Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of encountering many muskie in both American and Canadian waters, but only near the borders with Canada. In those areas, the muskelunge is often called “the fish of a thousand casts.” In the hills of Kentucky, however, I discovered a special strain of huge muskie that are flourishing in a relatively small lake. Green River Lake is a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lake encompassing 8,210 acres at normal pool elevation with an average depth of 40 feet and a maximum depth of 85 feet. Normal pool elevation is 675 feet mean sea level and is controlled by the U. S Army Corps of Engineers and may fluctuate depending on rainfall.
Most of the shoreline at Green River Lake is undeveloped, hilly terrain with some exposed bedrock. The water in Green River Lake is moderately fertile and relatively clear with a greenish tint. Visible depths range from 8 to 12 feet in spring and summer, but excessive rain can stain the lake quickly.
Despite a good population of largemouth and smallmouth bass, muskie are the most sought after fish in the lake for visiting anglers, and for good reason. Most who have attempted to catch muskelunge in Canada or any of our border states will find the numbers of fish in Green River Lake to be far superior. In fact, more than 10 muskie over 30 inches long in a day is easily possible.
Though limited natural reproduction occurs in Green River Lake, stocking by state biologists significantly contributes to the population. According to the records, Green River Lake receives an annual stocking of approximately 2,800 13-inch muskie.
For most experienced anglers, fishing for muskie with larger lures in the shallower coves and creeks of Green River Lake should be easy. Also, after experiencing the poor caliber of guides on the lake, it is my opinion that one would be better served by bringing their own boat and fishing without a guide.
Green River Lake is located in central Kentucky and can be reached through connecting roads from Interstate 65 out of Nashville, Tennessee. Excellent lodging and boating facilities on the lake are provided by Emerald Isle Resort and Marina. They can be contacted by calling 888-815-2000. More information about the lake is available from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers by calling 270-465-4463.