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Melton Hill Muskie Fishing Report 2020

Updated: Mar 18

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

















Hall of Fame Angler Joe Bucher and Steven Paul : Video Link







2020 Musky Fishing Report

Jan. 1st-15th


Water Temps : 45 -53 *F

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


*Shifting fronts have created a brief "Indian Summer" with temperatures reaching mid 60"s and even low 70's on some days. To be honest the weather has been so erratic that saying there has been a weather pattern would be a falsehood.


The instability and unseasonable conditions have shifted forage and the locations muskies prefer to use. Some muskies are holding very shallow or suspended near the surface while others can be found in deep holes holding bottom tight.



Most productive Melton Hill Musky Lures January 2020 1st - 15th


Bull Dawg - Walleye / Blue Flash / Black

This classic big baity seems to work well with quick rips to get sluggish muskies moving.


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.


Phantom Hex : Walleye and Clown

This wandering musky crankbait has great action even when worked at slower speeds.


Trolling :

Easy does it when dragging baits in the winter. Maintaining good boat control at slow speeds takes a little skill and patience.


Top Trolling Musky lures:

Depth Raider - Sucker

14" Jake - Shiner



Musky Fishing Report Jan 15th - 31st



Water Temps : 46 -49 *F


Weather / Water : The first cold weather of this winter has arrived bring with it cold rains and frozen reels. AM temps are in the 20's on average with a few days starting off in the teens. Afternoons have been reaching high 30's and 40's.

The colder weather has Melton Hill muskies making moves in search of forage. Steeper breaks and complex structures have been a major draw for actively feeding muskies. Tennessee only experiences a brief period of genuine winter conditions. But Tennessee musky tend to follow the same patterns of muskies anywhere in the habitat range when the cold finally sets in.




Most productive Melton Hill Musky Lures January 2020 15th - 31st


10" Suick - Black

You can always count on this old school musky presentation to put muskies in the net. With the right modifications and weighting Suicks are a deadly lure for Southern muskies.


Baby Depth Raider - Black Perch

Depth raiders area staple of any musky tackle box, but this smaller version is an excellent option when fishing in cold fronts and on shade based musky waters.


Magnum Bulldawg - Cisco

Cold water and big rubber musky fishing is nothing new but is a tactic that will always work.

Big rubber worked fast is a killer presentation for Tennessee musky fishing in the winter. These large lures can help you quickly find active fish holding on breaklines and cover.


Top Trolling Musky Lures :

Phantom Hex - Walleye

12" Jake - Silver Holographic



Musky Fishing Report February 2020



Water Temps : 49 - 53 *F


Weather / Water : Melton Hill and the surrounding areas have received record amounts of rain fall. Daily air temperatures have ranged from the low 20's to the high 50's. With the high volume of rainfall creeks and rivers are at full capacity and moving quickly. The creeks entering Melton Hill are heavily stained but bait fish can still be found staging outside of these creek mouths.

Water levels are far from stable as dam are spilling continuously to prevent flooding upstream.

Muskies can be found throughout the system using prime feeding locations adjacent to the current that is present in Melton Hill.




We found this last light lunker suspended in a current break staged adjacent to bait fish.


Most Productive Melton Hill Musky Lures February 2020


10" Posseidon - Perch

Ripped, twitched and erratic all the way to the boat seems to be the trick with this paddle tail rubber bait.


Baby Beaver Bait - Black

This funky ball of hair called the Baby Beaver sure looks goofy to me, but the muskies seem to like it. The Baby Beaver moves some water without being over the top and it's medium sized profile seems just right for Southern muskies.


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.


Magnum Bulldawg - Cisco

Cold water and big rubber musky fishing is nothing new but is a tactic that will always work.

Big rubber worked fast is a killer presentation for Tennessee musky fishing in the winter. These large lures can help you quickly find active fish holding on breaklines and cover.




Top Trolling Lures Febuary 2020 :

Reg. Bulldawg plus 2 oz lead - Cisco

8" Jake - Black Perch

10" Believer plus 2 oz. lead - Black



SOME GREAT BONUS FISH February 2020


I rarely discuss the by catch here in Tennessee but it can be very impressive. Being outside of the Northern Pike's habitat range is helpful as it eliminates those pesky juvenile hammer handles. But if you are on prime locations with lures that are reflective of the natural forage base you can encounter some other amazing species while perusing Tennessee Muskies.

Trophy class Striper, Walleye and Largemouth bass are not uncommon and should be expected if you are dialed in on prime structural elements. Unbeknown to most anglers Tennessee has turned out the world record Small Mouth, Walleye, Black Crappie, Land Locked Striper and I'm sure a few other species along the way. I am 100% a Musky Guy, you will never find me dreaming of any other species. But I'm never mad when a trophy class fish finds it's way into my boat.



Musky Fishing Report March 1 - 15th



Water Temps : 48 - 53


Weather / Water : We are still feeling the effects of heavy winter rains as water levels often fluctuate to prevent flooding. Water clarity and temp have been a moving target and are based solely on the amount of water that is being released each day.


Most Productive Musky Lures :


Joe Bucher Shallow Raider White Belly Perch

The shallow raider twitched near cover is deadly for early spring time muskies.


JB Rattler : White

The JB Rattler is a beefed up rattle trap that is perfect for Southern Musky fishing.

Fast straight retrieves are all it takes to make this thing dance.


7" Suick : Walleye

Pull, Pull, Pause is about all it takes to put a trophy spring time musky in the net with this smaller sized Suick.


10" Posseidon - Perch

Ripped, twitched and erratic all the way to the boat seems to be the trick with this paddle tail rubber bait. This is a great option for pulling up sluggish muskies.



Top March Trollers :

Baby Depth Raider : Baitfish

Phantom Hex : Walleye

JB Rattler : White

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Tennessee Muskie Fishing Guide Steven Paul