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Thread: Suspended Muskies on Trout / Cisco Based Lakes

  1. #1
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    Suspended Muskies on Trout / Cisco Based Lakes

    Hi guys,

    I'm a bit confused by something I saw on an episode of Lindner's Angling edge, specifically with respect to suspended muskies on cisco based lakes.

    James Lindner said that in early spring, a lot of muskies will suspend shallow (upper 10 feet of the water column) out over deep water. They will intercept the ciscoes as the ciscoes make their daily vertical migration.

    Ok. So far, so good.

    But then he said that later in the summer (after the 4th of July) as the water warms up, the ciscoes will no longer come all the way up to the surface during their daily vertical migration.

    He seems to be saying that the muskies will then abandon open water, and begin to show up on shallower, more classic structures.

    And this is where I'm confused.

    Why would this migration to shallow classic structure even be necessary in the first place?

    Why not just suspend deeper over the same open water?

    Instead of being 5 to feet down (as during the spring time), why not shift to being 15 to 20 feet down over the same 70 feet of water?

    In my (admittedly limited) experience in trolling the deeper basins, we've caught enough walleye and pike to convince me that the pike and walleyes seem to be out there all summer long, so why wouldn't the muskies stay out there all summer long as well?

    Again, I haven't spent enough time over the abyss to compile enough data on the muskie pattern, but there sure seem to be a lot of pike and walleyes out there. And in the limited sample size pertaining to muskies, I think there's a lot of muskies out there all season long as well.

    Any thoughts or feedback on this?

    FYI - here's the link to the Lindner video, as well as a link to an old thread I had started regarding suspended muskies on trout water.

    Any info / clarification would be much appreciated.

    Thanks!

    "Jackpot" John Schroeder

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpEk8rew1Ak

  2. #2
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    Here's a link the other thread which I had started a LONG time ago, and has shaped a bit of my thinking on this issue....

    http://www.muskyhunter.com/forum/arc...hp/t-1677.html

  3. #3
    Senior Member Steve Heiting's Avatar
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    My take ... the muskies remain in deep water, but go deeper as the water temp increases. This is when humps that top out just above the thermocline can be very good, and trollers need to place a bait or two right in the top of the thermocline to succeed.

    I absolutely love casting to open water muskies, but I simplify the approach. If I see ciscoes on my electronics in the top 15 feet of the water column -- regardless of the water temperature -- the food chain is in action and it's time to fish open water. The ciscoes may be feeding or they may have been pushed up by feeding muskies, but the key is that feeding is occurring. Muskies are very catchable in this situation and it doesn't matter if it's June, July or August.

    If I drive my boat over deep water and everything I mark on my electronics is deep, you can still catch muskies by vertical jigging or counting down DepthRaiders or Bull Dawgs. But you're going to work for every one you get because they typically are not feeding much, if at all. In this scenario, I'd rather cast to weeds or shallow rocks because the muskies there are probably more active.

    If I cast to weeds and shallow rocks and still don't contact fish, often muskies will suspend a cast or so away from the shallow structure. You can keep your boat on the weed edge and cast out, or move a cast or so off structure and cast in. It doesn't really matter. These fish will typically suspend at about the same depth as the cover/structure they're suspended away from -- if a weed flat is eight feet deep, that's the depth the muskies will be at.

    A huge key to catching suspended muskies is not fishing beneath them. Their eyes are looking up, and if a fish is 15 feet down it has to kick its tail only once or twice to eat. I prefer to have my bait within six feet of the surface, often shallower. I've caught them on topwaters and bucktails, and Swimmin' Dawgs being fished like a bucktail have been hot for me this year.

    In my opinion, the only mass exodus of the basin occurs pre-turnover, when the fish move up shallow for what I think is the best bite of the year. (It's a time when row trollers in northern WI have historically struggled, while the guys casting shallow are really into fish.)
    Steve Heiting

    www.steveheiting.com

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the detailed reply, Steve.

    Yes, I agree that you don't want to cast / troll too deep.

    We plan to modify the approach on our upcoming trip. One line will be the standard Jake / Grandma in the 15-20 foot range. Another rod will be shallower (magnum shallow raider / magnum shallow invader).

    We're going in early/mid August, and I'll post a report when we get back.

    "Jackpot" John Schroeder

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