By Captain Jim Durham

DATE OF REPORT: June 2024 . Provided 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 the world finds you and your family doing well!


Captain Jim’s StriperFun Guide Service Cumberland River Adventures fishes the Cumberland River in TN and KY for several reasons.

  • First, the Stripers are much larger in the Cumberland River system in TN and KY than other fresh water arears. Per the two State’s Wildlife Boards, 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.

In the cold waters of the Cumberland River, the caught fish survive very well and can be released unharmed. The average size Trout we use in TN for bait is 12 inches with some up to 16 inches long. The average size Gizzard Shad we use in KY is 10 inches and we occasionally use big Skip Jack up to 20 inches long (“yes” the Stripers in the Cumberland River are large enough to eat a 20-inch piece of 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!

As I advised above, throughout the year, it is not uncommon to see 40 or 50 pound “goliath” Stripers pulled from the beautiful waters of the Cumberland River. 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!


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 (19 guides on 18 waterways fishing 9 different species of fish) 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.