Last night I had to hit the water to enjoy the beautiful weather. For late October you just cannot beat fishing in 65 degree weather. The conditions were great and the muskies were eager to chomp down on yet another muskie bait tossed out of my boat. Not only was I able to enjoy the weather with a couple of buddies (Dingy and Whorl), but I had to check on a few things for the next couple of weeks of the season. Being that I was out of town for a week and not on the water for a few days, I just wanted to see what the fish were doing for some eager guests that are coming out in the next few days. Secondly, I wanted to test a theory that I have been hearing from many people the past couple of weeks.
The number one question being thrown my way right now is, Do Muskies Eat Topwater This Late In The Fall??? I know that for many years, people have been writing up stories in magazines and across the internet, that you have to throw large and slow baits when the water cools. Not to say that they are wrong about this, but all it does is put a thought in every fishermans head that they have to switch everything they have done for the last 4 months and start from scratch. This could cause several trips of practicing new techniques and baits and result in fishless trips, and even worse, No Confidence. Like I tell everybody that comes in my boat. "Grab a couple of baits only, Throw them a ton, Become confident in what you are doing, and you will catch fish." Muskie fishing is totally a mind game and second guessing yourself. Once you lose any confidence you had when you hit the water, the fish has won, and you may as well start fishing for sunnies or perch. Yes, I do like to switch my patterns and lures throughout the season, and it keeps me on top of the game, but that doesn't mean that I am going to listen to every article written in a paper or throw nothing but Magnum sized bulldawgs because that is what everyone else is doing.
Muskies eat baits because they think it is a meal for them. They don't go through the summer thinking that an injured fish on the surface looks good in July and August and then consider it a muskie lure in October and November. Yes they are smart and usually win the brain battle with a fisherman, but that doesn't mean that they won't eat what they think is food when they get hungry. Last night I grabbed one Topwater lure and made it a point to catch a muskie on it before I went home. We hit the water at 5:00 and by 6:45 I had 4 fish chase my bait and landed a fat mid 40 incher. I also learned that all the chatter from the muskie gods may not be true. In my head I feel I won the mind game, because I kept telling my buddies that I was going to land a muskie on this bait, and I brought the Mojo to the table, which gave me another Kodak moment that I love so much.
I do not consider myself an expert on this sport, but I am confident when I hit the water, and that boils down to one thing. Fish in my boat. If I want to throw a certain lure and I feel good about it, I feel I always have a chance at coaxing a muskie into biting. Whether it is June or November, the muskies see your bait as a meal, not as a fishing lure, and if they are hungry they will hopefully take a chomp out of it. The second I lose confidence in my approach, I may as well leave the lake. I hope this little blurp in my journal helps a few of you guys out with your next trips on the lake. It is my approach and sometimes it just plain works. The next time you are out, feel free to try new techniques, because I strongly encourage learning something new every time on the water, but don't be afraid to try a bait that you did well on in July or August. You may be pleasantly surprised. Currently, the water temp is at 52-53 degrees which is likely to change soon. Until next time Y'all, Keep on livin that Muskie Dream!