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Bluebasser86

Hazel Creek Lake

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Anyone been to Hazel Creek lately? I'll be there for the first time in almost 10 years next week chasing the big bass around that I know live in there and maybe some muskie. I know a few things that used to work out there but anyone with more recent info on what they're eating out there would be great. I'm strictly catch and release and I understand if someone has some info and would rather send me a PM instead of posting it on the forum.

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Did you fish Hazel Creek up here near Kirksville? I've had limited success this year with huge and plastics. Did anything work well for you? Just started fishing again and wondering what might work for you out there?

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Well Chris and I got back from Hazel Creek this afternoon. We're tired and our thumbs are torn up and even a little cut up. We got out before dark Tuesday morning and tried some bowfishing. The wind was already bad and it was tough to see in the murky water. I shot 2 grass carp in the 40lb range but both of them pulled off. Once the sun started to get up we started getting to the main attraction. We caught several fish that were much smaller than I expected but it didn't take long before I got one of the healthy bass that we were after on a pit boss.

I was getting quite a few small ones on a LC RC 2 squarebill but on one small point the fish I thought was a little nicer bass turned out to be a pretty little muskie.

The fish of 10,000 casts proved to not be very finicky this trip. Moving on, I missed a good fish on a tube and we caught a few more small ones when I got the first keeper of the trip off a tree in about 8 feet of water. 18" and a little over 3 pounds.

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It got tough from there as the sun came up. I caught another muskie on a spinnerbait about the same size as my first but it squirted out of my hands and back into the water before we got a picture. We decided to get off the lake until the afternoon when it cooled off a little.

Once we got back we started about the same speed. We got a few small ones flipping trees. I pitched to a laid down tree with a 7" Rage Andaconda and got thumped. Stuck a good fish that pulled like it was twice it's size. Chris lipped her for me, got a weight and a couple pictures and put her back. 19.5" and 5 pounds even.

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We tossed some deep runners on a flat and caught a couple dinks and I had a muskie chase mine to the boat and follow for 3 or 4 figure 8's before it sank out of sight. It was starting to get dark and Chris was throwing a spinnerbait in a cove between some stumps while I was doing the same with a spinnerbait. Right as his buzzbait got to the boat it sounded like he tossed a brick in the water and mayhem set in at boatside as his first muskie ever strained his bass gear while he tried to keep it out of the trees. He did a great job keeper her away from all the obstacles and I slid the net under her. We didn't really plan on catching any muskie so we didn't have anything to measure any longer than my 22" measuring board but it was probably 30-32 inches and 7-9 pounds.

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Not sure what had happened to its gills but it didn't seem to be hurting it any as it swam away with no problems.

There's 1 island on the lake I wanted to try as it was about dark because it has deep water all around and then gets really shallow quickly around it but doesn't have any cover. I was thinking maybe they'd be up there pushing shad towards the shallows and feeding. Sticking with the same baits, Chris tossed his buzzbait up shallow and a huge head and mouthful of teeth engulfed his bait and it was on again . This one was obviously bigger and much thicker than the first and Chris got to enjoy the fight a little more in the open water. This one was probably around 32-34 inches and 10-12 pounds.

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Next day with the memory of Chris' buzzbait muskies fresh in my mind I decided to try a big chopper bait for muskies, I was not expecting the 6" bass that pulled my bait down at all.

We got some small ones when I picked my cranking rod back up. I was tossing a LC RC 1.5 when I got slammed. Thought it was a good bass, turned out to be this 28-30 inch, 7lb muskie.

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We got back to the same area Chris caught his first muskie the night before when he tossed a 10" power worm at a stump and slammed into a good fish. She steam rolled to some other stumps and got his line around them. Luckily he had a great guy on the trolling motor that got him over there in time and we got her in the boat. Another stout fish that rang up 5lbs even. She looked like she had just done spawning with her bloody tail

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Another long spell of a few small fish here and there when I pitched into a brushpile with a 7" BPS Stick-O and got thumped.

She wrapped me up in the brushpile and wouldn't budge. While I was pulling on her she came up and got wrapped higher in the brushpile. I took my hat and sunglasses on and laid on my stomach and reached as far as I could but all I could grab was her tail. She ca

me off of that limb and swam further down in the tree. I could lift the tree so I just started pulling the tree up and Chris lifted it high enough I could see her again. So I leaned in head first up to my chest and finally got a grip on her and pulled her out. Don't think I've ever worked that hard for a fish. 20 1/2 inches and 5 1/2 pounds was my biggest bass of the trip.

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After going back to the hotel to wait out the mid-day lull we were back at it. I started off fast, catching this this fish out of a culvert on a Yum Wooly Bug. It was 3lbs 6 ozs.

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It was a slow evening for bigger fish after that. Chris was pitching a tube and got thumped when he tried to reel in. Thought it was a nice bass but turned out to be another little muskie. The fish had the line wrapped around it's teeth, not sure how it didn't cut him off.

That was it for bigger fish that night.

Last morning we were greeted by much nicer fishing weather. Clouds, drizzle, much less wind, and 10 degrees cooler than it had been had the fish biting. About 30 yards down from where I'd caught my first 5 pounder I pulled my Rage craw over a lay down and got popped. She was one the top almost instantly before she dug back down for the tree. It's crazy how strong the fish in that lake were but I still managed to keep her out of the tree. 20" and 4lbs 14ozs and super thick and healthy looking.

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I still had my big muskie chopper bait when we got back to the flat that I'd had a muskie chase my crankbait to the boat the day before so I thought I'd toss it. First cast I cranked about 15 feet when it blasted. One of the coolest and most exciting strikes I've ever seen but it didn't connect with my bait, just knocked it about 10 feet in the air . With the perfect weather I wanted to go to the island where Chris had caught his biggest muskie and toss my topwater around it. We made a lap around with no love for my chopper. I knew there had to be fish up there so I switched to a black and orange bucktail. I made a few casts before I launched one up to the same spot Chris' fish was at. I looked away when I started my retrieve and right when I looked back a huge wake kicked up behind my bait. I sped up my retrieve and her dorsal and tail fin popped out of the water when she threw water and sped forward and smashed it. It was obviously the biggest one we'd seen this trip and my biggest I'd ever hooked. After an intense battle and some debating with each other if it would fit in the net, Chris got the net under her and just barely got her to fit. She was super thick and heavy, around 38-40 inches and 15 pounds. Finally my first legal sized muskie in Missouri! I haven't shaken that bad during and after the fight with a fish in a long time.

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Shortly after that the sun came out and started to get humid again. I jumped off a bass around 4lbs and Chris finally got a good fish to eat a crankbait, probably the only one over 2 pounds of the dozens we caught on a cranks.

After that we started cranking and I got slammed, another little muskie, my 5th and our 8th of the 3 day trip.

I hooked and lost another muskie on the same crankbait that was a little bigger and Chris had another 30 incher chase his worm over a lay down and almost to the boat but didn't eat. It was a great trip despite the wind and hot weather.

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