(May 2, 2018 - Cave Run Lake, KY)
On April 28th & 29th the first tournament of the 20th year and of the 2018 Professional Musky Tournament Trail season, Vitaminerals Spring Shootout was held at Cave Run Lake near Morehead, Kentucky. The nearly 200 anglers were hit with a combination of a cold front, dropping water levels, very unstable weather leading up to the event and topped by the muskies in the process of spawning for a tough bite. The lake was 3 feet above normal levels and the 57 degree water had two to three-foot visibility. Saturday also added to the tough conditions for fishing because of high winds up to 25 miles per hour which made it difficult to fish some of the spots because of poor boat control.
The exciting start to this year’s trail had a team that was in 10th place on day one with a 31.25-inch musky catch another musky on Sunday that was 38 inches and win in a come from behind fashion. The two anglers, brothers Tim and Brian Barker both locals and residents of Morehead, Ky and their first PMTT tournament ever. The Barker brothers bested the field of 95 teams by working black jerkbaits in shallow water and Bondy jigging baits 15 feet down in the water column, around baitfish pods in the standing timber.in their first PMTT, and the win which was worth $15,000 along with two beautiful trophies.
In second place with a 42.25-inch musky which was the big fish of the tournament worth $500 were Chris Riebe of South Elgin, IL. and Matt Snyder of Tower, MN. These to anglers used Lungen Lures .22 long and .22 short crankbaits that were perch and chartreuse in color while trolling just outside and on top of standing timber that had lots of baitfish. In third place were Darrel and Lance Seasor of Ashland, Kentucky with a 39.75-inch musky caught while jigging a chartreuse Bondy jigging bait in 14 to 20-foot depths in the standing timer that had baitfish in the area. In fourth place with a 39-inch musky were Jason Ritchie of Stanton, Kentucky and Scott Salchi of Wellington, Kentucky. These two anglers caught their musky on a small Slammer Crankbait while working the lure off of a shallow shelf and bringing the lure into deeper water. In fifth place rounding out the top five was Joe Restivo of Indiana and Bob Vandermeer of Toledo, Ohio with a 38.50-inch musky caught on a lemonhead colored Slammer crankbait. The two anglers said that they had caught their musky in cooler water than they had found anywhere on the lake, early in the morning in two feet of water. Under mostly sunny skoes, there was a total of 18 muskies caught at this year’s Vitaminerals Spring Shootout at Cave Run which was a very slow bite for a tournament that had 95 boats competing.
Tournament director Tim Widlacki thanked all of the PMTT’s fantastic sponsors especially Vitaminerals for sponsoring the tournament and Morehead Tourism for hosting the event. Also, Ranger Boats, Mercury Marine, Musky Hunter Magazine, Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce, Keyes Outdoors, Chaos Tackle and all of the associate and contributing sponsors. Please let these fine people know that you appreciate their promotional efforts in support of fresh waters most challenging fish and those extreme anglers who chase her on the first, best and only truly national professional musky tournament circuit, the PMTT.
Our next event will be in Eagle River, Wisconsin the Mercury Marine Summer Challenge on June 23rd & 24th. We hope that you will continue to follow the results of this exciting musky season. To obtain more information on becoming a member of the PMTT, or to view event photo album, please visit them on the Web @ www.promusky.com or call PMTT office @: 815-478-4092.