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Advice for a rookie musky hunter

Discussion in 'Muskie & Pike Discussions' started by bkr43050, Aug 26, 2004.

  1. I have been saying for 2 years now that I am going to give the muskie fishing a try and I am going to try to hold myself to it real soon. In a few weeks when the water temps begin lower a bit I am planning to take a trip up to Clearfork Reservoir (probably my closest musky water) and give it a shot. I have had plenty of experience with pike in Ontario but have never gotten a chance to land a musky.

    I would like to ask a few questions to see what some of you more experienced musky hunters would suggest.

    1. My musky tackle is fairly limited but I do have a couple of musky specific plugs (Jake and a Believer) along with a few large bucktail spinners. In addition, I have a few Rapalas in large sizes (6"+). What would you suggest trying? We may try several but I am curious to hear what may be the better lure for that time.

    2. Would we still be better off trolling at that time of the year?

    3. A co-worker clued me in on some of the places to try in Clearfork. In a couple or 3 weeks from now would they still be suspended over deep water and if so approximately what kind of depth would you try to target at first?

    4. When will Clearfork Reservoir turn over? I am assuming it has a summer thermocline.

    I know there are plenty of questions here but hopefully someone can help. I will be sure to get some pics for posting if we are lucky enough to hook up...and land one.:D

    Thanks in advance guys.
  2. Okay, no responses yet. I wonder if that means all the musky hunters are out hunting?:D

  3. fishcrazy

    fishcrazy Muskie Chaser

    Find a proven bait that has worked on that body of water and run it till you catch one. Goto high percentage lakes. Join a club or two Ohio huskie Muskie Club, Muskies Inc Central Ohio ETC. Muskie fisherman have to earn the respect of the fish. Many people have caught one muskie(Catking even) but to catch them consistantly takes more patience then a white skinned red headed MALE stripper trying to make it to the big show.LOL
    Fiushcrazzzzzzzzzzzy :p
  4. Part of the reason that I chose Clearfork (as opposed to Alum Creek) is that I have read that the numbers of fish caught there are higher. I may be wrong on that one and if that is true let me know because I am almost as close to Alum. Besides with Alum Creek having such good saugeye and smallie fishing I may give it a shot at some point as well. I just would rather stay away from the mad house of people over there until the water cools enough to drive the recreational people away. Another reason for choosing Clearfork is because a co-worker was nice enough to fill me in on some of what worked for him up there.
  5. BuckeyeTom

    BuckeyeTom Muskie and Catfish

    I'm nobody to be giving advise on lakes, but I had the pleasure of talking with Danny White a few years back and he said trolling shad type baits(monster shad) in the 6-8 foot range is the ticket at Clearfork. Danny was one of the good ones, not sure he's even around anymore. He used to be the MAN at RockyFork when it was in it's glory. I would concentrate on the flats and points in any lake myself.

    A good variety of baits is good, but I would'nt change em too much. Like Fishcrazy said be patient. It will happen! Good luck.
  6. esoxhunter

    esoxhunter Livin' the moontime

    I'd be trolling right now. Run crankbaits 10-12' deep over mid lake humps. Works for me in hot weather.
  7. Hey thanks for the replies guys.


    I assume that you mean that is the depth of presentation in deeper water? I am not sure what depths Clearfork has in general.


    You mentioned working cranks at 10-12 over mid-lake humps. Are you trying to target deepwater weedlines as well? And do you want to target a certin depth range on the humps? I am so accustomed to fishing "structure" and targeting fish in certain depths on given structure. It is different for me to target fish suspended so I am trying to understand the methods. I think often guys try to pinpoint the thermocline and then fish right over it. Is that main tactic? Or do you try to locate other items with electronics as well like schools of baitfish?
  8. esoxhunter

    esoxhunter Livin' the moontime

    the mid lake humps at Clearfork are about 9 or 10' deep surrounded by 15-20' of water. Don't make it more difficult than it already is. I like baits that run deep enough to come in contact with these humps. Once the lure stops dragging the top of the hump and releases into deeper water is when you'll get bit.
    As far as looking for fish with my electronics is concerned, I don't really look for muskies on my depthfinder.....just fish. If I find clouds of shad or schools of smaller fish, there's a good chance muskies are in the vicinity.
  9. esoxhunter

    esoxhunter Livin' the moontime

    since you mentioned fishing for suspended fish, I should add one thing.
    don't run your baits *too* deep. You'll probably notice a big arch or two on your depthfinder. Make sure your baits are running just above that depth. A lure that is running under the fish probably won't get bit. Better to be too shallow than too deep.
    Also, if you don't contact fish on a hump or other structure, make some wide passes and fish the open water near the structure.
  10. That is pretty much what I was thinking.

    That is good info. Like I said I have never even been on the lake and therefore was not even sure what depths that I was dealing with so those numbers help.

    I have read a good bit about musky fishing in the past so I have the concept down. Now it is a matter of applying all the great info that I have read from folks on here.;)
  11. esoxhunter

    esoxhunter Livin' the moontime

    Man I think I missed the whole point of your post
    If it cools down significantly in a few weeks, disregard everything I just said :D :rolleyes: