ganz1960 wrote:We got another muskie today. Or maybe it was the same muskie as in the 6/21 post above. It was in the same general area.
This one I caught. I got it on a Smithwick crank bait that dives about 2 feet or less.
A few seconds after the 2nd pic, the hooks popped out and the fish was gone. Luckily my friend was there to take these photos so we at least have some kind of record.
I really like the action and diving depth of the lure I used. However, the hooks seem too small. Especially for muskie. But I also lost a nice smallie maybe 40 minutes before the muskie hit. So if I use that lure again, I'm switching out the hooks.
Also, my friend and I both feel we've caught more smallmouth at this bridge in previous years than in the last couple of years. Coincidentally, we've also hooked more muskie at this bridge in the last couple of years. Could muskie be eating or scaring enough smallmouth for us to notice a decline in numbers? Or maybe it's just my friend and I are getting worse at fishing the older we get.
A big part of the bolded is that it's a river. Rivers change year to year, especially with the amount of rain we've had that has blown them out. The bottom contours change, the structure changes. Holes that used to be there fill in with sand/silt, and new holes are created. If the bridge isn't holding smallies like it used to, then odds are the area changed enough to where they don't prefer that area anymore, and now the muskies do. It's possible that the muskies are also playing a part in the smallies not being around as much, but I'd say it's more likely that the change in the river in that area around the bridge has made it an area the smallies just don't prefer as much anymore. It could be a current change because of higher water, or some form of obstruction underwater around the bridge that changed the current seams, or who knows what. My brother and I used to have a hole on the Kank that always produced some pig smallies, and whenever we went, it would hold 3-4 of them in the 3-4+ range, and then at least a dozen other fish from 8 inches to 17 inches. One year we went back after the river had blown out in spring, and the hole was gone, and the current seam was different, and the smallies were no longer there. A 30 yard by 30 yard pocket of like 7+ foot deep water was just gone, and we could now walk right through the area less than waist deep. It's just the way it goes sometimes with rivers.
Very cool, though, that you're getting muskies pretty regularly. Nice job.
Also remember, changing the hooks on the lure(especially to bigger ones) will impact the action/specs of the bait, so you may have to test a couple different ones to find some that don't change the bait that much. The hooks may change if the bait suspends, or floats, or sinks, how far it dives, and even the side-to-side wobble of it. So I'd experiment until you find what you like.