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Mixing in some Muskie Action

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Mixing in some Muskie Action


Thursday I was invited to join a couple anglers for some Kawartha walleye fishing. I met my fishing partners for the day at the launch and we were casting by 10 am. Hair jigs and Berkeley Gulp were being tossed around up front in the bow of the boat, both pretty standard offerings. It was when I started my day throwing an 8” perch pattern jerk bait, tied to a heavy action muskie outfit that things started to get interesting…


Much to the chagrin of most muskie anglers, many of the biggest muskie caught each year are by walleye anglers, using light tackle. The current Ontario muskie record (a 65 lb monster) was caught trolling a small Rapala on gear certainly not specific to muskie. Even though both muskie and walleye anglers know this trend occurs, the worlds never seem to collide. This spring alone I have witnessed 20+ muskie either landed or missed while fishing for walleye. Why not take advantage of the walleye spots and get those missed muskie into the boat? Well that’s was my logic at least.


It didn’t take long before I realized I made the right decision. On about the eighth cast I yell to the front of the boat, “There’s one!” Both anglers in the front of the boat have caught their share of muskie, but neither seemed too willing to give me a hand landing them this day;-) Not sure their reasoning, but eventually I land this strong and healthy muskie. After a couple pictures we get it back into the water to fight another day. We continue fishing this spot, me casting my muskie jerk bait off the back of the boat, them pitching walleye offerings off the front. About 30 minutes later, I yell “There’s another one!” Quick to realize this one was a squirt of a muskie I reel it in fast. Just when I had this small muskie about six feet away from the boat I notice a giant shadow lurking just beneath. I have no way of judging the size of this “follower” but when my knees started shaking I realize she was a monster; big, long and fat. She was probably just curious, but possibly contemplating eating the smaller muskie for brunch, pretty cool.




The skies cleared up, and the sun came out. Not exactly what I wanted to see, but I continued to work my jerk bait through all the depths available. I do recall staring down at my walleye gear several times throughout the day as the two anglers in the front of the boat started to land a few. But I’m nothing if not stubborn, so I persevere. With about an hour left in the day I make a shallow cast up in about three feet of water on a sandy flat adjacent to an inside weed line. The water explodes when a muskie nails my jerk bait at rest on the surface. While I fight my muskie, my fishing partner lands a walleye in the front of the boat to complete a rare, but fun multi-species double header.


The total by day's end was three muskie landed and two substantial follows. Oh and several bait-fish caught off the front of the boat!


What worked?

I have been throwing mostly jerk baits over the last couple weeks as they seem to be out performing steady retrieved spinners and crank baits. This day the boat was positioned in 8-10 ft of water and I was casting to inside and outside weed edges in and around these depths.

Lure - 8” perch pattern jerk bait

Depths – fish were caught in three to ten feet of water

Rods - All Star 7’6” Heavy Action

Reels - Shimano Calcutta 401 TE

Line - 80 lb Power Pro braided fishing line

Leader - 130 lb Seaguar Fluorocarbon


Weather Conditions:

Mixed; rain, sun and cloud. Most of the muskie action occurred during the cloudy and rainy periods. When the sun was high and shinning bright the muskie action slowed down noticeably.

Winds were west 20-25 km/h

Surface water temperatures 70-73 Fahrenheit

Air temperatures reached a high of 23 Celsius



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Nice muskie there Red. Its a dog eat dog world out there for Essox. Many times in the past have we caught good sized pike and muskie showing fresh bite marks and usually about mid ship. Just goes to show that theres always a bigger fish....Just remember where you saw that big sow cause she will be back again on her milk run.

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Thanks for the positive feedback, much appreciated.


I am surprised no one noticed (or commented on) the loonie sized scar on the gill plate of this muskie. There was an identical scare on the left side also. I sent the picture to the MNR, and they are not sure what it is either.


Anyone here know or care to guess?

Edited by redsfishin

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