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Further North

A musky a day keeps the grumpies away...

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...or Seven Muskies in Seven Days, The Way to a Happy Heart.

Wasn't quite a musky a day, I zeroed on Thursday after loosing a mid 30's fish at the boat, but I'd caught two on Wednesday, so I kept my average up.

Nothing huge, started with a 37" right away Saturday night, then a 22" on Sunday, then a 30", a 29", a 27" and 9", skipped Thursday per above and finished with a 34". All were fat, healthy fish, only managed the 29" on a fly, but it was one of mine, and my fishing partner caught a 37" on one of my flies too, so that was cool. No, the 9" isn't a typo...and that was with the tail pinched...cutest little toothy fish I've ever seen.

Typical Canadian weather: got clobbered by a storm on the way to the island and soaked everything in the boat that wasn't wrapped in plastic, including me and my fishing partner. Sunny, muggy and hot Sunday and Monday, with buckets-o-skeeters at night to match. Temp dropped 20 degrees and rain and wind kicked us around Tuesday and Wednesday...smallies turned off hard, but musky follows came way up. Had 11 fish follow on Tuesday, 9 on Wed. I can live with that... Sunny and warmer on Thursday, which slowed things down, and about the same on Friday, but more follows.

At one point on Wednesday we had two muskies taking turns following everything we threw at them for about 45 minutes. We saw a low 30s fish first, got it to follow a 2nd time, then a high 40s mama came out to play. Tried 4 different flies, spoons, inline spinners, top-water plugs and flies (thought my fishing partner was gonna fill his pants when the big girl came up and stared at his musky popper. No love though, moved on to other spots.

Another cool thing - we were working a spot where a tree had fallen off a point - musky city to anyone who's fished for them and a mid 30s musky followed a #5 Mepps out to the boat...we worked her on a big orange fly, a red/white Doctor Spoon and red/white fly. No love (went back and caught her Friday, that was my 34") but at one point we lost sight of her and I went to move the boat off the tree further...and she was hanging off the bow, staring at the trolling motor. She actually tilted down and followed a bit when I bumped it to move us. Proof they're not afraid of anything...

My best fish of the trip was a 38" pike that looked like it'd just eaten a bag of bunnies. Caught her on my 2nd cast Tuesday morning in a spot we'd had a follow on Sunday.

59714c1ae73b3_LOTW38880x600.thumb.jpg.56eaa8ea619f5598cac0d23a0a2cb922.jpg

 

Our most productive pattern was to approach a spot, work it with gear, working up in size to see if we got a follow, then try flies. We might have done better on flies if we hadn't done this...but I'm glad we didn't. Switching back and forth is lot easier on my 55 year old body that either chucking gear or flies for 6 days straight. Mixing it up when stuff starts get sore made a difference. I'm happy to report that Humminbird's SmartStrike works exactly as advertised. Cut out a lot searching through unproductive water once you got on the pattern for the day.

Biggest fish for the week was a 49 1/2" monster caught by our one of our cabin mates on Friday afternoon. Weird catch...the fish was feeding on something on the surface and Ron saw her, fired a topwater muskie lure in front of her...and she ate it. Got real exciting after that to hear them tell the story as she wasn't real interested in coming to the boat...she tail-walked on him twice, went under the boat once and tried to head into Sioux Narrows once.

I've got no idea how many musky were boated, but it was a bunch - 4 cabins with 2 boats each with two mostly experienced musky guys can put a lotta fish in boats in a week...the most "total inches" by one guy was just shy of 400". Number of follows was nuts. We were the least experienced guys there, and we went 3, 7, 5, 11, 9, 4 and 6. Anyone who has chased these things will get that.

Pike were consistent, lots of 30" plus fish, buckets full in the 20s and a few hammer handles.

Smallies were a crazy hot bite Sunday and Monday, but shut down hard Tuesday and Wednesday and came back up to decent fishing Thursday and Friday.
 
LOTW is a lot of fun...I'll be back.

 

 

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Great details and a story well told. Gorgeous fish 

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Very nice report and story. That is a brute of a pike for sure!

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On 7/22/2017 at 4:06 PM, Further North said:

View off the dock the first night

5973aff9baa98_SplitRockLodgeMoonrise800.thumb.jpg.cade8070e270ed02559d2f82df47b0b5.jpg

 

Gorgeous.  Extremely nice pike.  Excellent report.  Waiting for more.  :teeth:

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4 minutes ago, new2BC4bass said:

Waiting for more.

That'll probably have to wait until fall...or next summer. 

 

There's an outside chance I sneak onto a river or three this fall to fling flies at muskies, but between now and then toothy fish hunting NW WI will be pretty rare for me.

 

All the big pike are likely deep and I hate fishing deep and most of the lakes I haunt that have muskies get so much recreational usage that it'll be tough fishing.  I need to branch out more...

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OK...so here's some more...

 

Had a bunch of fun Monday on a lake north of Wausau a ways...Only one musky on but a a few fat smallmouth and half a dozen like.

The Musky accomplished an LDR when my fishing partner left some slack in his line...bye-bye...

The smallest smallie we caught was 16", 3 about 18', one at 19" and one at 20" Dunno what they eat in that lake, but there's apparently a lot of it...

Everything seemed to like pink...blue didn't' hurt, but pink was the key...which was fortunate as I'd tied several flies with pink in them because the place I headed Tuesday is known to produce fish on pink...

Tuesday started out promising, had a follow on my third cast, high 20's musky...caught a few pike and one smallie, all on variations of pink flies...then the fishing gods flipped a switch.

Weather was great for fishing...not so much for catching...mid-70s, bright sun, not a cloud for a hundred miles...that came home to roost on Tuesday about 11:00.

I struggle with this lake...it is a weed infested, featureless series of bays with little to no structure...fish are just sort of where they are...Also saw few bait fish, where other lakes around here have schools of minnows all over the place...

Took a run down the channel to another lake, to a spot that has always produced...this lake has two islands Bout 150 yards apart and there's an extension off the points on the islands that spans that gap...the water never gets deeper than about 24" and it's infested with BAMF rocks...it never fails to produce a pike or a musky or three.

I always work the gap from the upwind side running pretty much point to point, fan-casting left, right, and center and watch my offering like a hawk.

I'd shifted to gear, to cover water as much as possible; right when I got to the buoy that advises boaters to go the heck around a mid 40's musky follows a twin bladed Mepps #5 right to the boat, stares at it through the figure 8, then swims off to the stern. I pop it right back in and she follows it back again, all the way through the figure 8...twice...then goes to hide under the boat.

I've got another rod rigged with a Smokin' Rooster...I try that...no joy.

I figure, what the heck, tossed the same fly that generated the follow in the AM back there...nothing...so I started casting my way around the boat...she came in from the bow this time, was right behind the fly until the first turn on the 8...and just kept going...

Worked that fly around the boat again...nothing. Picked a different one...all the way around...nothing...went to a clown pattern...there she is again...but this time she hesitated about 5 feet off the bow. turned and swam off...

Picked up the 10 wt, had a big orange/yellow/gold fly on it...crickets. Wet crickets...

Grabbed the clown pattern's big brother, tossed it back where she went off the bow...she follows...she's got her nose in the trailing fibers...and then she's gone...

That was it.

Same fish, at the bot 5 times in 20 minutes...no bite...

I wonder what a laughing musky sounds like?
 

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Wow! That was some trip!

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