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End of the season ( Musky Wrap Up)


JonnyButts
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Figured with season closing it was time to file a report on my 2020 musky season. I haven’t targeted these fish much in the past , the odd cast in the Kawartha’s and a few days 15 yrs ago when I lived up on Quinte was all I really had under my belt. 

 

During these crazy times this year I was glad to have fishing to fall back on as my time to get away from life and unplug . 

 

 

From spring to fall the past few years I’ve been either playing or coaching baseball and fishing really only picked up for the salmon run and again for the browns and Steelies. Playing indoor softball in the winter kept me busy most weekends , but with baseball being removed from my life ,I was stoked to reconnect with my old friend  Mepps . Anyone that knows Clive knows he is passionate about Esox fishing. Our first trip out we met up with another angler and got caught up and as I casted a tube looking for a smallie he started showing me pictures of his last season catches and talking Musky, somewhere in that trip I caught Musky Fever... 

 

I think it was a month later before we got out again. By this point I had bought a Entry level Shimano broomstick (heavy rod) and also Abu Revo Toro Beast and a few lures. I didn’t connect with any fish that trip but man did we have fun . 

 

The next time we went out I finally hooked into a decent Musky, that fish was enough to keep me going all season long. 

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Our next trip out , I had upgraded the rod and picked up another Abu Revo. I lost 3 fish that day , one that will haunt me to the grave . A massive Niagara Musky that was able to rip line off that Abu reel with the drag buttoned down and looked as mean and as big as I had been dreaming about . Clive turned to get the net and in one beautiful out of the water head shake she spit the lure and swam away. Remember breaking up with your first girlfriend  .... It was worst than my teenage heart ache and probably wound up costing me more than my first divorce . 

 

I then entered Musky Maniac mode and out came my addictive personality . I bought a few more rods , another reel and more lures. Swimbaits , glide baits, top water , bucktails. Suicks , grandmas and jakes , my collection was starting to sound like a Hillbilly family reunion . 

 

Fall was quickly approaching and I was frantically preparing to hunt down a 50” 

 

Fall fishing in Ontario and Monster Musky is usually associated with 2 bodies of water , not that other bodies of water don’t have them but in all my research and talking to experienced Musky anglers , LSC and the Larry always came up. 

 

We planned on hitting LSC a few times and if an opportunity came up to fish the Larry we would be on it like white on rice. I was excited for the Musky Factory and the stories of multi fish days and upper class 40 “ fish and those 50”s being caught had my thoughts consumed. 

 

I entered swimbait mode and bought more rubber than the GoodYear plant in Napanee. 

 

I’m lucky being self employed and have some good guys working for me that taking a day off during the week is no issue. 

 

That first trip we got down to LSC and started fishing at 10 pm , a nap in the car and a few stops for food , we would finish fishing at 7pm the next day . This is how our next 5 trips to LSC would look. 

 

We fished through rain storms , snow ,winds, cold temps , warm temps , whatever Mother Nature threw at us , we grinded it out. 

 

Changing spots after minor and major moon phases , cycling through swim baits and throwing everything we got . 

 

Clive caught a few nice fish on our trips . I acquired the stench of skunk on me that still hasn’t washed off and achieved Master level status as a Net Man. 

 

I think I can safely say I put in 80 plus hours fishing LSC and all I caught was other peoples lost tackle ,bait and on our last trip the most albino walleye I’ve ever seen hit my 10” Poseidon . That fish would be my only fish from LSC and a musky has not been on the end of my line since Sept 7th. 9A4984C5-CF52-47E1-B05A-4B4DC933DDBA.jpeg.280017720d34ce7a9e592a111b618cc2.jpeg5151CDB0-9819-49E7-B9F8-1EA4E884B82F.jpeg.4b3f8bbfec0c705f539917a2011ada53.jpeg58DC6B61-27CA-4928-816F-89D626978B9E.jpeg.8e3027e1d8200e6f189cc10acec9625e.jpeg81DB15B7-B179-41CB-B97C-67E6BB388B60.jpeg.afaa57d869807b718bb94431e0f1541f.jpeg

 

I met a lot of great guys out fishing on LSC , the vibe amongst most Musky anglers is great and other than one mishap ( Clive’s story to share ) we had a great time each and every trip. Visiting pet stores that sell Musky gear, buying lures being locally made and visiting towns I’ve never seen. 5691B5BB-F3AC-4A80-BD68-A77A493F9FBB.jpeg.6982babfedfae537c499f05132ce6e8d.jpegE4298D02-21B1-4E1D-8AFF-DBFB5FCDFB96.jpeg.79c05f6774d1842e50dee405144dee24.jpegE0AC5218-3C64-4F35-8F1C-1D5C021D9983.jpeg.e966c181d4acbd43fbc6c2a2a3c70b84.jpeg

 

I thought maybe this drought would have discouraged me, maybe made me think about sticking to the fishing I’m more experienced with . At one point Clive offered to buy all my gear for .50 cents on the dollar and for a spilt second I entertained it . 

 

I would be lying if I said it didn’t get into my head , every trip home analyzing everything I was doing , spending hours on YouTube watching videos, listening to Musky podcasts while at work and every trip down to LSC determined to catch a beast , only to repeat the process over again .

 

Mama didn’t raise no quitter and if anything it has fuelled me to spend more time chasing Musky come June 2021. 

 

The gear is still piling up , the tackle boxes getting bigger(those special mate 13” sure are sweet) and come June I hope to start putting more fish in the basket than I did this year ... I don’t think it’s going to be hard to beat but then again I can still smell the skunk as I sit typing this out . 

 

I’ll be out this winter doing the usual trout fishing but you better believe all I’m dreaming about is the day I land that 50”! 

 

 

 

Edited by JonnyButts
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What Lew said.

And what Laz says, is that "nothing is more valuable than time spent on the water."

Clive can show ya the ropes, he's got talents, but you're off and running now so good job!

First fall season, 2009, seven outings, 38 hours, Ottawa River only, one small fish.  

2010, ten outings, 6 fish and first 40 incher.

2011, four outings, Ottawa River, no fish.

2012 went to St. Clair first time, easiest muskie fishing anywhere, 3 days and 15 muskies with 8 more missed.

Some things I've learned... well, it's coming in a BIG report soon but stick with Clair to build confidence and no, you don't need a tonne of lures, just a few of the right things for the few styles you'll likely fish in the places you fish them 

 

Edited by Moosebunk
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22 hours ago, lew said:

Once you figure out the pattern and the proper baits for the time those 50 inchers will be jumping in your boat LOL

Thanks Lew. I think what I’m enjoying the most is the learning I’m doing hunting after these fish. Still got lots of figuring out to do ! 

16 hours ago, Moosebunk said:

What Lew said.

And what Laz says, is that "nothing is more valuable than time spent on the water."

Clive can show ya the ropes, he's got talents, but you're off and running now so good job!

First fall season, 2009, seven outings, 38 hours, Ottawa River only, one small fish.  

2010, ten outings, 6 fish and first 40 incher.

2011, four outings, Ottawa River, no fish.

2012 went to St. Clair first time, easiest muskie fishing anywhere, 3 days and 15 muskies with 8 more missed.

Some things I've learned... well, it's coming in a BIG report soon but stick with Clair to build confidence and no, you don't need a tonne of lures, just a few of the right things for the few styles you'll likely fish in the places you fish them 

 

Thanks Bunk, I’ll take the advice and keep learning and spending as much time as I can on the water . Looking forward to the big report . 

16 hours ago, mepps said:

While I'm happy with the number of fish I got this season, the highlight of 2020 was reconnecting with you, bro! Looking forward to getting back out there with you!

You know it was my highlight too. Thanks for showing me the ropes. 2021 is going to be a great season. Looking forward to the trips we have planned. 

9 hours ago, Rizzo said:

great read...keep at it! We have all had some rough outings, just suck when they come back to back

Thanks Rizzo! It does suck when the rough ones come back to back but I still manage to enjoy myself when I’m out there . Guess fishing isn’t always about the catch . 

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6 minutes ago, JonnyButts said:

 Guess fishing isn’t always about the catch . 

I've had many many great days of musky fishing without catching a single fish.

As "they" always say, catching a fish is just a bonus.

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when I lived in Barrie, a skunking wasn't so bad as I was only driving maybe an hour to an hour and a half to get fishing. Now that I am in Guelph...3 hours from St. C and 3 hours from Kawarthas....I really really hate the skunking. The drive seems soooo much longer when you smell as fresh as when you headed to the lake.

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47 minutes ago, Rizzo said:

when I lived in Barrie, a skunking wasn't so bad as I was only driving maybe an hour to an hour and a half to get fishing. Now that I am in Guelph...3 hours from St. C and 3 hours from Kawarthas....I really really hate the skunking. The drive seems soooo much longer when you smell as fresh as when you headed to the lake.

I feel you Rizzo, on those 3 hour drives I go through so many mixed emotions lol. You should try Niagara . It’s only an hour and a half from you and there is quality fish in that system! 

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10 minutes ago, JonnyButts said:

 You should try Niagara . 

For 4 or 5 years a group of us from this board used to close out the musky season on the Upper Niagara at Fort Erie, mainly because that was the only place that wasn't frozen over. It was usually the weekend before the 15th and we'd all meet at the launch at sunrise, then fish till sunset and then head for dinner at a local restaurant.

It was always a fun trip with a bunch of great  guys and a perfect way to end the season.

 

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