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First Fall Muskies

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With the first real weather shift this fall with a north wind, cooler temps, and overcast skies, we headed out to try for the first muskies of this fall. Left the house at 4:30 am and met Jamie at 4:45 and headed north. We got on the lake and were fishing by 7 am. Armed with big baits and heavy braid we started our day of casting (and casting and casting some more...). Like any fishing trip it is the anticipation of the strike that keeps you going. When that strike comes from a 30 to 40 inch toothsome musky it can get pretty exciting. We were fishing a cove with standing timber. I was casting a large crappie sized crankbait and Jamie a gold/copper double gold blade bucktail that his uncle makes and sells around Pomme de Terre. You can get lulled a bit when you're not seeing any fish following your baits. But the ends when Jamie screams " Fish, Fish, Following!!!" and he is actively running his figure eights with a big female following close behind. She finally hit on the third pass and the fight was on. My day as the netman begins. We got her netted and the worked the hooks out. She wasn't a thick girl but pushed the tape at 40".

Jamie - 40 inches (1) - 17Sep17.JPG

We fished for a few more hours hitting all of the likely and even some unlikely structure to find another musky. Switched baits often, but kept coming back to the crankbait and the bucktail. We fished some of the same spots that last fall produced with encounters and strikes and even landed fish. Not on this trip. We weren't even getting follows. Saw a couple of musky that came an went just as quickly, but not following our baits. As we were fishing a long offshore point, Jamie gets another bite on the bucktail. This fish hit near the end of a long cast and fought Jamie all the way back to the boat with large head shakes. Jamie tells me it's a big fish but he gets it next to the boat. I get her netted. She had really thick shoulders, but was only 34" in length. Not long but definitely a great looking fish.

Jamie - 34 inches (1) - 17Sep17.jpg

Little did we know that this would be the last fish that would give us a chance to catch. We only had one other confirmed musky encounter for the rest of the day. I had one bite on the bucktail, but it might just have been a bass. I did snag a large snapping turtle on it front foot that thankfully pulled the hook as I got it next to the boat.

Not as memorable as our last musky outing. Though the weather was more to our liking, the surface temps were still in the mid 70s. That may have kept many of the fish in the deeper water. With the temps expected to be in the 90s this week it may be 10-14 days before there is a large enough drop in the water temp to warrant getting back out again.

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18 minutes ago, MOPanfisher said:

Catching 2 muskie in a trip is pretty good.

I know. We had a trip of a lifetime last fall when we landed 5 with three fisherman! What was disappointing this trip was the lack following fish. That made for a long day even though we were off the water by 2 pm.

This is what I will try next trip:).

20170918_164108.jpg

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Great outing on Pome! Just driving back from Canada.   yesterday a guy in our group got a dream fish 53.5 x 21.5 girth.  I landed a 40"  muskie without a hook in it.  It latched onto a 15" smallie and wouldn't let go so we actually netted it.  also a couple of 45s and a 47.

IMG953377.png

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On ‎9‎/‎23‎/‎2017 at 2:02 PM, Stein said:

Great outing on Pome! Just driving back from Canada.   yesterday a guy in our group got a dream fish 53.5 x 21.5 girth.  I landed a 40"  muskie without a hook in it.  It latched onto a 15" smallie and wouldn't let go so we actually netted it.  also a couple of 45s and a 47.

IMG953377.png

That is an awesome musky! Fantastic story as well.

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Weds brought another north wind and a drop in temperatures. So Jamie and I took off early from work to head out and try again for the elusive fish of a thousand casts, the muskellunge! I brought along my new baits. We were only the second boat on the water when we set off from the launch at 4 pm. I got a feel for what my baits looked like in the water and how to make them twitch and swim erratically by casting around the launch area. The water was a bit dingier than on our last trip. Jamie felt that the bucktails may be the most effective baits this evening. We first fished the main lake point and the cove with the standing timber where we started fishing on our last trip. I fished the Mr Whiggley around those trees and brush and did not get a follow. At least none that I could see in the dingy water. I switched to a twin blade bucktail with the gold and copper skirting and I made a cast into the same spot in the timber that Jamie caught his 40" fish on our last trip with that same bait. About 5 to 6 feet from the boat I could see the bait and two feet closer, a big musky was following. She broke the surface going after the bait and was gone. I never saw her while doing figure eights by the boat. I quickly made another cast and had another follow right at the boat. I started my figure eights and she was intently following the bait. On my second pass she hit the bait on the outside turn, but I didn't get a hook set into her. Within two casts my heart was racing from these encounters. Jamie and I both had a good look at both fish. I don't know if they were the same, but both were big fish, close to 40" and thick bodied.

I kept fishing alternating between the soft bait and the bucktail. Jamie switched between a crappie crankbait and other bucktails. We fished a lot of wind hit banks along the south west shore of points and coves. Made lots of casts along and around trees and laydowns and across points. No encounters nor follows. We crossed the lake to the north east part of the lake. We hit some of the best brushy areas on that side of the lake. We made lots of casts in what may be considered one of the best spots for musky on the lake. Finally Jamie got a hard follow on the crankbait, but she didn't hit. We headed into a long cove and I had a soft follow with a smaller musky that flashed on my bait. We kept fishing and casting to little avail. On a long point Jamie got another hard follow at the boat after casting almost onto shore and pulling the crankbait by a deep stump. We fished for 40 or 50 minutes in other areas down lake. It was about 7 pm when we got back to that same point. I was fishing the bucktail and cast towards the bank and pulled the bait pass that stump. 4 feet from the boat I saw the fish following. I started a figure eight and on the second pass I saw her hit the bait and set the hook with the bait in her mouth. She must have opened her mouth at that time. I felt one of the hooks stick into her lip and then just as fast I felt the sickening pop of the hook popping loose. I was heartbroken losing this fish. We fished lots of other spots including the standing timber where we started earlier in the afternoon. No more follows. We left the lake by 8:30.

This is musky fishing!! I may be hooked! Jamie and I have a trip planned to fish Pomme for our next trip. I plan on bringing the softbaits for the cleaner water. Likely to fish the bucketails on that trip as well.

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