy he was after with a Joe Bucher Baby Depth Raider

Jenna rounded out a great March day with muskies number three on a Joe Bucher Rattler

Melton Hill Musky

April 1st - 15th


Water Temps : 48 - 53


Weather : Temps ranging in the 40's-70's with steady and predictable frontal systems.


Water Clarity : Clear with 6-8 feet of visibility.


Suicks for Supper, these classic baits are always a hit with Melton Hill Muskies


Suick 9"

Color - Perch

This classic dive and rise bait is a classic musky presentation that is productive year round but is an excellent spring time presentation around cover and over flats.

The 9" version in easier to work in a quick fashion and generates strikes, very few muskies make boat side if you have your speed and depth dialed in whi9le working this lure.

I recommend adding a small blade o the diving tail as well as some flash tape to the belly to really kick things in to high gear.


Joe Bucher Baby Depth Raider

Color - Shimmer Shad

This junior version of the classic Depth Raider is perfect for targeting break lines and depth structure. The magic starts when it is used in a probing dive and rise fashion over sand flats and shallow cover.




JB Rattlers and Baby Depth Raiders are a great early spring presentaion for Tennessee Musky



Melton Hill Musky

April 15th - 30th





Water Temps : Ranging from 61- 69


Weather : Air temps ranging from 55 -70 have been the average.

Weather patterns have been steady and predictable.

The typical spring cycle of warm / cold fronts do come into play and tactics must be adjusted accordingly.


Water Clarity : Ranging from clear to lightly stained. Creek run off and rain showers can and have quickly turned things murky in a hurry.


Most productive Musky Lures


Joe Bucher Shallow Raider 5"

Color - Bone

JBO Shallow Raiders are hands down on e of the most productive twitch baits on the market.

This down size presentation is perfect when twitching over shallow flats and spring weed growth.


Bitten Tackle Frek'n Frog Creeper

Color - Baby Duck

"Plop Plop Glug Glug " This topwater is pre tuned and ready to roll out of the box.

Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to spring time top water presentations.



Big Mama Psycho Flaptail

Color - Loon

Flaptails easily win the gold medal for not only being one of the stupidest looking muskie lures ever made but also should receive accolades for being impossible to store in a tackle box.

But muskies can't seem to resist a flap tail worked ever so slowly.



Melton Hill Muskie

May 1st - 15th


Water Temps 65 - 75


Weather - Air temps have been ranging in the 60's during AM hours and peaking in the high 80's/.


Watery Clarity : Visibility has been excellent up to a depth of six to eight feet at times.





Most productive Musky Lures :


7" Joe Bucher Jointed Shallow Raider & 9" Shallow Raider

Color - Bait Fish "White"

Shallow Raiders are a classic crankbait that really can't be fished wrong.

The 9" model excels as a hybrid jerk / crank and can call in large fish at some distance with it's wide wobble and large profile.


700 Series Bucher Tail

Color - Goldielocks

It doesn't get any easier than throwing a single blade bucktail, but depth and speed control are where most seem to miss the mark. On Melton Hill slow and steady usually wins the race but certain conditions call for hyper speed.




Nothing beats putting a couple 50 inch muskies in the boat before lunch!

51 Inch Melton Hill Muskie

50 inch Tennessee Muskie

Tennessee Muskie Fishing

Melton Hill Muskie

May 16th -31st


Water Temps 71 - 78


*****Water Temps are reaching peak during afternoon hours, attention should be paid to water temps as well as ambient air temps regarding the safe release of muskies.*****


Weather - Weather has been mainly hot and stagnant with a few storm cells passing through the region. Day time temps in the high 80's and low 90's.


Watery Clarity : Visibility is good but is at times clouded with organic material.



Melton Hill Muskie Report


Most productive Musky Lures


TMBC Glider : This custom glider is a work of art not only in it's finish but more importantly it's action. For more info click here.


JB Rattler

Color - Perch / Black

This is a classic rattle trap style bait that has been enlarged to handle muskies.

Straight retrieves an been productive but rise and fall or ripping style retrieves seem to produce more and larger muskies.


700 Series Bucher Tail

Color - Goldielocks

It doesn't get any easier than throwing a single blade bucktails, but depth and speed control are where most seem to miss the mark. On Melton Hill slow and steady usually wins the race but certain conditions call for hyper speed.



Melton Hill Musky


Melton Hill Musky Fishing

June 1st - 15th


Water Temps 69-78

***Special Attention should be paid to the water surface temperature here in Tennessee.******

Melton Hill water temperatures often exceed 80 degrees during summer months, these temps can vary greatly depending on what section of Melton Hill you are targeting.


Weather - Typical summer conditions during the first week of the month have given way to wet and stormy conditions. Thunder storms or heavy rain showers have been a daily occurrence on Melton Hill and the surrounding area.


Watery Clarity : The water clarity and conditions have been fluctuating heavily due to storm fronts. Heavily stained areas have been soft shorelines and creek mouths due to run off.



700 Series Bucher Tail

Color - Black / Silver

Single blade buchertail, not much you need to say regarding these time tested and proven muskie catchers.


Joe Bucher Outdoors 9" Shallow Raider

Color - Bait Fish "White" and Black

There is really no wrong way to work this lure but a hybrid jerk bait retrieve can trigger strikes from negative and neutral muskies.


Suick 10"

Color - Walleye

Suicks are a classic lure that will catch muskies anywhere they are swimming.

Using them to probe weeds, timber and break lines on Melton Hill is one way of upping your chances of putting a trophy Tennessee muskie in your net.




Mr. Sites 83 years young and still putting Tennessee muskies in the net!

June 16th - 30th


Water Temps 62-75

***Special Attention should be paid to the water surface temperature here in Tennessee.******

Melton Hill water temperatures often exceed 80 degrees during summer months, these temps can vary greatly depending on what section of Melton Hill you are targeting.


Weather - Daily storms have been the norm for the latter half of June, these rains have kept surface temps lower than usual.


Watery Clarity : Heavy rains and heavy dam releases have left Melton Hill mostly stained.




700 Series Bucher Tail

Color - Elvis

This classic single blade buchertail is simple musky catching machine.

Throw rinse and repeat.


TMBC 9" Glider

Color - Ghost

This handmade glider moves a ton of water and calls big predators in over great distances.

They are built like a tank and take massive strikes without a scratch.


Joe Bucher Top Raider

Color - Loon

In previous years the Top Raider has gone unnoticed by most Tennessee muskies, but in 2019 they are absolutely on fire. A couple simple mods have turned Top Raiders into a TN Muskie crusher.



The key to triggering strikes this time of year is SPEED.

Slow as possible or burning the paint of the bait nothing in between.







Melton Hill Musky

July 1st - 15th


Water Temps High 70's

***Special Attention should be paid to the water surface temperature here in Tennessee.******

Melton Hill water temperatures often exceed 80 degrees during summer months, these temps can vary greatly depending on what section of Melton Hill you are targeting.


Weather - Warm conditions with small storm cells developing throughout the course of most days.

Keeping an eye on these developing fronts can be important for safety but more importantly ho they will influence muskie activity.


Watery Clarity : Clear to lightly stained conditions can be found throughout the system.

Heavy recreational boating traffic can lead to stained edges and channels.






Most productive Musky Lures :

Joe Bucher Buchertail 700

Color : Elivs & Black

Single blades with a smaller skirt seem to excel when the summer hear has set in.

Speed and depth control are critical and must be dialed in in daily based upon conditions.


Joe Bucher Shallow Raider 5"

Color - Bone

JBO Shallow Raiders are hands down on e of the most productive twitch baits on the market.

This down size presentation is perfect when twitching over shallow flats and spring weed growth.


July is a great month for trolling as surface temps rise and muskies move slightly deeper.

Top Trolling Lures:

Baby Depth Raiders : Color Bait Fish & Chart. Pike

Phantom Hex : Walleye & Black

Achieving running depths in the 8 - 10" range with a target speed of 2.4 - 4.5 have been the most productive over open water and break lines.

Pelagic muskies can be found relating to schools of bait fish.





Melton Hill Musky

July 15th - 31st


Water Temps High 70's

***Special Attention should be paid to the water surface temperature here in Tennessee.******

Melton Hill water temperatures often exceed 80 degrees during summer months, these temps can vary greatly depending on what section of Melton Hill you are targeting.


Weather - Warm conditions with typical summer weather patterns.


Watery Clarity : Stained and Clear conditions can be found depending on boating traffic and weather.



July is hoodie weather in Canada, if your dreaming of going to the North Captain Steve runs trips each July.

July is a great month for trolling as surface temps rise and muskies move slightly deeper.

Top Trolling Lures:

8" Depth Raider : Color Sucker

Storm Flat Stick : Pink


Most productive Musky Lures :

Reef Hawg : Black

The reef hawg is part glider part top water depending on how you work it.

This lure rarely thrown by modern day musky anglers but excellent at triggering muskies that are high in the water column but not that "fired up".


Joe Bucher Willow Buck

This small and simple single willow leaf blade buck tail is great for probing tight cover or deeper holes. Mepps giant killers can also achieve similar results. These single blade baits really start putting fish in the boat when they are dressed with soft plastics reflective of the current forage base. Colors : White & Pink



Joe McClain from Texas with a big bad July Tennessee Muskie.


Melton Hill Musky

August 1- 31st


Water Temps mid 70's with some areas in the high 70's.

***Special Attention should be paid to the water surface temperature here in Tennessee.******

Melton Hill water temperatures often exceed 80 degrees during summer months, these temps can vary greatly depending on what section of Melton Hill you are targeting.


Weather - Day time temps have reached the high 90's on numerous occasions.

Anglers should focus on hydration and wear light colored clothing.

Thunder storms and heavy showers are a near daily occurrence and should be monitored.


Watery Clarity : Mainly clear but stained water can be found during dam releases and high boat traffic times.






August is a great month for flat line trolling as surface temps rise and muskies move slightly deeper. Flat line trolling allows anglers to cover a lot of water and is a great pre or post casting tactic.

Top Trolling Lures:

Baby Depth Raider : Bait Fish

7' Jointed Shallow Raider : Bait Fish



Most productive Musky Lures :

700 Buchertail : Elvis




Joe Bucher Willow Buck

This small and simple single willow leaf blade buck tail is great for probing tight cover or deeper holes. Mepps giant killers can also achieve similar results. These single blade baits really start putting fish in the boat when they are dressed with soft plastics reflective of the current forage base. Colors : White & Pink



Melton Hill Musky

September 1st -15th


Water Temps in the high 70's.

***Special Attention should be paid to the water surface temperature here in Tennessee.******

Melton Hill water temperatures often exceed 80 degrees during summer months, these temps can vary greatly depending on what section of Melton Hill you are targeting.


Weather - Weather in the region has stalled, conditions have been dead flat clam with high bright sun with no variance.


Watery Clarity : Green stain from aquatic vegetation is present in the entire system.



Tennessee muskie can also be found on breaks and breaklines not just weeds in the fall.

Most productive Melton Hill Musky Lures


Casting - 500 Series Buchertail : Black

This downsized lure is perfect for burning over weeds and cover.

When conditions are poor or stagnate downsizing is often the best option.


10' Suick - Walleye

Dive and rise presentations near weeds is a classic and effective tactic even here in the south.

Tennessee muskies love Suicks if they are presented correctly with large delayed sweeps of the rod.


Muskie Trolling :

September is a great month for trolling as surface temps rise and muskies move slightly deeper.

When muskies are not at peak activity levels aggressive trolling can generate strikes.

Speeds of 3.5 - 5.5 have put muskies in the net.


Top Trolling Lures:

Phantom Hex - Walleye

Joe Bucher Ratler - Perch

Regualr Bull Dawg - Cisco



Melton Hill Musky

September 15th - 30th


Water Temps in the high 70's.

***Special Attention should be paid to the water surface temperature here in Tennessee.******

Melton Hill water temperatures often exceed 80 degrees during summer months, these temps can vary greatly depending on what section of Melton Hill you are targeting.


Weather - Weather in the region has stalled, it has been dead flat calm high bright sun for the entire month .


Watery Clarity : Clear with Green stain from aquatic vegetation is present in the entire system





Most productive Melton Hill Musky Lures


Casting - 500 & 700 Series Buchertail : Black / Gold /

Simple and deadly under most conditions


10' Suick - Walleye

Used near dense weeds while conditions are flat.


Muskie Trolling :

September is a great month for trolling as surface temps rise and muskies move slightly deeper.

When muskies are not at peak activity levels aggressive trolling can generate strikes.

Speeds of 3.5 - 5.5 have put muskies in the net.


Top Trolling Lures:

Depth Raider - Black

12" Jake - Nat. Pike

Wiley - Coach Dog




Melton Hill Musky

October 1st - 15th

Water Temps in the Low 70's High 60's


Weather - Cold fronts have chilled water temps. Summer heat was replaced with cold mornings and mild afternoons.

Watery Clarity : Clear 4-6 feet of visibility in spots.




Most productive Melton Hill Musky Lures


Casting - 500 & 700 Series Buchertail : Black / Gold /

Simple and deadly under most conditions


10' Suick - Walleye

Used near dense weeds while conditions are flat.


Burt : Black

This is a classic dive and rise lure from drifter tackle.







Melton Hill Musky

October 15th - 30th

Water Temps in the 60's


Weather - The late October weather has been all over the map with cold fronts followed by heavy down pours.

Watery Clarity : Clear 3 feet of visibility in spots.




Most productive Melton Hill Musky Lures


Casting 700 Series Buchertail : Black / Gold /

Simple and deadly under most conditions


Warlock - Color Blue Shad

This glider is a a breeze to use and is great at triggering strikes from negative and neutral muskies.


Burt : Black

This is a classic dive and rise lure from drifter tackle.


Melton Hill Musky

Novem 1st - 15th

Water Temps in the 60's - Mid 50's


Weather - Cold temps arrived early this year with AM temps in the low 30"S and mid day temps hitting mid 50's.


Watery Clarity : Very clear due to the lack of rain in the region.





Most productive Melton Hill Musky Lures


Warlock - Color Blue Shad

This glider is a a breeze to use and is great at triggering strikes from negative and neutral muskies.


Bulldawg : Cisco / Walleye


Top Trolling Lure:

Phantom Hex - Walleye


Melton Hill Musky

November 15-30th

Water Temps in the Mid 50's


Weather - Cold temps arrived early this year with AM temps in the low 30"S and mid day temps hitting mid 50's. We have had some warmer afternoons reaching low 60"s.







Casting - 700 Series Buchertail : Black / Gold /

Simple and deadly under most conditions


10' Suick - Walleye

Weighted model


Tipsy Custom Glider White Ghost

This is a heavy glider that gets down and dirty in cold conditions.


Top Trolling Lures:

Depth Raider - Black

12" Jake - Nat. Pike

Wiley - Coach Dog


Melton Hill Musky

December 1-15th

Water Temps in the low 50's


Weather - Cold temps arrived early this year with AM temps in the low 30"S and mid day temps hitting mid 50's. We have had some warmer afternoons reaching low 60"s.



Casting 700 Series Buchertail : Black / Gold /

Simple and deadly under most conditions


Warlock - Color Blue Shad

This glider is a a breeze to use and is great at triggering strikes from negative and neutral muskies.


Top Trolling Lures:

Depth Raider - Black

12" Jake - Night Shiner

8" Depth Raider - Shimmer Shad


Captain Steven Paul


Tennessee Musky Fishing Guide Service

1-615-440-3237

www.TennesseeMuskyFishing.com




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Tennessee Musky Fishing 2019

Tennessee Muskie Fishing

Tennessee Musky Fishing

Tennessee Muskie Fishing Guide Steven Paul