Muskie 6/21/19! And 6/29!

Fox River - Northern Illinois
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Muskie 6/21/19! And 6/29!

Postby ganz1960 » Jun Fri 21, 2019 5:26 pm

My friend and I went wading for the first time this year in search of smallmouth bass. He caught a muskie instead!

We were near Aurora. He got it on a swim jig. It hit in about 3 feet of faster water near a bridge. I estimate it at about 27 inches. It was released unharmed to surprise someone else someday.

BTW, I managed only 1 bass and missed 4 others, all 8-10 inches and not photo worthy.

A fun time!
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Re: Muskie 6/21/19!

Postby Peter Piper » Jun Fri 21, 2019 8:13 pm

nice fish!
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Re: Muskie 6/21/19!

Postby GEO » Jun Fri 21, 2019 8:30 pm

That’s too hott!! Keep it ah comin!!
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Re: Muskie 6/21/19!

Postby HEDDONFROG » Jun Fri 21, 2019 9:05 pm

Good Stuff!
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Re: Muskie 6/21/19!

Postby badger75 » Jun Fri 21, 2019 9:12 pm

Very nice fish!
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Re: Muskie 6/21/19!

Postby catchafew » Jun Sat 22, 2019 9:02 am

Nice work.
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Re: Muskie 6/21/19!

Postby ccorso » Jun Sat 22, 2019 4:15 pm

Very cool! Great action shot
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Re: Muskie 6/21/19!

Postby mike son » Jun Sun 23, 2019 11:04 am

Awesome. Yeah that action shot is sweet!
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Re: Muskie 6/21/19!

Postby polishfly » Jun Sun 23, 2019 5:40 pm

hell yea!! nice fish for sure, glad to hear they are healthy
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Re: Muskie 6/21/19! And 6/29!

Postby ganz1960 » Jun Sat 29, 2019 5:49 pm

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.

IMG_0456.jpeg

IMG_0457.jpeg
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Re: Muskie 6/21/19! And 6/29!

Postby DPMike » Jun Sat 29, 2019 9:10 pm

Great pics, a pleasure to see. Nice job
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Re: Muskie 6/21/19! And 6/29!

Postby ohoffm » Jun Sun 30, 2019 8:55 am

nice work
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Re: Muskie 6/21/19! And 6/29!

Postby billebob5 » Jun Sun 30, 2019 8:26 pm

The Muskie in the first pic looks thick. Second one appears to be skinnier.
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Re: Muskie 6/21/19! And 6/29!

Postby jmdog2003 » Jun Sun 30, 2019 8:38 pm

Very cool to see a fishable population of muskies in that river. Nice job with those tooth beasts.
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Re: Muskie 6/21/19! And 6/29!

Postby Busse Jim » Jun Sun 30, 2019 11:16 pm

Cool action picts and skies! 8) Nice reports.
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Re: Muskie 6/21/19! And 6/29!

Postby SmalliesNEyes » Jul Mon 01, 2019 7:19 am

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.

IMG_0456.jpeg

IMG_0457.jpeg


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.
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Re: Muskie 6/21/19! And 6/29!

Postby Rambler » Jul Mon 01, 2019 7:55 am

“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it is not the same river and he is not the same man.” - Heraclitus.

Rivers are always changing. Just when you think you know one it ain't the same anymore. Could be why we keep going back.
Keep calm and fish on...

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Re: Muskie 6/21/19! And 6/29!

Postby ganz1960 » Jul Mon 01, 2019 12:21 pm

Thanks all!

And SmalliesNEyes and Rambler…your explanations that the river keeps changing makes sense. More sense than muskie eating or chasing away all the smallmouth.

Though I haven't discounted the idea that my friend and I are getting worse at smallmouth bass fishing.
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