By Captain Jim Durham

Owner StriperFun Guide Service, Tennessee and Kentucky Walleye, Bass, Crappie and Muskie Charters,, Captain Jim Lures and Marine Electronics and much more.

Greetings to my readers! I hope that the world finds you and your family doing well!


The Laurel River Dam Trace is located in the Daniel Boone National Forest. We fish for stripers in the “cold” trace waters that flow out of the Laurel Lake Dam for a mile then into the Cumberland River! This area is located only 25 minutes from Corbin KY, 20 minutes north of Jellico TN and only 55 minutes south of Lexington KY. We run 3 boats there. Limits are caught frequently, with some 30 to 40 fish days as well (catch and release is allowed)! Prime season is July and August!


Captain Jim’s StriperFun Guide Service Cumberland River Adventures fishes in he Cumberland River for several reasons.

• First, the stripers are much larger in the Cumberland River system than other freshwater arears. There is an average of over 15 Stripers caught annually in excess of 50 pounds and 40-pound fish are not uncommon. The smallest fish we generally catch daily is over 3 feet long! These fish mostly eat high protein rainbow trout, large gizzard shad and skip jack and also fight the current all day, making them much heavier and stronger than “lake” fish.

• TN allows the use of rainbow trout as bait and we catch large gizzard shad in the allowed creeks and use them in the KY waters. We use 1 to 3 pound bait.

When a big river striper comes after a large bait, the bait will be tail dancing all over the surface trying to get a way. Sometimes the “dance” will last half a minute (as you watch the big predator circling the prey!) until the striper finally gets the big bait then its “kabam”!! The rod gets yanked down and the reel is screaming! We also catch huge fish casting Captain Jim Special (see our website store) Striper Magic “glide” baits and my mini umbrella rigs!

This fishing is not for the faint of heart however! These big fish hit like freight trains, making long powerful runs in the constantly flowing waters of the river! We use large rods, heavy duty reels, 50-pound test line and titanium hooks! June, July, August, September and October are great months to fish!

It is great to be alive and be a “free” American! I look forward to seeing all of you this year on the water. Always remember to stop and shake the hand of a person in uniform or wearing garb that shows they are a veteran! Their service is why you speak English, can vote and can enjoy the freedoms you do!

Until next time, blue skies and tight lines!

With full State licensing and insurance, all Captain Jim’s Guide Service guides (16 guides on 16 waterways) can take you on a safe, fun and unforgettable fishing adventure! Check out all of our fishing services as well as our exclusive “online” store at or call 931-403-2501 to make reservations today.