Search
  • Steven Paul

Melton Hill Muskie Fishing Report 2020

Updated: Sep 12

Melton Hill Fishing Report 2020

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

















Check out Steven Paul Fishing with Musky Legend, Fishing Hall of Fame Angler and personal friend Joe Bucher. Featured on the TV program "Fishing with Joe Bucher"






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.


Melton Hill Musky Fishing Report 2020 : April 1- 15th

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



Melton Hill Musky Fishing Report March 15th - 31st




Water Temps : 49-53


Musky Weather Report : The weather has been all over the map for the end of March 2020.

Cold, Hot, Sleet, High Winds, 80 degrees... you name it, it has been a grab bag of conditions.


Most productive Tennessee Musky Lures :


Hands down the Joe Bucher Shallow Raider is an early spring musky slayer.

Silver and Tennessee Shad seem to be a favorite of Tennessee Muskies!


Standard Bull Dawgs : Walleye / Cisco slow ripping and getting in tight with cover seems.





Top March Trolling Lures :


Super Shad Rap : Fire Tiger this classic musky bait gets done regardless of trolling speed or conditions.


Bull Dawg plus 2 oz. Lead. Trolling bulldawgs is a a scary good tactic for slow or sluggish muskies.


Depth Raider : Sucker Pattern : Slow trolling Depth Raiders is a great tactic when making contact with structure is a factor.


Melton Hill Musky Fishing Report 2020 : April 1- 15th




Covid 19 is a major issue here in Tennessee. I have been social distancing by staying on the boat and landing slobs.


The weather has been pleasant with AM temps in the mid to high 40's and afternoons reaching 60 ish.


Most days I have fished solo due to the current state of affairs.


The most productive presentations have been.


Jointed Shallow Raiders : Shimmer Shad / Miller Perch

Twitching followed by a straight retrieve has put muskies in the net.


Dead Head Tackle : Widow Maker : Red Horse Sucker

This heavy weight glider demands attention and seems to wake up sluggish muskies.


Jr's Tackle Company : Double 9 bucktails : Green / Black slow rolling is super easy with these heavy bucktails.




Trolling :


Baby Depth Raiders in the 10 - 12 foot zone.


Phantom Hex 7" : Walleye : Banging this lure into structure is a great way to trigger strikes.



Melton Hill Muskie Fishing Report 2020 : April 16th - 30




Covid 19 has impacted schedules and made travel for many guests difficult, but Tennessee Musky Fishing is in Full Swing.


The majority of muskies are post spawn as of this report. I can not say that all muskies in the state have spawned at this point but the active fish I have encountered where either small aggressive juveniles, smaller males or roughed up post spawn large females.


Water Temps 52-59


Weather:

Conditions have been decent but a few major storms have made for sloppy water clarity.

These major frontal systems have had the typical pre frontal hot musky bite followed by slow fish in cold front conditions.


Most Productive lures for Melton Hill Muskies :

JB Rattler : Miller Perch


Joe Bucher Shallow Raider : White Twitched over shallow cover.


6" Phantom : Perch



www.Musky360.com


Best Trolling Lures April 15th - 30th


JB Rattler Perch with a Dipsy Diver for deeper running depths.


22. Short Perch


Mepps Giants Killer White


All trolling fish in this time period where taken on the first major break adjacent from flats and shelves. Tight boats control and lure placement is the key to early season trolling.



MUSKY REPORT MAY 1st - 15th


tennessee musky fishing guide

Eric W. nailed this Monster Tennessee Musky in the first turn of the figure eight.


Melton Hill Weather and Water :

A chilly May is off to a hot start. Weather patterns have been slightly odd this year leading to temps that are unseasonably cool. AM temps in the low 40's and at times high 30's have been occurring regularly. Water temps have fluctuated drastically due to these odd weather patterns surface temps have ranged from high 40's to low 60's depending on what weather shifts have occurred.



Tennessee Musky

Top producing musky lures for May :


Baby Depth Raider - Color - Bait Fish

This is the perfect presentation for sluggish fish in cold front conditions. You can check out the tactics in the video below featuring Joe Bucher and Steven Paul.









Jim S. caught his new personal best on a Willow Buck that was quickly retrieved parallel to cover. Great Job Jim !!!



Top Trolling

Phantom Hex - Walleye

JB Rattler - Black

Super Shad Rap - Silver


Spring time trolling is all about speed and tight boat control. Focus on tight turns that leave lures hanging in corners and near cover. I also set my drags looser in the spring. Muskies at times will merely nip at lures in the spring and a tight drag tends to pull the lure out of their beaks. I set my drag just slightly loose so that a "nipper" can hold on to the bait just a smidgen longer.

The fish below barley pulled any drag when it hit a trolled JB Rattler that was contouring major structure. We heard the reel click twice, but the fish was hooked when it decided to turn away from the boat. Be prepared for light strikes and set your gear accordingly.



Melton Hill Fishing Report May 15th - 31st





Weather & Water : Temperatures have climbed quickly after some unseasonable cold, but things seem to have leveled out. Water temps are in the 60's and low 70's and can fluctuate with rain fall. Water clarity is good and weed beds are starting to take shape.


Top Producing Lure


Joe Bucher Top Raider : Color Mouse

It doesn't get any simpler than a Top Raider, active muskies can't seem to resist this class top water.


700 Series Buchertail : Color Goldielocks

This single blade bucktail seems to excel in all levels of water clarity.


Derek and his boys landed this giant Tennessee Musky on a Joe Bucher 700 Buchertail.


Top Trolling Musky Lures :

Phantom Hex 7' color Walleye

JB Rattler color Perch

10" Jake color Holoform Superman

Spring time trolling is all about speed and tight boat control. Focus on tight turns that leave lures hanging in corners and near cover. I also set my drags looser in the spring. Muskies at times will merely nip at lures in the spring and a tight drag tends to pull the lure out of their beaks. I set my drag just slightly loose so that a "nipper" can hold on to the bait just a smidgen longer.




Larry with an absolute monster Tennessee Musky. This muskie demolished a Buchertail 700.



JUNE 1st - 15th 2020 Musky Report


Tennessee Musky Fishing Weather and Water : Temps are on the rise and muskies are on the move. Air temps are in the the high 70's and have reached the 90's. Water temps should be observed to protect muskies. Weather patterns are stable and are pretty much average Southern Musky Conditions.


Summer patterns are in full swing and muskies are looking for big meals. Deeper breaks, points and structure with deep water near is the key to finding actively feeding fish. Bait school are pelagic at times and so patterns can change quickly depending on water and weather conditions.


Top Producing Melton Hill Musky Lures for June 2020


9" Shallow Raider Color Black

This magnum crank bait is made to pull in big muskies. This can be jerked twitched or worked in a straight retrieve.


Magnum Bucktails : Any color, burning big bucktails is a surefire summer tactic.


Bondy Orba : This soft plastic and blade combo is a unique presentation that stands out from the crowd.

Top trolling lures

7" Phantom Hex : Walleye

Super Shad Raps : Fire Tiger

Magnum Bucktails : Any color


Short line trolling is a great option when temps are high.

Knowing how to mirror contours with precise boat control is the key to triggering strikes.

Using the right diameter line on your trolling rods can help immensely when your trying to hit tight target depths.


JUNE 15th - 30th 2020 Musky Report


Tennessee Musky Fishing Weather and Water : Temps are on the rise and muskies are on the move. Air temps are in the the high 80's and have reached the 90's. Water temps should be observed to protect muskies : Water surface temperatures at 80 degrees or higher should be avoided to prevent muskie mortality. The weather has been stable with just a few afternoon storms popping on occasion. Water temps have been safe and stable.



Bill and his sons with a Trophy Tennessee Musky.

Late June is a great time for larger presentations, big blades and high speed are a classic combo that still put muskies in the net.


Top Presentations for June

9" Shallow Raider Color Black

This magnum crank bait is made to pull in big muskies. This can be jerked twitched or worked in a straight retrieve.


Bucktails : Any color, burning big bucktails is a surefire summer tactic.


Hawg Seekers : These dive and rise baits works very well around dense cover.




Steve & The Musky Guru's Southern Adventure


With the Canadian border closed Tyler Andrews "The Musky Guru" decided to come join me on the boat for a few days. We where able to film some segments for the Musky 360 app and put some nice fish in the boat. Musky fishing isn't always about catching fish. Enjoying your time on the water and having a ton of laughs with your boat partner is way more important than catching muskies....but we did that as well. If you want to check out videos, tips, tricks and a few stupid jokes from out Southern Musky Adventure you can catch them on the Free Musky 360 app.




Tennessee Musky Fishing

Musky Fishing Tennessee

Musky Report July 1st-30th


tennessee musky fishing


Water temps quickly surpassed the "musky safe zone" by early July. Water temps that exceed the 79 degree mark have been observed to have an adverse effect on muskies. High surface temps can send muskies into shock if they are pulled out of cool deeper waters which is often the case in Tennessee.


Our weather has been the typical stable summer mix of warm days with thunder storms forming nearly on a daily basis.


Prior to the warm water period muskies could be found on deeper breaks and sloping cover.


Top producing July lures :

Joe Bucher Depth Raider 8" Color Sucker

Mepps Giants Killer Color Black / Black

Mag Bull Dawg Color Cisco


Top Trolling Producers :

Baby Depth Raider : Plum

Super Shad Rap : Black

Phantom Hex : Walleye


Musky Fishing Tennessee

August 1st - 15th

Melton Hill Fishing Report


August heat can be problematic on many musky waters, please use common sense and seek cool waters when perusing muskies during this time of year.


Weather here is warm with most days ending in a short but dramatic thunderstorm.

Fronts have been shifting due to weather moving in from the south disrupting the typical West to East movements of our weather patterns. These shifting fronts have made finding actively feeding fish a top priority as many seek refuge in deeper holes as the weather continues to fluctuate.



Tennessee Musky Fishing

Top Producing Lure Aug. 1st- 15th

Joe Bucher Slopmaster - Black / Green white trailer

Joe Bucher Baby Depth Raider - Plum Shad

Joe Bucher Baby Shallow Raider - Shimmer Shad



Fist Time Musky Fishing Tennessee River Muskie

August 16th - 31st

Melton Hill Fishing Report


August heat can be problematic on many musky waters, please use common sense and seek cool waters when perusing muskies during this time of year.


Weather has been a mix of dead flat calm and powerful thunderstorms with little in between.

Adjusting to these shifting fronts is the key to locating active muskies.




9" Shallow Raider Color Black

This magnum crank bait is made to pull in big muskies. This can be jerked twitched or worked in a straight retrieve. Running lighter hooks makes 9" Shallow Raiders a great lure in and around weeds. The lighter hooks makes the bait rise fast wich keeps the weeds off and the muskies biting.


Magnum Bucktails : Any color, burning big bucktails is a surefire summer tactic. Speed and depth control can be achieved with rod angle and mods to bucktails to get them right in the sweet spot.


Bondy Orba : This soft plastic and blade combo is a unique presentation that stands out from the crowd. This is a great big blade alternative with tons of thumb.




Top Trolling

Slop Master Spinner Baits : Black / Black

5" Shallow Raiders : Blue Black Shad

Super Shad Rap : Fire Tiger


Tennessee Muskie Fishing Report Sept 1st - 15th


Air temps are finally dropping here in Tennessee so more water is becoming available to fish.

Weather has been absolutely stalled following the hurricanes in the gulf earlier in the month. This system pushed intense storms northward then left us with high blue skies and little to no wind for days. These conditions are tough but we where able to get it done and put some trophy Tennessee Muskies in the net.





Top Producing Lures :

Lee Lures Leviathan 8" Auto Perch Heavy Weights

This Lee Lures dive and rise is killer for negative and neutral muskies hat are less than willing to chase down quicker moving lures.


Joe Bucher Big Foot Mag Tinsel

Big blades and big skirts that pull like a mac truck and put muskies in the net.


5" ShallowRaider White Belly Perch

The Shallow Raider is the ultimate twitch bait when muskies are wanting the perfect sized snack. Twitch it near weeds and wood in a quick manner to pull muskies up from their haunts.



Tennessee Musky Fly Fishing


Top Producing Muskie Flies so far this month have been 7" Bulk Heads in Black and 10" White streamers.


Top Trolling Producers :

Baby Depth Raider : Orange Belly Perch

Super Shad Rap : Black


Musky Logo.jpg

Copyright

Tennessee Musky Fishing 2019

Tennessee Muskie Fishing

Tennessee Musky Fishing

Tennessee Muskie Fishing Guide Steven Paul