Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Sign in to follow this  
Believer

St. Lawrence muskies: What lure?

Recommended Posts

Here is a good question for an early spring day: When fishing the St. Lawrence River for muskies, what is the (a) best bait, (b) best size, and © favorite color?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Up on the flat's, trolling(twitching too) 10" Grandma or Jake Crankbaits in natural black,silver & white colors and weighted spinnerbaits in black hair with nickle blades 3.2 mph.Also Red-October Twisted Tube 10" in black,bounced along dropoff edges.

Capt. Larry D. Jones

www.mostlymuskies.com/reports.htm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like Believers and Tuff Shads in natural colors. I just made contact with Baker's Baits and I plan on trying out a few of his patterns on the St. Lawrence River this fall. Good luck.

Boat name: Irish Hammer

Clayton, NY

irishhammerfishing.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Go for the Berger rig, typical charter captain approach when trolling for the big boys!!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen videos of the Berger rig and would like to TRY it. Try and fail. Try and fail. And then maybe get it right.

Does anybody use the Bucher Depthraider? The 9" Grandma? The 8" Jake? These are the lures I think about when considering the Larry. But the only thing I can conclude is that it is a hard place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would fish that Grandma way before I would consider trying out the Jake. I have heard that the lips don't stay in the new Jakes. I know that the Radke Minnow is very, very popular. When I think of the Larry, I think of the Radke and a Believer. Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Believer is spot on when he states that the St. Larry is a hard place. I have witnessed many muskie anglers come up to fish for 1-2 weeks and not move a rod. This river will not give you numbers. Anglers come from out of town for a couple of days/weeks and they never come back. There is so much water to work, mother nature is always reminding you who is the boss, and time between fish can seem like forever. Best bet is to coordinate with a guide. There are some good ones. Unfortunately, many of the muskie guides are getting to the end of their chartering careers. It is unfortunate since they are an invaluable source of information.

Desired lures seem to be geographic. Many anglers fishing from the U.S. side will pull believers, berger rig style or clean. There is a group of Canadians that like to pull Jakes and Grandmas. Anglers from both sides catch fish with their programs. I have not seen or heard of anybody pulling Radke's in years. There may be a few using them but I don't know who they are.

If you can get any of the day to day muskie anglers to give you their number of fish caught to hours fished here on the St. Larry in the Thousand Islands Region you will be very disappointed. It is a very difficult fishery.

Paul Corbett

Clayton, NY

irishhammerfishing.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The fish are there, they need to be enticed to strike, & you need a little luck. Last 2 day trip with Fish Doctor yielded a 50" lunge & several other pike. Have done thee SKI's from Iron Man to Clayton 40 to 50"es, behind Wolfe Island is a great place to be if no one else is there.

I can't disagree, the fish are tough to catch!! I have over 60 hours of trolling to get three. However, I have learned some things & have more confidence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Iceman, when you refer to wolfe island, is that for musky?

I live in Kingston and plan on doing some musky fishing this summer. Any other tips are welcome for around that area

Jay

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I spoke to Steve LePan of the DEC last week at the lake Ontario symposium and asked him at the break how the St Lawrence fishery was doing and he flat out told me they are very worried about the fishery. They are not seeing the young of year and some of the spawning grounds have changed with new weed types. He thinks the big VHS kill a few yrs ago has hurt it too. Giants are still there but numbers are down. Still produces the biggest muskies in the world though in my opinion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

do they have any intentions of trying to intervene to get the numbers up? possible stocking programs with muskie from chautauqua hatchery??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dont know but thats very doubtful that they would mix the great lakes strain with the Chautauqua strain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What if for 1 or 2yrs(alternate) they collect the eggs from the larry and hatch them at prendergast to give the river some youngins???just a thought!

sol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Because of VHS in the Larry they will never bring eggs from the Larry to Prendergast Hatchery.

Capt. Larry

A little off topic on this thread but I want to bring this up, and it goes with the not bringing St. Lawrence eggs to Chautauqua.

This past year at the hatchery there was a problem with feed pellets which resulted in the fry turning off their feed and a lot died. The usual feed pellets were replaced with a lower cost alternative. I know why it happened, budgetary/ cost of doing business on the part of DEC but I am not slamming them for that. The bottom line is very important and keeping costs reined in deserves constant diligence. So no foul where good intentions were made.

The problem as I see it in what resulted was the wrong thing to do, bringing in muskie fingerlings from another state to replace the lost numbers and still stock the usual amount into the lake. IMHO this should not have been done. Not for VHS concerns but for genetic concerns.

Chautauqua truly is the Mother ship of eastern muskie fisheries. Back in the first half of the twentieth century muskie fry from Chautauqua were sent to other eastern states, Pa., Oh., and maybe W.Va. to reestablish muskie populations that had been wiped out by pollution, damming, etc. Many waters that historically had Ohio river/ Chautauqua strain but were lost were born again. That's great.

What gives me trepidation is the fact that in the ensuing decades there were muskies from other areas also introduced to these fisheries, muddying the gene pool.

Chautauqua is near and dear to my heart and I feel her muskies are unique as compared to muskies from anywhere else. I can only hope that what was released there was kosher and we haven't had any genetic backwash. Maybe I'm overreacting but I would rather err on the side of caution. Once things get changed there is no going back.

I don't care if I come off as an alarmist, Chautauqua needs alarmists. Don't mess with the Mother ship!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Myself and others were not happy with this move to get replacement musky fry from a Pa hatchery to stock in Chautauqua and iother NY waters.When they got the Pa musky Fry they were small for late july fingerlings,only 3 to 3 1/2" long.That to me put up a red flag because Pa collects muskie eggs for their hatchery earlier then we do here in NY,so they should have been bigger then ours.

This brought about talk between some of us that the Pa musky fry may have been small because of genetics.By the time the Pa musky fry were weaned off pellets and moved outside it was late in the season and they were not going to grow to get to the normal 9-10" stocking size.Even if we gave them extra fathead minnows the water temps were already on the down swing and the musky fry's feeding had already slowed down,they would have seen very little extra growth if we gave them extra minnows.I took a of flack for not purchasing extra fathead minnows to feed the Pa musky fry.At the same time others from the Cassadaga Lake Assoc. were voicing their opinion that they did not want the Pa musky fry stocked in Cassadaga.From what I was told that the left over musky fry from the local batch did get good size ,around 10", and were stocked in Chautauqua Lake.Where the majority of the Pa musky fry were stocked ,they are not saying.I was also told by someone the excess of the Pa musky fry were dumped in Chautauqua down by the Prendergast Launch.

Hopefuly we get a good egg collection and hatch so we can get the musky fry outside on extra fathead minnows this year.Every cold day is a few days later before the water temps get warm enough for the muskie spawn to start.The later the eggs are collected,the later they are hatched,the later it is before the musky fry are weaned off brine shrimp to pellets and finaly outside to fathead minnows.If it gets to late August instead of late July before the musky fry are moved out when the water temps start to go down,the growth rate will be shorter because as the water gets colder the musky fry feed less.The best growth rate of the musky fry will happen when eggs are collected early enough have a hatch and weaning to fathead minnows by July.along with extra fathead minnows purchased by the Bait Fish Fund tossed in at the warmest water period where the musy fry are eating machines.

We need a warm spring soon!

Capt. Larry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Where the majority of the Pa. musky fry were stocked, they are not saying".

I support the DEC, on the whole I feel they are hard working folks who do not receive nearly enough gratitude for all that they do. On the other hand they can really get under my skin sometimes. To me it seems that when it became apparent that a mistake had been made and the number of fry on hand for stocking was low it should have stopped right there. Just proceed with what they had on hand, a much smaller year class but so be it. That would not be something the lake could not recover from. Screwing up the gene pool is something the lake will never recover from. That sort of thing would be beyond mind numbingly stupid and in the face of public protest, as it seems was the case, absolutely obstinate, just unforgivable.

Like I said, I support DEC, they are all we have but sometimes it's hard. Three times I have personally been burned by them. The first time I was fishing beneath the Grand Island bridge from shore when an ECO showed up to check my license. That morning before I left the house I checked to see that I had my license. I did not. The week before I had been up at the hunting camp in Humphrey and it had got soaked in the rain. I spread it out on the table to dry and forgot it there. I took my Sportsman's backtag with me in lieu of that which is what I presented to him, and my driver's license. He said "I can see you do in fact have a fishing license but my boss says we need to generate our revenue so I have to cite you for not having the paper on your person". Fine, as per the letter of the law, he was right and I was in violation. That didn't upset me. What upset me was the measly $25 he got for his department. They got their lousy $25 which cost me that, plus a $50 surcharge at the court which I called ahead about simply mailing it in. No, I had to appear. Working second shift that also cost me lost wages for a night off work to take care of it. I felt like I had been mugged.

The second time was at Burt, salmon fishing. Me and two friends arrived at the baitshop there and bought our new licenses as it was the first week of October. We pulled in and as we were getting out of the car a DEC car pulled up and parked next to us, two ECO's. I held the door for them as we walked in. We bought our licenses, filled them all out, etc. with these two guys standing right behind us, they saw the whole thing. We left and went to the nearby marina where we had fished every fall for years, under the bridge. Not five minutes later the ECO's appeared. They asked to check our licenses which I thought was silly. They then proceeded to write us tickets for fishing under the bridge at night and -get this, I am not making this up- one of them then produced a handful of papers and handed each of us a copy. "These are the pages that were omitted from the rulebook when it was printed. It covers the part about no more fishing under the bridge in the marina at night". I'm thinking uh huh, why not tell us that five minutes ago at the baitshop? Nope. They sat there in their car after pulling out of the baitshop behind us, watched us get set up and then approached us and wrote us up. Again, another ticket with another fine, another fat surcharge and another night lost from work with a long drive to the cornfield courthouse in the middle of nowhere to have the privilege of sitting through all the parking tickets and being seen dead last, four hour wait.

I felt like I had been raped.

The third time, even a decade later still puts a bad taste in my mouth so I'm not going to get into it. I am livid still to this day.

Still though, I do support these guys. One week after the Burt ticket I was fishing on the bank at the dam alone. There was one other guy there, out on corner of the concrete at the bottom of the dam. I saw the ECO coming up the bank, about a hundred yards away. The other guy saw him too. When he did he kicked the bucket at his feet into the water which was stuffed with brown trout (season closed) and also dropped his rod into the water and walked off the dam, passed me on the bank and right by the ECO. The ECO, same one that cited me the week before, checked my license and I pointed out the bucket full of fish drifting down the pool, which he had not seen, and I told him what happened. He gave me back my license, thanked me and ran after the guy. Busted.

I do support these guys.

Another time, up in Humphrey during the first week of deer season the guys on the next property over from ours shot a black bear sow and all four of her cubs, on our side of the property line, shooting from their side. Bear is closed until the second week. It is illegal to shoot bears in groups. It is illegal to shoot cubs. I reported it.

I do support these guys.

I could turn sour for what the DEC has done to me and look the other way when I see violations but I report them because it is the right thing to do. I support them because they are all that we have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, You vented! The Hatchery Personel & ECO are two different Divisions of the NY DEC and are under different direction and funding. Having said that most of the decisions made for the Hatchery are not made localy at all,but by the Warm Waters Fishery Dept. of the NY DEC in Albany.So was the case to use a trout feed pellet instead on brine shrimp to start last years musky fry,by the time they found out the musky fry were not eating the new feed pellet,it was to late for most of the musky fry by the time the brine shrimp was delivered,over half had died.The hatchery personel at Prendergast are good at what they do,if left alone to do it their way.

Capt. Larry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Because of VHS in the Larry they will never bring eggs from the Larry to Prendergast Hatchery.

Capt. Larry

Eggs can be treated to kill VHS disease. A charter captain at the state of the lake meetings last year had all the info.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They treat the eggs at the Prendergast Hatchery now with Iodine to kill VHS,just incase it ended up there via equipment and work clothing that may have been used on other VHS conaminated waters.But I was told they would never purposely bring VHS contaminated fish or eggs into the hatchery system.They also have a fear of genetics between fish fry being altered by birds moving fry from one ouitside pond to another,if to different strains were in ponds outside.Our best approach is to keep on the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Agency about building a Hatchery for muskies,walleye & perch on the Buffalo River,using Power Project money.Also the St. Larry & Buffalo Harbor need habitat restoration for more successful spawning of purebred muskies.

Capt. Larry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does Chautauqua show any natural spawning success for muskies or is it totally dependant on stocking?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...