Musky Shop Northwoods Fishing Report: Late October

Musky Shop Northwoods Fishing Report: Late October

James Stewart October 20, 2023

Greetings from Beautiful Minocqua, Wisconsin!

We hope all of you are getting out on the water and chasing Muskies or other species of fish. For many, fall is a favorite time of year, and many fishermen love targeting Muskies in fall no matter what the weather is doing.  There are days when the sun is out and the colors are popping, a slight breeze is rippling across the water, and fishing is outstanding. Then there are days when it's cold, blustery, and drizzling, but we still find ourselves out of the water and quite honestly having success in catching Muskies. So, if you get the chance,  get out on the water when you can as we all know winter is not that far off.

The Musky bite has been good lately. We are receiving good reports of Muskies being caught casting lures as well as using live suckers. One of our guide staff members Al (Frosty) Frost had a client and friend out a couple of days ago and they caught a 46 3/4" Musky and lost an upper 40" Musky. It turned out to be a good learning lesson though. When Frosty’s client set the hook on the large Musky, he failed to thumb the spool and when he tried to set the hook there was a little bit of slip thus not a solid set, and the fish was lost. The lesson learned is when you set the hook, make sure your drag is quite tight and put thumb pressure on the spool to avoid slippage.

Once you have a good hook set and you are in the fight then one can back the drag off slightly so that the Musky can take line and make a few runs before tiring and working her towards the net. I say all of this in no way trying to disparage Frosty's client, as we all lose Muskies sometimes but when that happens it's best to try to learn from our mistakes.

Most of our lakes in Oneida and Vilas County have turned over. There might be a few finishing up but for the most part, they have all turned. With that said Muskies are a bit scattered but weed growth is still good, so one will want to cover different depths to locate Muskies. There will be a few shallow, some on the edges, and some off the edges. So methodically cover areas to try your best to find their location. Once you've caught or seen one or two then put a plan together to cover those areas and get after them. 

Dragging Musky Suckers is always a good idea when you're casting. Make sure to keep your Musky Sucker above structure because if you're Musky Sucker is getting tangled in weeds, you're wasting time and not being efficient.  Try your best to be as efficient as you can as it will pay off at some point for you. Many times, it's doing the little things right that leads to Muskies in the net.

Walleye and Bass fishing has been good in Northern Wi. Walleye's have slid out a bit and depending on what type of lake you're fishing they are a bit deeper. On the deep clear water systems check out the deep reefs and deep bars in the 25'-40' range. Redtail chubs are a great live minnow to use as well as Jigging Raps. For the shallower lakes XL Fatheads and Walleye Suckers are a good live bait choice. Concentrate on weed edges, humps, gravel, and sand bars. One can use live bait, cast or troll crankbaits, and spinner rigs. All of those are usually good choices for catching Walleye as well as Bass. 

Well, that's it for this time around, we hope you all have a great fall and catch a bunch of nice fish.

Please let us know if we can be of service to you as it would be our honor.

Good Fishing and God Bless, Jim Stewart