Fishing Report: True ‘trophy time’ for musky hunters
By George Langley
NORTHERN WISCONSIN – As we move ever deeper into the late fall pattern, the water temps are dropping into the low 40s and the high 30s. This is the true time for the musky hunters, as they wait all year for this “trophy time.” You won’t see many anglers still out there – only the late fall walleye guys and those musky nuts.
It can get really ugly on the water during the snow and rain storms, not to mention the wind, which drives us all crazy with its almost hourly changes and gusts. But it’s great to be out there and your best chance at a really big fish.
It’s also a great time for the archers and the grouse hunters. All the leaves are gone and sight lines are perfect. It was amazing during last week’s snow storm how far and clearly we could see in the woods.
Walleye fishing has been good, with the fish in pretty predictable spots for this time of year. Look in the holes (or right around the edges of them) on the Chain. They concentrate well, and this is the time of the year to get a few larger fish on the Chain. As usual, jigs and large fatheads work best, but some anglers prefer to go bigger and use walleye suckers. These fish will stay in the deeper water until spring, moving occasionally to weed areas to feed in the late afternoons and evenings.
On the larger, deeper lakes, they are in water from 20 to 40 feet, also concentrated and feeding on minnows. This is a great time to fish for walleye on these bigger waters if you can stand the cold – in the evenings especially. We know of some anglers that have caught some nice fish by fishing the shorelines in waders, throwing Rapalas after dark. You need to find a shoreline with a nice drop off near the shore.
Musky fishing is in its golden time right now, and some big fish are being caught throughout the area. It is the time for slower, bigger baits, such as Suicks or Eddie Baits, and to slow down the retrieve with plastics. The fish are hitting suckers very well, too. The next big thing for the musky fishermen will be the cisco spawn, which will be this month. This is a great time to fish right off the areas that they are spawning on all lakes. The musky tend to hold off these areas during the daytime and come in at night.
Now is when we start dreaming of ice, and some snow in the woods for those hunters, too. A lot of folks will do double duty during the later part of November – hunting during the daytime and fishing after dark. Ice makes this time of year so much better for all of us.
Good luck and good fishin’!