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Thread: Understanding the musky mood?

  1. #1
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    Understanding the musky mood?

    In recent months I've seen situations where muskies are surfacing on lakes but not biting. They come quietly to the surface, expose a dorsal fin and tail fin, then quietly return to the abyss. They won't take anything I throw at them - I've tried. This morning I saw perhaps as many as 10-15 [I]different[I] fish! So I'm asking for advice: am I trowing the wrong baits? Should I leave them alone until their more in the mood to bite? Any suggestions would be most welcome. Thanks. ~ Dan

  2. #2
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    The frustration of these "cruisers" has troubled me for years. I have also tossed everything in the box at them and also left to return later without much success. After much troubled thought as to what they are up to I have concluded they surface to see if you have a "Musky Hunter" sticker on your boat. If so, forget it, as they learned in school that you are an educated fisher-person and will do every and anything possible to sink hooks into their jaw. Enjoy the sight and mark the spot as they will remain in the area and possibly be caught when they swim like normal fish.

  3. #3
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    I can help. Give me the name of the lake, I'll go there and catch the fish & show you some pictures. Deal?

  4. #4
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    We used to say the muskies were 'rolling' when this happened. It was mostly in mid to late summer during the 'dog' days. I found the best way to catch them was with a glider, worked fast, or a fat Creek Chub jointed lure, that would really throb when reeled hard. You can pretty much fish the same small area where they were rolling, because they didn't seem to move much.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgurtner View Post
    In recent months I've seen situations where muskies are surfacing on lakes but not biting. They come quietly to the surface, expose a dorsal fin and tail fin, then quietly return to the abyss. They won't take anything I throw at them - I've tried. This morning I saw perhaps as many as 10-15 [I]different[I] fish! So I'm asking for advice: am I trowing the wrong baits? Should I leave them alone until their more in the mood to bite? Any suggestions would be most welcome. Thanks. ~ Dan
    I've had very limited success with fish that were on the surface. I used to notice on foggy days that muskies would be sitting on the surface, and that if drifted through the area they would frequently swim off when I got within 20-30 feet.

    Once I did have one grab a large-bladed bucktail, but I had just respooled with 20 lb test mono, and it stretched like a rubber band on the set, and the fish was gone very quickly. Immediately went back to dacron. (long ago)

    I think these fish are active, but once they have seen you they are not as likely to be biters.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Steve Heiting's Avatar
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    These fish are often said to be "porpoising." Rarely have I seen them respond to a bait, but then how rarely does any musky respond to a bait?

    Strange thing I saw last week on LOTW -- hours before a very large thunderstorm, we saw a number of muskies lying within a foot of the water's surface. Cast a bait at them and they turned on it, followed a ways, and then resumed their slumber. The next day Bill Sandy happened to talk with Jim Saric about how about 15 years ago he had seen muskies all around his boat within a foot of the surface as a large thunderstorm approached ... and Bill did not know about my experience of the evening before.
    Steve Heiting

    www.steveheiting.com

  7. #7
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    Catching these fish is not rocket science. You just take a large weighted treble and lob it a foot or so past where he's sitting in the water and then jerk the rod really hard. Three or four accurate tosses should net you enough for a multi-family bar-b-que. Anonymous

  8. #8
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    I have concluded over my mere 12 years watching these porpoising muskies (ignore me) that they are swallowing a meal. I think one time out of about 100 porpoising fish I've casted at has eaten, and few show any interest at all. But then again... 1/100 ain't bad odds in muskyville.
    -Jon
    Last edited by rudedog; 07-29-2014 at 07:46 PM.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the input, guys: I think I got it: ninja outfit, glider baits (possibly small explosives), and a very clear "plan b" in mind!

  10. #10
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    They could be just done eating a meal and digesting it, they could be regulating their swim bladder before a storm, getting some sun on them, or many other reasons "why" they are doing it. I'd say keep throwing and hope for one of three things to happen. 1) Cross paths with the one out of many that's in the mood to eat or hasn't eaten yet. 2) Get a reaction strike out of one. 3) Wait for the window to open. Possibly they are getting ready to turn on if it's before a storm. Either way there's not much you can do except keep throwing lures and change it up with your presentation until something works. And if they're multiple people in your boat, all throw something different and try different speeds/depths, etc. Or try downsizing your bait if conditions are tough.

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