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  • Writer's pictureSteven Paul

Parksville Lake Musky Fishing

Parksville Lake Tennessee Musky Fishing

Curiosity got the best of me soon after hearing that TWRA intended on stocking Parksville Lake with muskies. Soon after the news broke I made the trek down south to check out the newest musky lake here in Tennessee. With no intentions of perusing the freshly stocked fish I simply spent my first day on Parksville soaking in the new terrain.

Within a few hours Parksville became my favorite lake in East Tennessee. Its plugging shoreline, rocky outcrops and crisp clear water simply scream muskies. The shore lines at Parksville lake are lined with timber that one could only describe as perfect. Full tree trunks seem to extended from nearly every inch of this pristine mountain lake. It would be an understatement to say that cover abounds on these waters. After this initial visit I could hardly stand the wait necessary to start chasing Tennessee Musky on Parksville Lake.

Jumping forward to to the present year of 2020.

Parksville Lake is the musky lake I had imagined and more.

The muskies in Parksville Lake are thriving. Over the course of the last few months I have taken guide clients to Parksville Lake to chase and had phenomenal results.

The tactics to catch musky there currently revolve around downsized presentations.

Small muskie lures like Giant Killers, Rattle Traps and 6" Phantoms are the perfect size for the thirty inch fish that seem to be behind every piece of timber on the lake. But as the months continue to tick by and the average size class of Parksville musky continue to growing the preferred presentations are sure to change.

Parksville Lake is the perfect addition to Tennessee Musky Fishing waters. The small size of this lake will take the difficulties out of seasonal pattering that abound on our larger waterways.

musky parksville lake tennessee

Recent TWRA Reports shed more light on this unique body of water.

Parksville Lake in Polk County was the final water within the historic musky range to be targeted for establishing a musky fishery. In October 2017, TWRA stocked 600 musky in Parksville Reservoir with an average size of 13 inches. In 2019, an additional stocking of 1,000 fish averaging just over eight and a half inches in length occurred.

The TWRA Region 3 Reservoir Fisheries Crew monitors fish populations in Parksville Reservoir annually and continue to track the progress of this restoration project. Recent data was collected during their semi-annual spring electrofishing surveys.

Region 3 Fisheries Reservoirs Manager Mike Jolley said, “Based on the reports gathered thus far, we are excited about the musky that are showing up as a result of this stocking project. We plan to stock more musky in Parksville in the future as fish are available. Our anglers are sharing successes too. We’ve received several photos and reports of fish over 30 inches.”

Musky have the potential to live relatively long lives and achieve large weights as adults. The current state record musky was caught on Melton Hill Reservoir on March 2, 2017 and weighed 43 lbs. 14 oz. TWRA restoration efforts for this native fish have been in existence since the 1980’s.

Stocked fish were obtained from the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife. Kentucky muskies are the sub-species that once occurred throughout tributaries of the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers.

Musky in Parksville Reservoir are managed under the statewide regulation creel limit of one fish per day creel limit and a 36 inch minimum length limit (MLL). Most musky anglers, however, encourage catch & release.

Musky in Parksville will likely reach the 36 inch minimum in three to six years. Musky tend to target sucker and shad species as food, which are available in Parksville. Parksville provides good habitat (e.g. laydowns, woody debris, river flow) which will further ensure the success of this musky stocking project.

Tennessee Musky Guide

Steven Paul



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