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Chautauqua Lake - Oct 22 - Fall Musky Fishing

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Decided to head out to Chautauqua as a last minute decision this weekend and see if the great fall musky bite would continue. Well we got off to a TERRIBLE start in that after launching Joe's boat, I went to step on it from the bow and missed my step and took a tumble into the 55 degree water at the end of the Pendergrast Launch...... geeezzzzzzzzz was that a cold shock at 6:30am. Soaked now from my waist down, I found that my iPhone does not do well submerged in freezing water. Looks like I will be buying the new iPhone sooner that I had anticipated. Sorry to anyone who might have called or text me recently as I no longer have a working cell phone at the moment and probably won't until next week sometime.

After my morning swim, we proceeded out not wanting to miss the morning bite despite being soaked with no extra clothes in the truck. Well I'm glad we did cause the fall fishing continues to be great this year.

First fish we hooked up with a low 40's healthy fish on a Lunge Lumber perch pattern.



After a quick release, Joe hooks up with a nice fish and looses it after she came up to the top and did a couple good headshakes on the surface. Joe was upset that he lost that fish but only 10 casts later, he got revenge on a nice 44" ski taken on a largemouth pattern LL.



After Joe's fish, I had another follow throwing a black tube over the weed tops but couldn't get any takers. The tube was a Red October Monster tube black with red sparkles - it looked really nice in the water but I need more practice on those as I am still not sure how to work the bait correctly to trigger strikes..... maybe Ronix can give me some advice as he seemed to have no problems getting hits last weekend on them.

Anyways, after that fish, I had one more hit and I missed it. It was around noon and my feet were starting to freeze over from falling in the water earlier. I told Joe I'd treat for lunch for if he took me in and stopped at dollar general to let me buy some new drier clothes. He agreed and so we headed to dollar general - I wasn't about to win any fashion awards but at least I was dry and warm for the evening trip. Beggers can't be choosers at this point in time so my only option was a size too big and extra white.... perfect musky fishing shoes! :P


Evening trip started out just good as I hooked into our biggest fish of the day (mid-40's) again throwing the perch patter lunge lumber. Another healthy fish sporting a good belly. Quick pic and release and we had our third fish of the day.


Joe lost one more good fish after that one and we called it a day going 3 for 6 with a couple other follows. The water temps are down to 55 degree and the clarity is very good. Natural colors/patterns got all the looks - couldn't get anything on my bright stuff. Also seemed like they wanted the presentations a bit slower now. I tried working several baits fast but only took fish on slower retrieves. Lastly, if you have the choice.... now isn't a good time to go swimming in that lake :lol: Pick a warmer month if you have the option and maybe consider packing a spare set of clothes in your truck when you go out this time of year... you never know what can happen out there. Stay dry my friends :beer::yes:

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well done joe and chad!

Old man I have no idea where you are getting these tigers in conesus! from spring all the way up to july 3 i saw tons of them...since then I couldnt even buy one from that lake!

where are you guys fishing this weekend? I have the whole weekend off

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Dan: We were the second last truck to leave the launch on Saturday. I told Chad that I thought it was your truck and trailer that was still there, but we did not see you on the lake. I am excited to hear about your trip and maybe get to see some pictures of your fish.

The best part about chad falling in the water (well, all of it was great actually) was that he got so upset thinking that he was getting texts from you and from Ronix of fish caught (if you guys were fishing) and that his phone was dead from the water!

I had a really good time fishing this weekend and hope to get out next weekend also. My niece is having her baptism on Sunday, so it looks like Saturday is my only chance. Ronix: I will be watching the weather closely throughout the week, but will give you a call later in the week if I am going to get to go.


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I am new to Musky fishing. I geared up in early September this year and have made about four trips to Chautauqua Lake. One full week in September and three weeks since that time. I am averaging one fish every two days. I was wondering if you guys would be willing to give me some additional pointers. I don't troll at all and have been casting in the North Basin. In September I was focusing on the outside weedline. However now the weeds are disappearing and dying off (all brown). I've been using all types of baits including jerk baits, rubber shad tails etc.

A freidnd and I just spent two full days there this past weekend. He had one fish strike his Red October tube and then hung around the boat to follow the figure eight but never ate it. Then I found this website and learned that you guys CRUSHED them the same days we struggled.

We are NOT doing something right....................any help would be greatly appreciated.

BTW, I am not looking for your secret honey holes.........just maybe some tips and techniques that would improve our success rates.

Thanks much

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Chad & Joe,you guys are having very good fall casting action

After 4 months at camp near Chautauqua I had to go home while I was still welcome.I should have just gave you guys the RV trailer keys.I have been trolling through trash floating around the Buffalo Harbor,not marking much so far.


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Larry – Thanks for posting about the harbor! I know I am going to try and get up there this year and do some late fall trolling – never done it before so it will be fun to fish a different body of water.

Wet the Net – this time of year I have been paying close attention to water temperature. Below 55 degrees and I start slowing down my retrieves. I don’t go super slow though cause the water clarity is also getting better by the day and you don’t want to give the fish too much time scope out your offering. I’ve also noticed that none of my “loud†color patterns are producing anything right now (not even follows). As the water clarity continues to clear up, I go more and more natural looking (even consider dragging some live bait off the back of the boat). Keep at it man…… you’ll get em!

Everyone else - thanks for the kind words! Can't wait to get back out there (most likely this weekend again...)


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Thank you for the response. I think you are right. I've been fishing about the same speed since mid September and I think I need to focus more on slowing down and varying the speed to trigger bites.

I am assuming that the fish will be in the 10-15 ' depth off the weed lines.

I'll be at it again this coming weekend. Hope to post some photos like yours next week.

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