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Items filtered by date: June 2011

Lila Warren will return from Paris, Va., at the end of summer to assist the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency with its musky stocking program.

It was about eight times heavier than I realized it was going to be

Last Friday it was Warren who needed help from the TWRA, more specifically its chief of fisheries Bobby Wilson along with fishing guide Cory Allen, to keep from being pulled into the Collins River near McMinnville by a 52-inch monster musky.

“The only thing left in the boat was her left leg,” Allen said.

“She was going overboard,” Wilson added. “Cory grabbed her just in time.”

It’s not that Warren didn’t realize musky get big. She is a burgeoning expert on the aggressive river fish. She was simply caught off guard by this one.

“It was about eight times heavier than I realized it was going to be,” she said.

Warren, 24, a recent graduate from the University of Virginia, wanted to get a head start on her postgraduate master’s degree studies at Tennessee Tech in a project funded by the TWRA examining the musky population in several of the state’s rivers and reservoirs.

So she lined up a fishing trip with Allen, a Middle Tennessee guide who specializes in musky fishing, and Wilson came along.

“One of the goals of the trip was for me to see my research watershed,” Warren said. “It was a major bonus to catch a trophy fish like that.”

Allen said he had actually spotted the musky in the river twice last week.

“I didn’t know if we’d see it again on our trip because at midweek it was kind of a balancing act,” he said “I was worried at one point that there was too much mud in the water, but then it was so clear on another day and sometimes the clear water makes it a little harder to get them to commit.”

By the time the trio hit the water at 5 a.m. Friday the conditions were ideal, Allen said.

“If you can get some stain in the water and get out there early things usually work out in your favor,” Allen said. “If I wasn’t confident before we got to the ramp I was very confident we were going to catch something once I got down to the ramp and I saw the water conditions.”

Warren, who at 5-foot-8 is only 16 inches taller than the fish’s length, hooked the musky an hour and a half later using a 10-inch crank bait.

“I thought I’d snagged my lure on a log,” Warren said. “Then I saw a huge fin come up and realized it was a massive fish.”

After Allen and Wilson helped her quickly measure the musky, Warren released it. They did not take time to weigh it, but estimated it was in excess of 40 pounds. It was a female without eggs.

The state record musky is 42 pounds, 8 ounces, caught in Norris Reservoir in 1983, according to the TWRA. The world record is 69 pounds, 11 ounces, caught in Chippewa Flowage, Wis., in 1949, according to the International Game Fish Association.

It was the first time for Wilson to fish for musky. It made him feel good about the TWRA’s program.

“We’ve got a really good population of musky in that area,” Wilson said. “Not just in the Collins River but the Caney Fork, the Rocky, the Calfkiller and even the Great Falls Lake.”

Full story at The Tennessean.com

Published in News
Saturday, 18 June 2011 16:44

Ontario Muskie Season Open

For those of you Ontario muskie fishermen out there wondering when the muskie season is open, here is a run down for the 2011 muskie season openers. You'll also need this link to see where exactly the zones are located throughout Ontario. Ontario's Muskie fishing zones
  • Zone 1: No Season
  • Zone 2: 3rd Saturday in June to December 15th
  • Zone 3: No Season
  • Zone 4: 3rd Saturday in June to December 15th
  • Zone 5: 3rd Saturday in June to December 15th
  • Zone 6: 3rd Saturday in June to December 15th
  • Zone 7: No Season
  • Zone 8: No Season
  • Zone 9: 3rd Saturday in June to December 15th
  • Zone 10: 3rd Saturday in June to December 15th
  • Zone 11: 3rd Saturday in June to December 15th
  • Zone 12: Friday before 3rd Saturday in June to December 15th
  • Zone 13: 3rd Saturday in June to December 15th
  • Zone 14: 3rd Saturday in June to December 15th
  • Zone 15: 1st Saturday in June to December 15th
  • Zone 16: 1st Saturday in June to December 15th
  • Zone 17: 1st Saturday in June to December 15th
  • Zone 18: 1st Saturday in June to December 15th
  • Zone 19: 1st Saturday in June to December 15th
  • Zone 20: 3rd Saturday in June to December 15th
The link to see Ontario's fishing zones is here. Good luck anglers!
Published in News

Members of Muskies, Inc. reported they caught 719 muskies between 30 and 48.5 inches in Illinois last year, down from 919 muskies in 2009.

In a report issued this week, the organization said 18 bodies of water reported muskie captures, with 11 reporting fish longer than 40 inches, including Evergreen Lake, which had a 45-inch fish and Spring Lake with a 46.5-incher.

The Fox Chain in northern Illinois led all bodies of water with the most reported catches, accounting for nearly half the total. Kinkaid accounted for about a quarter and Spring Lake accounted for another 20 percent.

These are relative numbers and should not be viewed to indicate the most productive muskie lakes in Illinois. The report is based on self-accounts of muskie-club members only. Non-members capture and release many more muskies, and many fish measuring 30 inches or more are not reported at all for various reasons.

For kids

Did you put this on your calendar yet? The annual fishing clinic and derby for kids ages 5-12 at Miller Park in Bloomington is June 11. The McLean County Sportsmen's Association, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Bloomington Parks and Recreation, State Farm Foundation, the McLean County Sheriff's Department and The Pantagraph host the free event. Registration starts at 8 a.m. The first 200 receive T-shirts. Bring a bucket and your fishing gear. Worms and a lunch at noon are provided.

The pond is stocked with catfish prior to the event. Call 309-275-9891 for information. No fishing license required.

Tournament notes

-- Ryan Robinson and Wes Gehrt weighed five fish totaling 13.3 pounds to win a Saturday tournament at Evergreen Lake for Relay for Life. Father-and-son team of Fred and Fred Myers was second with 12.8 pounds. They donated their winnings of $200 back to the Relay. Elk's Lodge big bass was 4.8 pounds caught by Mike Therien. The second largest bass was 4.2 pounds caught by Ryan Robinson. The event raised $1,100 for the Relay for Life.

-- Scott Bree and Jamie Maisenbacher won the Bloomington Normal Bass Club Tuesday Night Tournament at Evergreen Lake with three fish weighing 9 pounds, 4 ounces. Second place with three fish weighing 6 pounds, 15 ounces were Gena and Dave Norris. Third place and big bass was taken by Jim Sherman and Ron Bristow with one bass of 3 pounds, 7 ounces.


Full Article Publsihed at pantagraph.com

Published in News

Enthusiast's tackle box needs to include patience

Sunday, May 29, 2011  03:15 AM



Trolling for muskie can be characterized as sustained periods of expectant lethargy interrupted by minutes of mayhem.

Taking away the mayhem leaves expectant lethargy, which is a special mix of inaction and hope especially suited to fishermen.

Let's figure. An average of, say, 3 mph for a span of six hours equates to about 18 miles of trolling per line. Six lines in the water total 108 miles, or close to the shortest driving distance between Ohio State University and the entrance to Cedar Point.

Considered another way: Three humans aboard Toledo-area fisherman Fred Lederer's boat moved a combined 54 miles across the smooth surface of the 997-acre Clear Fork Reservoir. That's about the driving distance from Worthington to Clear Fork, just southwest of Mansfield.

Clear Fork presents 14 miles of shoreline, though much of that can be fished only by casting because of shallow water, tight quarters and obstacles manmade or natural. Trolling, then, is restricted to lazy, circular routes in the deepest part of the impoundment, which is stocked with muskies and occasionally surrenders a few to the ardent and the fortunate.

Many muskie anglers choose casting, though just thinking about the number of casts generally required to hook a muskellunge makes old boys wince and rub their shoulder.

With muskies - toothy predators that can grow to more than 50 inches in Ohio and eat what they please - there's almost no telling when the mood to strike will happen or what, if anything, will be struck on a given day.

This recent day, after four straight with rain, was glorious. The fishing, in turn, was humbling.

Not a muskie had latched on and held fast to a single lure dragging behind Lederer's 23-foot boat. Evidence, though, suggested that a pair of the half-dozen trailing wobblies had drawn blinking attention.

"Actually, we probably did a little better than most," Lederer said as he approached the dock in fishless slow motion. "We had two good rips."

He paused, possibly to consider whether muskies or something else had made his reels yell out twice during the day. On a third occasion, a noisy reel taunted Lederer when his 10-inch, perch-painted "Ziggie" - also known as "the money lure" - hooked something, perhaps a stump.

After a tussle, Lederer managed to free the lure, a great save at $40 retail.

Intriguingly, two reels, apparently bothered by something other than a stump, had bawled the other times. A pair of witnesses - Suzanne Skunza, 33, of Columbus, and a scribbler approaching the years of permanent lethargy - would swear to that.

Although trying to pin the shrieking on muskies was tenuous without DNA evidence, Lederer - with 18 years experience at the game - had seen and heard enough to make his case.

"That's a start," he said.

For at least one person aboard, though, it was also a finish. The next day, Lederer and Skunza would be at it again during a tournament involving the Ohio Huskie Muskie Club, Inc. Lederer, 46, is president and Skunza a trustee.

The pre-tournament occasion was Division Day, an annual Friday affair in which members of the club fete the Ohio Division of Wildlife and offer a collection of wildlife professionals and others a shot at catching a muskie.

Why reporters get invited to Division Day shall remain a happy and uninvestigated mystery. Wildlife personnel, on the other hand, more than earn the opportunity, given that without the raising and annual stocking of muskellunge, the state would be almost muskie-free.

The Huskie Muskie Club, thanks to the wildlife division's efforts, is celebrating its 50th year. As a consequence, club members are whooping it up this year about their half-century of history, five decades interrupted every now and then by minutes of mayhem.


Article Link

Published in News

Bass season opened much like the walleye season with cold temperatures, wind and plenty of rain. The last fishing opener of the spring is this Saturday when the muskie season opens in Minnesota.

Anglers will be able to fish for whatever species they want once the muskie season opens. Many anglers like to stick with walleye fishing as long as the bite is good and won’t fish for other species until the walleye bite slows.

There are some anglers who like to fish for the same species of fish nearly every time they are on the water, whether they fish for bass, walleyes or muskies. Many of the one-species anglers are either tournament anglers or one-species fishing guides.

Muskie anglers like the physical nature of the sport and most enjoy the whole process of casting big baits for big fish. They don’t expect to catch a lot of fish, they just want to catch big fish and they are willing to work hard to do so.

Muskie anglers carry cameras and long rulers so they can catch, measure, photo and release their fish. If they take fish home to eat, it is usually a northern pike or larger walleye they catch by accident while casting for muskies.

Muskie fishing is mostly for younger anglers with good backs. Casting muskie baits all day long is much harder than it looks. There is a saying that all old muskie anglers eventually turn into trollers or they give up the sport and go back to catching “smaller” fish.

One of the best tactics for early-season muskies is called “burning a bucktail”. The cabbage weed are not fully developed and haven’t reached the surface yet so anglers are able to work baits over the tops of the weeds.

Burning a bucktail simply means making long casts and reeling in an in-line bucktail spinner fast enough to stay out of the weeds but not so fast that the lure breaks the surface of the water.

This presentation quickly covers a maximum amount of water. It also moves fast enough that muskies can’t get a good look at the bait, so they have to chase the bait and, hopefully, bite it to get a better look at it.

Bass anglers also like to cast but instead of making numerous casts for one or two fish like muskie anglers do, most bass anglers prefer action and bass are usually willing to bite.

Bass and other members of the sunfish family are waiting for the surface water temperatures to rise into the 60s so they can move onto their beds and spawn.

Water temperatures have been stalled in the mid-50s in most lakes, which has delayed the progress of the spawn for bass, as well as crappies and sunfish.

The cold water temperatures and high water levels have stunted weed growth in most lakes, with the cabbage and coontail weeds just starting to grow. Most of the new reed beds and bull rushes are also behind schedule and have not yet broken through the surface of the water.

The insect hatches also started this past week. The midges are the first “fish flies” to hatch in the spring, with the dragonfly and mayfly hatches to follow soon.

Most walleye anglers have been catching their walleyes along shoreline structure by casting or dragging jigs and shiner minnows. The best cover has been the emerging cabbage weed beds or areas with gravel and rocks on the bottom.

Walleyes in most of the larger lakes will stay on shoreline structure as long as the spot-tail shiner minnows are spawning. Once the spot-tail shiner minnows are done spawning the insect hatches in deep water will begin to attract many of the baitfish and walleyes.

Many walleye anglers will switch to live-bait rigs tipped with leeches or larger minnows when the walleyes start to move off the shoreline into deeper water.

Original Article posted at bemidjipioneer.com Article Link


Published in News

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