NASH & DONAR WIN 2023 PMTT / LIEF LABS SPRING SHOOTOUT
Category: Muskie Fishing Tips
May 3rd, 2023 by sworrall
Modified May 3rd, 2023 at 9:27 AM
The Professional Musky Tournament Trail opened their historic 25th Season with a visit to the “Musky Capital of the South”, Cave Run Lake in Morehead, Ky. This annual event, hosted by the Morehead Tourism Commission typically sees 200 musky anglers descend into the area to kick of the PMTT season each spring. The weather seemed good with partly to mostly cloudy skies and air temps in the 60’s but with the muskies recovering from the spawn and the approaching weather fronts the anglers weren’t sure exactly what the bite would be like. Regardless of the adverse conditions, somebody always seems to figure it out, connects the dots and puts a fish or two on the board.
Kevin Nash of Aurora, IL. and Jarod Donar of Oregon, WI, seasoned PMTT veterans and extremely familiar with these waters and the diverse conditions the spring time conditions can create. “We did what we do. Anyone that knows me over the years, it is not that much of a secret”, stated Nash. The duo likes to be methodical and work their target areas extremely slow by covering their spots thoroughly instead of running and gunning searching for active fish.
“Kevin in the front of the boat throws ten-inch Jake crankbaits to the timber shorelines and twitches them back to the boat. He basically hits the shore and works the bait all the way back to the boat. I was throwing rubber in the back as a follow up,” stated Donar. The team usually concentrates on the darker, warmer waters of the Beaver Creek area in the southern portion of Cave Run Lake. “We know the muskies are there this time of year in the flooded timber. It only makes sense to concentrate our efforts there and get them to eventually hit,” stated Nash.
Nash and Donar’s pattern paid off huge as they boated a tournament record 5 muskies up to 46.25” while they outdistanced the competition in the victory. To give an example of how dominate they were, Nash and Donar would have won the tournament with just their two smallest of the five muskies. With the Recon Boats Bonus Bucks of $1,000 for the winners, TTAP, big fish and Recon Boats Big Fish bonus, put their total prize to $18,000.
2nd Place: Grant Blumreich of Lindstrom, Mn. & Blake Bushman of Forest Lake, Mn. doubled up on Saturday with two muskies up to 37.75”. They were ripping crankbaits down deep to hit the weed tops in 8’-10’ of water. This was solid enough to give them the 2nd place finish and over $4,000.
3rd Place: Darrell Seasor of Morehead, Ky. & Chad Conway of Morehead, Ky adapted to the coming fronts and boat two muskies up to 37” on Sunday. While jigging rubber in deep water of 30’ they connect on the two muskies which landed them in 3rd place and almost $3,000.
4th Place: Gus & Max Mantey of Eagle River, Wi were also jigging and boat one musky each day. Boating two muskies up to 37.50” was enough to get them into 5th place and over $2,000.
5th Place: Pete Blicharz & Chris Blicharz, both from Three Lakes, Wi boated the biggest fish of the tournament at 46.75” while working rubber baits off the shorelines. With the Recon Boats Big Fish $1,000 Bonus Bucks, TTAP bonus and Big Fish of the day, their 5th place finish netted the $4,000
2023 LIEF LABS SPRING SHOOTOUT FINAL STANDINGS
25 TOTAL MUSKIES REGISTERED & RELEASED
MUSKY HUNTER MAGAZINE’S BIG FISH AWARD – 46.75-INCHES – Chris & Pete Blicharz
TTAP BONUS FISH – 46.75″ Chris & Pete Blicharz
TTAP BONUS TEAM – Kevin Nash & Jarod Donar