Fishing Report 9/15/13: We’re changing hats here in the Northwoods. It is time to take off the Smallmouth hat and put on the Musky hat. For the last couple of months or so, we have had good, if not great, bass fishing. Heavy rains and strange flows in the rivers have made for some challenging fishing. We had some banner days and some not-so-hot days as a result of the uneven flows. We leave the muskies alone during the hot summer months and concentrate on the smallmouth bass. Muskies don’t tolerate the hot water of the summer months. Bass, on the other hand, LOVE the hot water, so Summertime was made for bass fishing. The bass migrate out of the rivers by mid-September and move downstream to the nearest lake to “hibernate” for the winter. When the migration begins, it happens quickly, and within a day, the bass are gone for another year.
Well, that migration happened today and the bass fishing in the rivers in our area is done for 2013. Time to change hats and prepare for the Fall musky hunt. The poppers, crayfish patterns, small minnow patterns and small frog patterns are being stowed in the closet, waiting to be sorted and organized over the Winter. Out come the bigger flies, bigger rods and bigger leaders for musky fishing. Our rivers up here experience significant bullfrog activity from now until the end of October. The frogs move around trying to find the appropriate location to burrow in and hibernate for the Winter. When that happens, they become prime musky food. Big frog patterns are big medicine this time of year. Our flies are bigger this time of year, although they don’t have to be 15″ long to catch a musky. We look forward to casting big flies all day and adjusting our catching expectations down. The hardest part of musky fishing is maintaining the intense focus needed to be ready when a strike actually occurs. Since we may see only one or two fish all day, we have to be prepared to react when that happens. We can’t be looking at the eagles or napping or talking or dealing with any number of other potential distractions–it is total focus on the task at hand. Water temps are dropping through the 60’s into the 50’s and the fish will get very active starting now. Get out and fish as much as you can as this is the best time of the whole season to be out there. Drop in and see us or give us a call. Good fishing…Larry