Musky Shop Northwood's Fishing Report: Early October
Greetings from beautiful Minocqua WI.
Fishing in Oneida and Vilas counties remains pretty strong. We are hearing good reports of all species being caught with muskies of course at the forefront, our specialty.
On most lakes here in the Northwoods many of the Muskies have moved up shallow; however, depending on local weather they will slide up tight to shore or slide out a bit closer to the initial weed edge. There are a few off of the edges and some muskies believe it or not are still suspended over deep water. Those suspended skies have not been down particularly very far and fishermen have been catching them. But the majority of muskies are located from the shoreline out to 8'-10'.
What works well is to position the boat just off of the weed edge and cover the edge and up over the weeds that way you are covering the edge, up on the weeds, and most of the time your cast will reach close to shore as well. When working off of the edge, it's a good idea to drag some Musky Suckers. Run your Musky Suckers out off the edge or above the weeds so that you are not getting them hung up with weeds as that just slows you down and you become less productive. Musky Shop carries both large suckers and an assortment of sucker rigs.
If, however, the weed edge extends out quite a ways from shore then make a few passes casting shallow and if you are not finding anything then slide out just a bit and make a few more passes. The key in my opinion is to find them and hopefully put a pattern together and have success. Always try to have an open mind to their daily movements and if you kind of feel your way along it will aid in your success. When fishing up tight to shore, throw surface baits, bucktails, and glide baits. Those are good search baits to locate Muskies. Some good examples are The Smity Baits Original Top Kick, Hooked on Musky Baits Nuclear Bomb, and Bitten Tackle Warlocks. For the Musky's that have slid out a bit some great baits to consider would be
Bucher Shallow Raider, Livingston Lures Titan, and the Big Fork Sandcat. Once you've got them located then hone in on them and it quite possibly will turn into a Fun day. Musky fishing is a great sport and when we are having success it's a ton of fun.
As for walleye, most of our guides are finding them a bit deeper in the 20'-30' range. On the deeper clearer lakes Redtail chubs, and crankbaits have been working very well. On the lakes that are dark water and shallower, both XL Fatheads and Walleye Suckers are great. Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass have been biting well. Most of them have been shallow as well. Spinnerbaits, Plastics, and small crankbaits have been producing good numbers.
Crappies have been a bit tougher to locate as they have been moving in and out. Our guides have been finding most of them located near structures such as wood or weeds in the 10'-20 range. Crappie Minnows on slip-bobber has been a very good technique.
That's gonna do it for this time around, we hope you have great fishing and please let us know if we can be of service to you as it would be our pleasure.
Good Fishing and God Bless, Jim Stewart