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Thread: Help me understand this...

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2013

    Help me understand this...

    Hi. I live near (1 solid hour away) Kinkaid in Southern IL and I am very much a newbie at musky fishing. I have yet to land a "ski", but I have been on the boat when 4 or 5 have been landed over the last couple years. I only get out 3-4 times per year.

    Anyway, as I have talked to two different tournament bass fisherman that fish Kinkaid, and I mention that I fish for muskies there with little success so far, both of them responded about the same way. "You are using those big lures aren't you? You don't need all that. I catch one just about every time I'm on the water fishing standard bass spinners and cranks." The other guy told me basically the same thing. Then, just to prove it, the 2nd guy that told me this pulls out a phone and flips through countless pics of muskies that he has caught.

    So, my question is this: Can this be explained by the fact I should throw "bass" baits? Or, could it have something to do with them not using a leader? I also realize that these guys are both successful bass tournament fisherman and probably utilize boat positioning and electronics better than I do. What are your thoughts?
    Last edited by shootist; 07-31-2013 at 03:55 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Puyallup, WA, USA.
    Use a quality fluorocarbon leader 100# - 130#. Invisible in water and tough as nails. Downsize and see what happens but stay with a leader.
    When the bass guys are doing better than us musky guys out here, it tells me: 1st - fish are hanging tighter to cover than muskies usually do cuz bass fishermen will fish very tight to cover and: 2nd - this time of year there is a ton of fry in the lake from all species so smaller cranks and spinnerbaits imitate this better.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    I fish with guys who regularly musky fish with downsized lures that do quite well for numbers. They do get a lot of smaller fish but still catch as many quality fish as guys who use big baits. BTW, 100lb fluoro leaders are no more invisible in water than mono leaders.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Twin Cities, MN
    I have a running joke with one of my co-workers who is a tournement bass fisherman. He goes out about 3-5 times a week. I also go out 3-5 times a week (this year is an exception, recovering from an injury) But he throws bass cranks, spinners and jigs and does pretty well catching muskie while bass fishing. I on the other hand have put 9 Large mouth bass in the boat this year all over 20" largest being a 24" (huge for MN bass) bass I caught on a Grinder spinner while fishing musky. All of my large bass this season have come on JR double cowgirls, shallow invaders, Phantoms and musky sized spinners.

    My buddy at work tells me that he can't find the big bass right now. (personally I am on a different bass pattern and just schooling him right now, so much fun, have not even fished musky much this season) and I say that I can't find the skis. So by our connected logic. He should be throwing musky baits to catch bass and I should be throwing bass baits to catch muskie? Well Because of the rediculous bass bite I have been on, i have been doing that and still no musky.

    But I just think it's funny cause we are both catching the others targeted species. while fishing for the oposite. You know what that tells me.... Fish are like women, they don't really know what they want.
    God, Grant me the serenity to accept the size of the fish I catch, the courage to not lie about it, and the wisdom to know no one would believe me anyway.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    hello shootist and welcome to Musky fishing. I fish on Lake Kinakid quite often. This year in particular has been real bad. We had a mild spring and the fish did it move in shallow until late April. Usually by then the spawn is already done, but not
    this year. We have lost a lot of fish two years ago that escaped over the manmade dam due to high waters. Last year the DNR only caught 1.2 fish per hour (compared to 6.2 fish per hour the previous year and 6.6 fish per hour they year before that) when
    they did their annual spring sampling. In an effort to bring back the musky fishing to kinkaind the iDNR doubled the stocking per acre last year.

    As for your question if you should downsize or not its totally up to you. I have caught muskies on smaller baits and bigger baits, depending on the time of the year. For example in early spring most of us downsize the lures, I manly use rattletraps in the
    spring that are 4-5" in length due to low visibility, in May/June I get out the bigger baits 6-8", Jakes, baby shallow raiders, SS Shad, spinnerbaits etc, in size and catch a shit ton of bass on those as well. During the supper months July/Aug all the way
    until mid Sep no one fishes for Muskies due to the high water surface temps. In Fall most of us down here start using bigger profile baits 6-10" when the fish start putting on some fat for the winter and in Winter when we troll I almost always use 12" jakes,
    grandmas, belivers etc.

    I’m not telling you not to listen to the bass fisherman, they have a case of their own, but I can tell you that I have caught more big bass 8-10LB range on Kinkaid using large Muskie baits than they would using their 1.5-2" cranks. When I fish in summer for bass I always use a leader and have a pretty good luck with it. Still haven’t caught a Muskie but I’m not taking any chances. You have to understand that these fish down here behave a whole lot diffreltley then they do up north, they are lazier, not as aggressive, don’t get over 40LB's, and don’t re-produce naturally.

    However we had a few 50+ inchers caught in the last few years. One thing I would recommend is that if you are serious about musky fishing
    and want catch a decent number of fish you join the Shawnee Muskie Hunters. That is a local musky chapter 28, there are very experienced members that fish the lake
    very often, they also hold seminars and club tournaments and outings. I have learned a lot from them in the past years, (also a lot of Muskie hunter TV) you can always ask the local guides where they have been moving the fish, what they have been hitting etc.

    Hope this helps

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