I wasn't of the mindset that Fall had arrived yet until I had to scrape some serious frost off the vehicle window this morning out at the house in Spirit Falls. The Autumn colors are really starting to show up in the forest canopy here in Tomahawk, which seems hard to believe since only a few weeks back we were fishing under the suppressive heat of summer.
But it appears we are turning the table, and that's good news for musky hunters looking to boat a big girl before the lakes and flowages freeze over in the not too distant future.
Myself included, a lot of anglers like to drag a sucker on a quick-strike rig this time of year. This can be a great approach when the first really big cool down occurs (not sure if we're quite there yet), and is a great way to hook into those trailing muskies that are missed or not seen at boat side. I typically will run a sucker on a bobber a few feet from the boat to start the Fall - use a clicker real that provides tension, makes you aware of a strike, and releases line when a fish hits. As the season moves along and the fish become aware of this technique, I'll let out more line to keep the presentation further from the boat. Remember to set the hook as soon as possible when using these rigs, since the last thing anyone wants to do is injure a fish in the process of trying to boat a big hog.
This time of year I'll start switching over to Suicks and Bobbie Baits and move away from topwaters - although I'll still use these if I see a lot of action from other fish on the water surface. I also like to throw plastics this time of year. A Bulldawg worked along where weed edges and the channel connect can be very productive. Julio turned me on to throwing deep running
Steve Baumann, who resides in Illinois and has had a cabin in Tomahawk since 1973, sent me a photograph earlier this week of a monster musky. His 15-year-old, Justin, boated the 52' beast on the third cast out Labor Day morning while fishing the Wisconsin River system. While not out boating monster muskies, Justin spends as much time as he can on his hometown waters as a member of the Marengo High School bass fishing team. Congrats on a beautiful fish, Justin! Look for a photo of Justin's catch in the Sept. 14 issue of the Tomahawk Leader.
Good luck to everyone heading out this week and weekend. Tight lines and enjoy your Northwoods water time.