November started with two days of casting for muskies where we didn’t see a fish. I can’t remember the last time that happened here at The Factory but it was most likely at the end of the season a few years back. If somehow you managed to build up a musky ego between June and October, November is here to set you straight.
Fortunately there are solutions and great rewards can be yours. I have spent the final days of most of the last 20 seasons focusing on how to catch muskies casting. This past week we had five multiple fish days with a bunch of beauties. I will use the stories and reasons why behind these fish to pass on some tips to you so hopefully you can find and enjoy catching muskies at their fattest.
While most people are out trolling giant baits in deep water I try to focus on three things:
This time of year the baitfish schools make your fish finder look like it is on demo mode, or they should if you are in the right place. When the weeds lay down baitfish move out of the bays and shallows school up for safety, and in many cases to spawn. Enormous communities of fish are established and many many species can be present in one area. Do you know where these are on your waters? Guaranteed the muskies and everyone else does. You need to know this.
This year in general, there are more emerald shiners and mooneyes than I have seen in many years. The river is rich with bait. At the same time there are two usual schools that I fish that didn’t show up this year. It is dynamic from year to year.
Current is very different this year than most. Traditionally high waters on the O create seams and eddies that are obvious almost every fall but this year we have, like last year, very low water and thus much lower current. Fish have very low energy in the fall and staying out of current most of the time is a key behind their behavior. Find the low current zones and start there.
Day by day the rice fields on the river get smaller as the plants collapse into the water. The same can be said for most weeds but not all. Green weeds hold fish. Even dying weeds and dead weeds will hold fish but green is gold right now.
Today’s Lesson from a Musky;
Danny Corley is a big man holding a great big fish. The important technique application that caught this beauty was a phone call. Shortly after Dan’s lure hit the water his phone rang. He tucked his rod under his arm and answered the call allowing his lure to sink and rest on the bottom. Two minutes later when Dan hit ‘end’ and raised the rod she was there.
The first key to this capture was ‘the pause’. Ok, two minutes is longer than you need to pause your bait when casting but allowing your baits to pause, sink, flutter, or remain neutral in the water is a huge key to catching muskies casting in the fall. Fish slow. I know it’s hard musky guys and gals but fish slow.
The second key to catching this fish was the lure lying on the bottom. Muskies spend two thirds of their time on or close to the bottom and in an inactive state (from Project Noble Beast). In the cold, it can be even more. They also seem to hunt on the bottom more this time of year. If you talk to your local walleye anglers they will all tell you they encounter more muskies in with their bottom dwelling eyes at the end of the season.
The other two pics are Dan’s buddy Jim Palmer with a couple of nice fish we captured on the same day including another Disney Fish caught on the very last cast of the night. A specialty of ours here at The Factory. Thanks Jim and Dan for a really wonderful day on the water
In Part two we will talk tail. Stay tuned for more nice muskies.
ps This Saturday morning on Global TV all across the country the Fish’n Canada Show we shot this summer comes to air. So set you PVR and get out on the water.
John M. Anderson
We produce BIG fish!!
be good, do good, live well
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