Fish of 10,000 cast

Discussion in 'Muskie & Pike Discussions' started by Ra0035, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. Ra0035

    Ra0035 Member

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    Alright, since Muskie seem to be the fish of 10,000 casts I should have at least 2 in the boat since I've prolly thrown over 20,000 casts with out a fish in the boat. What I'm trying to say is after about 2 years and probably around 120 hours of casting I haven't yet got one in the boat, I've had 2 followers, one short strike and one come off after a 10 second fight. I've spent about 80% of the time at Lake Milton and about 20% at West Branch, I've done mostly casting (about 95%) since my boat isn't set up for trolling (bass boat). I've tried pretty much every lure in the book, from lil'ernies, depthraiders, bombers, super rattle traps, grandmas, daredevils w/ twin tail grub, giant slugo's, muskie jigs, super shad raps, big rap x, invaders, creek chubs, believers, in-line spinner, bucktail, maraboo, buzz baits, chatter baits, you name it I've thrown it. Most of my time is spent throwning bionic bucktails and big chatterbaits in perch and firetiger pattern. I fish weedlines, points, stumps and structure, I change up the retrive, I fish fast, I twitch it, I do the figure 8. I've read books, musky hunter magazine, and many websites and I've done tons of research. I think I'm doing everything right and they say if you put in the time you'll get one, well I would say I've put in the time. I've caught many pike before I got into musky fishing and figured it was very similar but I guess I was wrong. So I guess I'm asking you guys for some advice or some help or something because I'm guessing you guys might know the frustrations of pulling skunk after skunk. I'm getting desperate here and losing faith, your forearms can only take some much abuse of reeling those 3oz baits, lol. If anybody wants to share some knowledge I've got a boat, the rods, the lures, and the gas and willing to supply them all for some wisdom on those darn muskies. Thanks for listening to me vent, and thanks for all your knowledge you have given me over the past couple years.

    Thanks,

    A Frustrated Fisherman
     
  2. This time of year trolling seems to be the best bet since the fish are deeper, you can put rod holders on your bass boat and troll just fine. I have down east double clamp rod holders I put on my little 12ft. v-bottom and I can troll with no problem.
     

  3. esox62

    esox62 BORN TOO LATE

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    i prefer casting also. but have been doing more trolling the last 2 yrs with a few more fish in the boat each year. but i think you gotta flip flop that 80-20 ratio.. there just are no good spots to cast on milton..no weeds! up the river is about it and maybe down by the beach and the walleye humps. but w.b. has many weedbeds to cast. i would troll more at milton and cast more at w.b. if i was you...
     
  4. If you can't stand a little adversity, you need to stay away from musky fishing!
     
  5. crittergitter

    crittergitter Multi Species Angler

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    Ra,

    Musky fishing will make ya nuts. It's a LOT of work, but when you do boat one the feeling is quite exhilerating! I went fishless last year and I have yet to boat one this year. You just gotta stay positive. Your next trip out you could hit it just right and boat multiple fish. One last point.....slow down......focus your attention on baitfish.......if you are in a cove and there are no baitfish........leave. If you are fishing structure such as a point or flat and there are no baitfish, then go looking for them. This is how a lot of fisherman eliminate "dead" water. It might look great to us and we tell ourselves, "I am fishing structure". However, you want to be fishing the right structure at the right times. Trolling will start to become the more productive method. Also, I like afternoons/evenings in spring through about end of this month, then I prefer mornings in July. Good luck!

    CG
     
  6. I feel your pain and frustration I am fairly new to it also. If you are getting the follows and raiseing them and have had one come unbuttoned from what i have heard andread you are on the right program. If its rod holders that is the problem troll with a bait that pulls easily like a J-13 or similar baits I had to figure out what to do one day wheni just couldnt cast anymore. I set the drag extra lite when I hold the pole. why ? I dunno I just do (mostly cause I dream of that 50+" beast trying to rip the rod and reel from my hands) Good Hunting.
     
  7. After last night at Pyma- I feel your pain!
    I've fished West Branch 3 times in 2 years- had one follow.
    I've fished Pyma 3 times- this year- nothing but backlashes and freakin CARP everywhere.
    But my majic place is Leesville- landed my first there last year on a bucktail in the figure 8, this year I landed a decent 36in trolling with Bagley Monster Shad in the prop wash- not 20ft back on Memorial Day weekend.

    Got a small 25in at Lake St. Clair- casting for bass (lucky!)

    I'm not an expert AT ALL- but I will share with you my thoughts on skii HUNTING from the last 4 years. BTW- it took me 1-1/2 years (6-8 fishing trips) to catch one.

    The reason that I talk about all these places is that what I found is each lake has their differences and what I do is find little spots that I feel give me the best chance to catch one with my preferred method. (Or one that I feel most confident with)
    I think going to new places until you "catch on" to what works- well, makes it more interesting... Don't go to your same spots that haven't produced- or if you do- make sure you go right before dark or right before a thunderstorm.
    Personally, I can't stand West Branch- its like fishing in a gravel pit- visibility is 2" on average. :) From what I know about Milton- it is the trolling lake.

    Speaking of "catching on"- last year at Leesville I followed/watched a guy land three 36in+ in a matter of 2 hours... he showed me his bait and everything- I followed him around the lake the whole morning... nothing.
    But it was good for me to witness success like that.

    To me muskie hunting is like deer hunting- you can make it scientific as you want and it does help... If you got a follow- think about: what type of lure-clarity of water-speed of retrieve-depth of water-temp of water- and log it in your brain or on paper... and repeat those conditions 4,000 more times! :)
    But more importantly- remember that spot and go back to it with a different presentation... From talking to people/bait shop owners, reading magazines- skiis start out VERY shallow after ice out but are lethargic until water temp gets into the 60's... As the water temp climbs into the 70's they get more aggressive but I BELIEVE its only early morning/late afternoon in water shallower then 10ft... During the day they are hanging around the thermocline where oxygen is at its peak....

    Wouldn't it be great to know how many muskie actually looked our way but chose not to attack??
    Good luck- I hope I helped.
     
  8. crittergitter

    crittergitter Multi Species Angler

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    Another tip and this is for all musky fishermen. BE SURE TO LOG FISHLESS TRIPS ON THE MAL. The Muskie Angler Log on the ODNR site is a very useful tool. You can record data such as locations, spots, water conditions and weather conditions, bait choices and you can add notes such as had 1 follow and lost a fish or whatever. This is a great tool to use so you can refer back to it again and again and get even more dialed in to how to catch the fish at a particular lake. I love it. I just wish I would catch a musky so I can enter at least one entry with a fish! lol

    CG
     
  9. I agree with ESOX62. Milton is a tough place to cast. I would either get geared up to troll, or start targeting another lake.
     
  10. Ra0035

    Ra0035 Member

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    Thanks for you input and your help, and the encouragement to keep fishing for them. Its not the fact of putting rod holders on my boat as to why I spend most of my time casting, its just trolling gets kinda boring for me (guess its the ADD). Plus casting for them IMO is more of a thrill, I've done the trolling thing for other species (ie. walleye, pike, lake trout). Dont get me wrong you still get the same feeling when you get the fish in the boat but I guess if I feel If I work harder for it, I appreciate it more. Plus, I'm not that familiar with the whole trolling process, seems almost like more of a pain then its worth, but I guess if it gets a fish in the boat I might have to do it more often and learn how to.

    As far as Milton being more of a trolling lake I just thought it would be better to cast a lake that not as many anglers cast lures and fish for musky as hard as West Branch is. I've only seen one other guy that casts for them at Milton and I met him when I first started out and I saw him catch 3 in about an hour and he told me they caught 13 total for that day, he showed me what they were using, the retrieve, just about everything. He was a great help and I was surprised to hear anybody have a day like that when fishing for muskie, about 2 months later I saw him in a musky magazine holding a 50"+ from Milton and figured this guy knew his sh*t and I've seen him there a couple times after doing the same thing. Anyways I've mimicked exactly what he was doing and what he told me on that day and thats when I got the followers and the one that got off and I continue to use that strategy for most of my time now. But after seeing how most of you believe trolling is the way to go I might have to change it up a bit.

    Plus, West Branch is closer to me anyways, so I guess I'll just try and figure that lake out. I'm not very familiar with it but I've fished Jay Lake, Goose Island and Rockspring ramp area. Only cause my hotmaps on my GPS marked them as musky areas, I know its a rookie move, but I needed to start somewhere on that lake since I dont know much about it or the structure of it, I just know it usually looks like a tall glass of nestle quick (chocolate not the strawberry) and watch yourself when the weather is nice cause you gonna have wave runners flying around like mosquitoes.

    I log all my trips on the MAL, but its almost getting embarrassing to keep posting the big goose eggs. Like some guy at the DNR is laughing at me or thinks I'm lying by spending all this time out on the lake and catching nuffin but a skunk. I dont mind putting in the hard work or the adversity but it almost makes a man lose his pride and makes me feel like an sub par fisherman.

    I know some other lakes might be better for muskie, like Leesville and Pym but I cant fish them due to HP limits. So I guess WB I go, anytime any of you guys wanna go out let me know, I'm always lookin for somebody to fish with

    And since this is the muskie and pike thread, I'll throw a pic of a pike I caught last year. Just to make myself feel a little better and to remind myself I'm actually capable of catching a fish, lol.

    Thanks again

    Ra

    [​IMG]
     
  11. MuskieJim

    MuskieJim Trophy Tamer

    Personally, I feel that WB, Milton, and Berlin are all hard on the musky angler's heart. They're tough lakes....period. If you want to increase your chances of boating skiis, try a few of the other Ohio lakes (i.e. Leesville, Salt Fork, Clear Fork, Alum Creek, CC). Also, its a little bit of a drive, but Chautauqua is my "home" water. The first musky I ever caught was there, and it's a classic musky lake. Lots of weeds, shoreline structure, etc.

    You may want to head to a few of the Muskies Inc. chapter meetings as well. Definately helps to shorten the learning curve.

    Also, everyone makes musky fishing seem like you're looking for the Holy Grail. Plain and simple, they are fish just like bass and bluegills. Put something in front of them when they're hungry and they're gonna eat it!
     
  12. Ra,
    Great Pike man! Hey from the looks if it- "LureDaddy" is the guy to follow at West Branch- that guy has landed like 10 in the last two weeks! (Look at the NE Ohio forums) I'm not far from West Branch either- I've gotta give that chocolate lake another chance..
    I'm with you on the trolling- you feel lost in space just going around catching weeds- but I'll tell ya, when you get that first one- your confidence will go through the roof!... Another OGF member told me something that I think helped me: When trolling, follow the contours of the shore the best you can- especially if you know the fish are at X level...
    Good luck man- I may head to WB next week- I'll let you know when I go.

    MuskieJim: i thought a 50 incher WAS the holy grail!? :)
     
  13. when to Lake Saint Clare we caught 11 from 4pm to 7 Pm never had that kinda fishing before apparently this is common up there all were released
     
  14. Ra0035

    Ra0035 Member

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    Are you guys trying to make me fall into a deeper depression, nah just kiddin, just a little bit envious. I guess some guys have all the luck
     
  15. catking

    catking Banned

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    That little trinket in my signature might be remembered by a few on this site. I made ONE cast , for the very first time while visiting a musky lake, and told the wife I'm catchin a musky. First cast resulted in my first and only musky...:) Probably some old pics on this site on the adventure....good luck in your hunt for a trophy !!! THE CATKING !!! :B
     
  16. esox62

    esox62 BORN TOO LATE

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    muskie jim is all over it... they are all tough lakes. west branch is a hard lake to learn. leesville is the best[numbers wise,i guess} in ohio but just too far for me. 2.5 hrs.. and i miss chautauqua alot too. the gas is killer so i only fish branch and pyma and milton. its all trial and error, which in reality is the best thing about fishing..figure out the puzzle. just got done at west branch with no luck saw 3 musk come up swirl at me right before the rain but couldnt catch em trollin or castin... so it goes.. most of the bait and fish seemed deep{15 ft.}clarity is very good, somewhat stained on the west end but the whole east end is clear...temps were 71.
     
  17. Roger-
    That is common for St.Clair (not for me though!) I was up there for the opener in Anchor Bay- got nuttin! Later I found out a guy landed two fish around 40 not 300 yds away from me with a black bucktail.... Guess what I was throwing for almost 3 hours??? Awwww, its just the way it goes.
    I need a bigger boat for that lake-
    Where are your pics???
     
  18. I had a place on Marble Lake in Mi, at one time the lake was full of Tiger Muskie,,,in 20 years I never got one I saw a lot of them caught but none for me I had a few break my line while bass fishing but never put one in the boat
     
  19. When I fish for Musky, I'm always thinking edges. That can be the edge of a storm front, an edge of two different waters (dirty to clear), (flat to chop), grass lines ect..., It seems as though I've always had my best success on an edge of some sort! I really like to target areas that offer more then one edge.

    Also have found alot of success in finding the cooler water, does the lake have any springs in it? On a hot day, I'll really spend some time there.

    When I'm not having any luck - I'll start down sizing my baits. Have caught alot of Muskies on some very small baits, not sure why but it seems to work at times (personally, I think this creates follows by smaller fish which the musky try to eat and end up hooked by the bait being followed). Also, if I'm trolling I may slow down to the point where the bait is barely working.

    It just seems that you must be unconventional at times in order to get these fish to bite. I change tactics constantly!!

    I have caught 6 in one day casting and each one of them came on a different lure (granted they were all caught in a spillway the size of a small parking lot) but the fact that it took a different lure for each one, stuck with me!

    BTW- the edges there, were a concrete wall and grass line!
     
  20. crittergitter

    crittergitter Multi Species Angler

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    Seapro.....must be nice have CF in your back yard. You fished it at all this year?

    CG