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Fall Muskie Hunting in Ontario:
An Anglers Dream Come True

Fall is definitely a muskie hunter's favorite time of year, when the fish become more aggressive and are more willing to take your bait. This is the season when the fish are packing on the pounds for winter and when your odds are just a little bit better for that trophy of a lifetime. It is no question that more 50" plus muskies are pulled out of Ontario waters than any other time of year. Anglers start put away their casting rods and trolling big cranks in hopes of putting their offerings in front of a prowling muskie looking for its next meal.

Unlike the northern pike, muskies are known to be much more curious than aggressive. When a pike sees your bait, there is no hesitation, and it will go for it. Muskies are a little bit different. They like to follow their prey. They stalk every move before deciding whether or not to strike. If you have ever fished for a muskie, you know from experience that they will follow your bait, sometimes with their nose almost touching it right up to the boat. When you figure eight your lure, the muskie will follow it; sometimes you get a hit, sometimes you don't. But come fall, the games are over. These fish are hungry and they know they need the weight for winter.

To catch this aggressive fish, you need a hunting style to match. Hands down, trolling is the best bet for fall muskie hunting. These fish are at their peak feeding time and when they see your bait go flying past their nose, all curiosity has left them and there's a good chance that the fish will strike. Knowing that these fish are feeding heavily, electronics are a must for a successful day on the lake. Watch your fish finder carefully and look for the baitfish to be schooled, and then troll your bait through areas where the baitfishes are because chances are there is a muskie lurking around somewhere. Muskies rarely hang around in packs. They usually are loners or feed in pairs. They look for ambush points like reefs, points and other areas to which they can hold on and then attack their prey. Marine electronics are perfect for finding the baitfish. If you are venturing out on a foreign body of water, especially larger lakes like Lake of the Woods, you want to maximize your time. Knowing where you are driving and what's under you will ensure a long, successful day of fishing. Check out this site for awesome electronic equipment:

You may have heard the saying "big baits catch big fish." Anglers troll baits anywhere from 9" to 13" in length. I attended an outdoor show last May and the angler who was doing a seminar put it into perspective this way: "Put two guys in a boat and one of them troll a 3" bait and one of them troll a 13" bait. Now why would a fish swim over to attack that 3" bait (peanut) when he could swim over and attack a t-bone steak?" Makes perfect sense, doesn't it? If you're looking for some ideas to start filling up your tackle box for fall, check out your local tackle shops for these baits: Grandmas, Jakes, Triple-D, Legend Plow, Salmo Whitefish, and Believers. When trolling, your best bet is to go with a heavy action rod anywhere from 7 to 8 feet in length for that added flexibility. This will ensure you're not ripping the baits out of muskies' mouth. You will also need a bait casting reel spooled with line anywhere from 80 to 100 pound test. Your line will be going over sharp rocks and debris and when you catch that trophy of a lifetime you don't want to lose her because of the wrong line.

If you are interested in planning a trip to Ontario for some fall muskie action, here are some contacts:

Andy Myers Lodge on Eagle Lake in Vermilion Bay Ontario - Box 58 Vermilion Bay Ontario, Canada POV 2VO Phone: (807) 227-2610 Fax: (807) 227-5353 Toll Free: 1-888-727-5865

Totem Resorts on Lake of the Woods in Sioux Narrows Ontario - Phone: 807-226-5275 Fax: 807-226-5187 TOLL FREE: 1-800-66-TOTEM

Contributed By: Jeff Davey

Jeff Davey is one of our Fishing Experts.

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