Some big muskie from the Kinniconick

G. Sam Piatt - PDT Outdoors Columnist



I don’t know that it was ever documented, but the late Muskie Joe Stamper claimed to hold the record for the largest muskie ever caught on Kinniconick Creek.

He said it weighed 32 pounds and fed 25 people at the big fry he held on the grounds of his little cabin on the stream bank.

Marcus McCleese of Olive Hill – on a cold February day in 1972 – came closer than anyone to breaking Joe’s record.

February? Yes, he and Arnold Greenhill and another fisherman broke the ice on the stream’s Goodwin Eddy to get their boat in. McCleese said he caught it on a spoon.

Mrs. Roe of Roe’s grocery at Camp Dix said the anglers brought the muskie into her store to weigh.

“Our scales didn’t go down far enough to weigh it,” Mrs. Roe told me in February 1972. “But we measured it. It was 52 and one-half inches long. He came back later and told me it weighed just a fraction over 31 pounds.”

Mrs. Roe said McCleese and the others had been fishing Kinniconick all winter, “Even on the day when the temperature here dropped to 14 below.”

Anyone fishing that kind of weather deserves a good catch now and then.

Had a fish that long been caught in the spring, after fattening up on suckers and carp, it would most likely have exceeded Joe’s record by 10 pounds or more.

The Kentucky record in 1972 stood at 39 pounds, 14 ounces. It was caught in 1969 from Green River Lake.

The state record now is the 47-pouder caught eight years ago from Cave Run Lake.


Soc and I arrived at the starting gate of the Soc & Sam Canoe and Kayak race on the Little Sandy River shortly before the 9 a.m. man your paddles call by Tom Clay.

We arrived to a pleasant surprise. The first three races of the annual event attracted only five canoes and 10 paddlers, along with one kayak year before last.

But now we watched feverish activity as contestants hurried to get their boats in the water from the launching ramp in the shadow of the Raccoon Bridge.

The count showed 15 kayaks, five canoes, and 23 paddlers taking off on the six-mile run down the river to the take-out point at the Greenup boat ramp.

The canoe winners were Greg Adkins and his son, Bryce, who finished the run in one hour and 16 minutes.

It was the fourth consecutive first-place winner for Adkins. His partner in those first three wins was Aaron Collier. This year Aaron was unable to make it and Bryce did a good job of filling in by digging the paddle deep and strong.

Kevin Martin and Luke Watters were second, and Jim Rogers came in third despite paddling his canoe all alone.

When two people are in a canoe, the more experienced canoeist paddles in the back and is responsible for steering the canoe. The paddler in the front should only paddle on one side and is responsible for providing power.

The paddler in the back should paddle on the opposite side of the paddler in the front and try to paddle in tandem with the rhythm of the front paddler. Occasionally the rear paddler may have to switch sides to maintain consistent steering.

In the kayak division, Phillip Hager was first (I didn’t get the time), Missy Hager second and Tim Tolliver third.

All three were in identical Wilderness Pungo 120 kayaks, which cost about $800 each.

Kayaks are becoming more and more popular and a suitable one can be purchased for about $150. And canoe paddling for pleasure or fishing appears to be making a comeback.

It would be nice next year to see double the amount of contestants paddling down this stretch of the under-used Little Sandy River.

Tom Clay organized the race four years ago and with the help of Paul Verespy continues to supervise the event.

All of the proceeds from the $10 entry fee per paddler go to help the veterans cemetery located off the south end of the Industrial Parkway.


The final phase of gaining the Hunter Education Card necessary – in addition to licenses and permits – to hunt deer and other wild game in Kentucky will be held on the main shooting range at the Northeast Kentucky Fish & Game Association club grounds southwest of Cannonsburg in Boyd County.

It’s scheduled for Thursday Oct. 13. It will begin at 5 p.m. and run until completion.

This last session involves a written test in addition to firing the guns.

Those participating must have already completed the first phase of the program, either where courses are held or on the Internet. They must also have preregistered, which can be done on line.

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources web site lists all the details for completing the course and registration. Write that in the search line or write in

The regulations require that all hunters born on or after January 1, 1975 shall while hunting carry a valid hunter education course completion card in addition to the appropriate Kentucky hunting license.

A bow hunter not in possession of a firearm may carry a “National Bowhunter Education Program” course completion card in lieu of the hunter education card.

Courses are led by certified hunter education instructors at various locations throughout the state. The hunter education course includes study in Hunter Ethics, Wildlife Conservation and Identification, Field Care of Game, First Aid, Firearm Safety, Archery and Muzzleloading.

All materials including firearms and ammunition are provided at no charge.

For more information call instructor Gene Lebrun at

606-585-4012, or the department at 1-800-858-1549.


G. Sam Piatt

PDT Outdoors Columnist

Reach G. SAM PIATT at (606) 932-3619 or

Reach G. SAM PIATT at (606) 932-3619 or