MARCH 18TH & 19TH 2017

The first event in the 2017 Trail is the IMTT Spring Classic Tournament on Kinkaid Lake.
Located in southwestern Illinois’ Jackson County, Kinkaid Lake is approximately 5 miles
north of Murphysboro and 100 miles southeast of St. Louis. Built in 1968, the lake encompasses approximately 2,750 acres. With over 90 miles of shoreline, water depths to 75 feet, and an abundance of gizzard shad and spotted suckers, Kinkaid’s Muskies grow quickly due to the nearly year around growing season.

“Natural strain” Muskies were first stocked at Kinkaid Lake in 1985 and the lake began producing fish up to 40 inches in length by 1990 (after only five years of growth). In November 1998 construction of a spillway retention barrier was completed. The spillway retention barrier was designed to keep the Muskies in the lake (when the lake overflows into the spillway) but also offers the added benefit of keeping larger walleye, bass, crappie, and striped bass from escaping. Kinkaid is the “home waters” of the Shawnee Muskie Hunters Chapter of Muskies Inc.
Kinkaid is blessed with outstanding weed cover, including Eurasian Water Milfoil, Sago Pondweed, Water Primrose, Longleaf Pondweed and Coontail. In addition to weeds, many arms of the lake have standing timber that provides excellent Muskie cover. Many of these trees have now broken off at or just below the surface, so boaters should be careful when navigating timbered arms. Boat propellers and transducers can become victims of Kinkaid’s “invisible timber”.

The IMTT Spring Classic is one of the most popular events on the entire trail drawing contestants from throughout the Midwest as well as southern states like Georgia & Alabama. In addition to being on a great lake, this event is a great cure for cabin fever after being “cooped up” all winter. We have had several teams travel from Wisconsin in recent years to fish the IMTT Spring Classic. It gives these “Up North” anglers the chance to scratch their “Muskie itch” almost two and a half months prior to the Wisconsin opener and in most years, at a time when their favorite flowages are still frozen solid.

In March the Muskies have usually moved into the shallower portions of the lake in preparation for the spawn. Even though Muskies don’t naturally reproduce in Kinkaid, they still go through the spawn ritual. The Johnson Creek area can be very productive if the water is clear, and the Paul Ice/water treatment plant area is usually busy at this early season tournament. From late February through March, one of the most popular baits are lipless rattle baits such as Bill Lewis ‘Rat-L-Traps’ and Tony Grant’s ‘Rattling Shad’ & ‘Fat Belly Rattlers’. Other popular early season baits include glide baits like ERC ‘Hell Hounds’ and softtail ‘Phantoms’.

Friday evening registration will be at the America’s Best motel in Murphysboro.
The Saturday evening group dinner will be at the Murphysboro VFW post.

Contact Kyle Kroening at 505-252-0693 or kylek4215@gmail.com for more details.